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17 July 2021

Arrow Video experiences the YEARS OF LEAD: Five Classic Italian Crime Thrillers 1973–1977 (review)

Arrow Video presents five idiosyncratic Italian crime films that encompass the cultural anxiety of the "Years of Lead" marked by a spike in crime and domestic terrorism in Italy from the late sixties to the early eighties.  In SAVAGE THREE, a trio of workers for a computer company embark on a crime spree and the police are baffled at the lack of discernable motive connecting the crimes.  In LIKE RABID DOGS, three well-to-do students go on a robbery, rape, and murder spree and the only cop who suspects them runs repeatedly into red tape because of the lead suspect's social connections.  In COLT 38 SPECIAL SQUAD, a cop whose wife has been murdered by a master criminal heads a special squad to combat crime just in time for a spate of bombings all over the city.  In HIGHWAY RACER, a hotheaded cop may be the police force's only hope of infiltrating a criminal gang that use racing car maneuvers to evade capture.  In NO, THE CASE IS HAPPILY RESOLVED, a railway worker witnesses a mild-mannered schoolteacher brutally murder a prostitute.  He does not want to get involved until he discovers that the killer has gone to the cops and fingered him as the killer.

REVIEW LINK: Arrow Video USA (US) Region ALL Blu-ray (DVD Drive-in)

YEARS OF LEAD: FIVE CLASSIC ITALIAN CRIME THRILLERS 1973–1977 Blu-ray specs:

  • Disc One:
    • Savage Three (1975):
      • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.85:1 Widescreen
      • Italian DTS-HD Master Audio 1.0 Mono
      • Optional English Subtitles
      • "Rat Eat Rat" interview with director Vittorio Salerno and actress Martine Brochard
      • "The Savage One" interview with actor Joe Dallesandro
      • Poster Gallery
    • Like Rabid Dogs (1976):
      • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 2.35:1 Widescreen
      • Italian DTS-HD Master Audio 1.0 Mono
      • "When a Murderer Dies" interview with film historian Fabio Melelli and cinematographer Romano Albani
      • "It's Not a Time for Tears" interview with assistant director Claudio Bernabei
      • Theatrical Trailer
      • Music Sampler
      • Poster Gallery
  • Disc Two:
    • Colt 38 Special Squad (1976):
      • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 2.35:1 Widescreen
      • English and Italian LPCM 1.0 Mono
      • Optional English and English SDH Subtitles 
      • Archival introduction by composer Stelvio Cipriani
      • "Always the Same Ol’ 7 Notes" interview with composer Stelvio Cipriani
      • "A Tough Guy" interview with editor Antonio Siciliano
      • Theatrical Trailer
      • Poster Gallery
    • Highway Racer (1977):
      • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.85:1 Widescreen
      • English and Italian LPCM 1.0 Mono
      • Optional English Subtitles
      • "Faster Than a Bullet" interview with film historian Roberto Curti
      • Poster Gallery
  • Disc Three:
    • No, the Case is Happily Resolved (1973):
      • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.85:1 Widescreen
      • Italian LPCM 1.0 Mono
      • Optional English Subtitles
      • "Mother Justice" interview with director Vittorio Salerno and actress Martine Brochard
      • Alternate Ending
      • Italian Theatrical Trailer
      • Poster Gallery
    • "Poliziotteschi: Violence and Justice in the Years of Lead" visual essay by critic Will Webb
  • Comes with reversible sleeves featuring original artwork for all five films and a limited edition collector's booklet featuring new writing on the films by Troy Howarth, Michael Mackenzie, Rachael Nisbet, Kat Ellinger, and James Oliver.

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