Saturday, November 2, 2013


A copycat poliziotteschi, which was made in response to Enzo G. Castellari's (a.k.a. Enzo Girolami) hugely successful HIGH CRIME (1973), Franco Martinelli's (a.k.a. Marino Girolamo and Enzo's father) VIOLENT ROME (1975) has, despite the erroneous packaging, turned up on German DVD in an English-friendly version.

Maurizio Merli stars as commissario Betti, the first of many such roles he starred in subsequent poliziotteschi, who gets into plenty of hot water with his superiors due to his unruly methods.   Of course, it’s just a matter of time before he loses his job, which leads him to Sartori (Richard Conte), a highly respected lawyer and the mastermind of a clandestine vigilante group, who are equally fed up with the rampant crime afflicting Rome. 

Released by Arcade Video in September 2008 under its German title, Gewalt Rast Durch die Stadt (Verdammte Heilige Stadt), which roughly translates as Violence Rips Through the City (Damned Holy City), this DVD seemed to disappear as quickly as it appeared.  According to the back cover, only German and Italian audio options are provided, but the disc only contains German and English audio options.  A nice unexpected bonus, indeed!

Although presented in the proper 1.78:1 aspect ratio and enhanced for 16x9 monitors, it’s a decent DVD that gets the job done and certainly better than any previous VHS version; just don't expect a pristine remastered version.  The Italian DVD from Federal Video is probably superior picture wise, but the lack of English audio is definitely off-putting, so Arcade’s DVD still remains the better option.  Their packaging also claims a Region 2 encoding, but it’s actually Region 0.

Some third party sellers on Amazon Germany may still carry this, but if the price is a little high, you could try Ebay as well. 
Maurizio Merli as Commissario Betti administering his own brand of justice.

Luciano Rossi.

Richard Conte and Maurizio Merli.

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