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Review of ‘Wake Up & Kill’ (1966) - Carlo Lizzani.

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  • Review of ‘Wake Up & Kill’ (1966) - Carlo Lizzani.

    Gifted Director Carlo Lizzani’s audacious, adrenaline-fuelled, greatly influential Euro-crime classic ‘Wake Up & Kill’ (1966) is the ceaselessly locomotive true crime classic that so energetically dramatizes the frantic, media-hyped rise, and subsequent ignominious fall of photogenic smash-and-grab merchant Luciano Lutring. While being filmed a good few years before the hyperbolic, bullet-hazed, road-carnage heyday of poliziotteschi movies masterminded by exploitation titans Lenzi/Martino/Massi et al. The dynamic, cinema verite style Lizzani cannily utilized allowed for considerably more intimacy, pathos and emotional gravitas over the grievous, downward spiralling plight of infamous jewel thief Lutring (Robert Hoffman) and his ravishing songbird paramour Angela (Lisa Gastoni).

    This truly exhilarating 60s true crime drama is forcefully engaging right from the quite literally explosive beginning, as screenwriter Ugo Pirro’s cogent script keeps the viewer wholly immersed in misguided misfit Lutring’s cavalier, hubristic, whiskey-soaked Riviera crime spree that inexorably attracts the unwanted mercenary attentions of the dangerously over-mythologizing press, fallaciously dubbing him the ‘machine gun soloist’, a glib moniker that wily inspector Moroni (Gian Maria Volonté) ardently hopes he might be able to stop becoming a statistical fact. The autobiographical film’s vivid action sequences are no less excitingly rendered than the morbidly fascinating, increasingly desperate relationship between steadfastly loyal Angela, and her frequently fractious, machine gun-toting hoodlum husband ostensibly leading them both to an inevitably destructive climax. ‘Wake Up & Kill’ might still be highly regarded as an influential true-crime classic even without its scintillating score by Ennio Morricone, yet sonorously endowed with such an enthralling theme Carlo Lizzani’s muscular, torn-from-the-headlines thriller is giddily elevated to that of a minor genre masterpiece! The beautifully restored Arrow Video Blu-ray is a fantastic addition to any avid film fan's burgeoning Euro-Cult collection.


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  • #2
    That's a great cover for the Arrow blu.

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