Saturday, August 4, 2012

Live Like A Cop, Die Like A Man (1976)

The opening ten minutes to this film are a lawless (literally, as there were no permits) three bike motorcycle chase through crowded downtown Rome during rush hour involving a pair of crooks and a pair of cops. This introduction to the film is a punch in the face for what is about to come.

Alfredo and Antonio are a pair of policemen who are inseperable partners. They work together, ride together and live together. They work for a special division of the police force that takes down the sleaziest criminals Rome has to offer. While Alfredo and Antonio are the good guys, and are incredibly likable in what they do, their tactics certainly aren't by the book. The duo is a cocky, womanizing pair of shoot first and say "fuck the questions" hardasses. They seem to be endlessly reprimanded for their actions and attitudes but it doesn't stop them from taking down the baddies however they please. They have no problems putting the public in the line of fire because their extremely dangerous training techniques ensure they won't miss. Antonio and Alfredo are assigned a mission to track down a Mr. Pasquini and LIVE LIKE A COP, DIE LIKE A MAN follows their frequently violent and sometimes sexy adventure that leads to a climax that is appropriately explosive but in a low key "been-there-done-that" attitude.

The director of the infamous Cannibal Holocaust Ruggero Deodato directs this intensely violent and surprisingly funny Euro Crime flick that is written by arguably the king of the genre Fernando Di Leo. This film has a snarky sense of humor to it that straddles the line of making the viewer feel bad for laughing along with for the police duo's actions but never quite crosses that line. The humor is well timed and never gets so tongue-in-cheek that it makes you roll your eyes, the violence makes sure of that. From hostage situations, to shootouts and car chases, the blood spills and murder (including our heroes) is on tap. The key here is that you never scoff at the protagonists for their questionable actions because they are simply reacting to the heartless nature of Rome's grimy underground. You don't have to look any further than the opening scene for that to ring true. Genre film vet Ray Lovelock (Antonio) and Marc Porel (Alfredo) shine. Is their deeper meaning in their relationship than just friends and partner? It's possible, but the duo brilliantly leaves it extremely vague so that it doesn't become a plot point. They an asskicking team that takes no prisoners (literally) and it doesn't matter what else they may do in their free time (other than women).

LIVE LIKE A COP, DIE LIKE A MAN is violent, funny and just pure entertaining. It has more memorable characters than it probably should due to some villains being extremely cruel in their limited screen time and it will immediately become one of your favorite Euro Crime films.


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