A DAY OF VIOLENCE
Reviewed by: Zombie Boy
Giovanni Lombardo Radice
What's it about
A small-time thug in the British mafia tries to make goodÖwith excessively bloody results.
Is it good movie?
Mitchell Parker is having a really, really bad day. On a routine mob collection visit to an aging hippie (played by genre veteran Giovanni Lombardo Radice) he thinks heís hit the jackpot: $100,000, instead of the two he was meant to collect. He dispatches the hippie, takes the cash, and is ready to take a powder and try to repair some of the damage heís done to his life about 18 months prior. As you might expect, this doesnít much work out. That money was owed to a different mob boss than the one he screwed over stealing it in the first place, and he soon finds himself on the wrong end of some power tools. And the mob henchmen soon find themselves on the wrong side of Mitchell.
A DAY OF VIOLENCE doesnít have a whole lot along the way of plot, but it far makes up for that in sheer bloodiness. Weíve all seen British crime films done better than this one, in terms of ingenuity and slickness, but few with the rampant, gleefully destruction to flesh as this one. While a lot of the dialogue (and itís delivery) are kind of stilted and the editing isnít as quick as the genre calls for, there is just something compelling and cathartic about watching guys beat the tar out of each other with baseball bats. And I dare you to keep your eyes open, and uncovered, when one dude gets a hedge-clippers taken to his business.
To be fair, VIOLENCE does attempt to rise above being merely an exploitation film. While the shootings and stabbings and *ahem* hedge-clipperings are gleeful, Mitchellís basic goal in the film is to use the ill-gotten money for a good purpose Ė one which would be a minor spoiler to reveal here. Even the circumstances of his death are a nice twist (though I could have lived without the AMERICAN BEAUTY-style narration at the opening of the film). So it is at least trying to have different levels. But, as the name implies, itís really the violence that will attract and keep an audience.
Oh, and I would be remiss in not pointing out that the opening scene of the film is a big olí dirty sex scene.
Video / Audio
Video: No stats in the video. Itís shot on video, and while that can sometimes make a film look amateurish, the SFX are anything but.
Audio: Just one English language track, and no subtitles. I donít have any stats on the audio. Itís serviceable, but has that ambient mic on the video camera sound.
Making of: At first I was slightly put off: an 80-minute making of piece? Lord, give me strength. But itís actually a series of smaller pieces strung together. Theyíre stream-of-consciousness, unsurprisingly dealing exclusively with SFX sequences. Theyíre very interesting from a filmmaking standpoint, but if youíre not interested in the mechanics of shooting a movie you may be a bit bored. I do like how everyone involved seemed to honestly be having fun.
Casting A Legend: This title is a clever bit of trickery: itís not about getting Giovanni Lombardo Radice to appear in the film, but rather literally about making a cast of the actorís neck for his death scene.
Deleted/Extended Scenes: There actually arenít any deleted scenes here, just three extended scenes. Two are only slightly longer, and one is a huge, awkward dialog scene. Nothing germane or illuminating to the story.
Interview with Giovanni Lombardo Radice: A quick 8-minute chat with the man. Itís kind of funny to hear the old school Italian horror legend saying that he finds this film too violent for his tastes.
A DAY OF VIOLENCE is definitely exactly what it claims to be in the title. It does attempt to operate on a more emotional level in certain scenes, but really, the thing youíll take away from the experience is the profound and bloody trauma done to flesh. For that alone it is worth a watch.