Young, Violent, Dangerous (1976)

Three adjectives apply to all three men at the center of Young, Violent, Dangerous, a ’70s Italian police drama from the mind of the great Fernando Di Leo (The Italian Connection). However, he yielded directorial duties on this one to Romolo Guerrieri (Johnny Yuma). I, for one, could sense the absence of Di Leo’s sure touch, and greatly missed it.

Louie, Paul and Joe and the troublemakers to whom the title refers. Joe’s the one in a Fritz the Cat T-shirt and overalls who plays hopscotch, just for the record. Louie’s the one whose girlfriend, Lea (Eleonora Giorgi, Inferno), rats them out in the first scene, letting the authorities know of the bored, pampered boys’ plans to rob a gas station.

That felonious act leaves four men dead, which excites constant gigglebox Joe as they escape from commissioner Tomas Milian (Cop in Drag): “You gotta admit, guys: It was better than OK Corral!” The trio immediately robs a bank of $5 million, then, after a round of group sex where someone farts, a grocery store. One long and winding car chase later, they’re fleeing with Lea to the country, where innocent campers await to be murdered for the hell of it.

Crime sprees usually make for can’t-miss concepts in films, but Young, Violent, Dangerous — while amusing in its first act — is too off-target to register for greatness. Milian’s a fine hero, naturally, but his screen time is limited, given over to the three punks you really don’t want to hang out with. Eurocrime can offer much worse, but it also can offer much better. —Rod Lott

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