Wednesday, June 15, 2011

June 14 - Highway Racer (1977)

Highway Racer (1977)

Director: Stelvio Massi
Format: DVD (First Look's Grindhouse Experience Vol 2)

AKA Poliziotto Sprint or Convoy Busters (not to be confused with another Stelvio Massi movie, Un Poliziotto Scomodo, which is also known as Convoy Busters).

I'm a big fan of giallo, spaghetti westerns and jungle/cannibal flicks, but I have to admit I've seen very few from the another Italian genre from the 1970s, the crime and action combination known as Poliziotteschi.

This movie is from that genre, but... well, it's just not very entertaining. I'm hoping it's not a fair representation of the bulk of Poliziotteschi, because it's rather tedious viewing.

Merizio Merli (MANNAJA), who by all accounts got a lot of work because of looking similar to Franco Nero, plays Marco Palma, a hot-headed police driver whose impulsiveness sees him wrecking cars and getting into hot water with his superior officer, Tagliaferri (Giancarlo Spragia).

A group of bank robbers are out-running and frustrating police, led by Jean Paul Dossena (Angelo Infanti, who played the traiterous Fabrizio in THE GODFATHER), an old rival of Tagliaferri. The older officer must mentor Palma, ridding him of his impulses and teaching him to be the ultimate driver. Palma goes undercover in the bank robber gang but his cover is blown, sending him towards a showdown with Dossena.

If the sight of small European sports cars racing through narrow European streets gets your motor running, you might enjoy Convoy Busters, but I can't say it does much for me (I'll admit I despise motor sport in all forms). And the problem is, apart from the car chases, there's not much more to this movie.

There are a few unintentional laughs (such as squealing tyres when cars are on loose metal), and Lilli Carati (who by the looks of her IMDB credits went on to become a regular in erotica) is easy on the eyes as the love interest, although sadly she keeps her clothes on throughout.

If you don't like cars you'll probably find yourself bored to tears with this movie. If you are a car fan, maybe it's worth seeing.

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