Mark The Narc / Mark il poliziotto (1975)

2.0 out of 5

The original Franco Gasparri poliziottesco that started the trilogy stars heart-throb Gasparri, biting at the heels of prestigious businessman and drug kingpin Lee J. Cobb. Predictably, he loses a partner to violence and beds a convenient babe along the way. But in a departure from director Stelvio Massi's crimers with Maurizio Merli, Gasparri employs his unlawful methods with about as much conviction as if he were ordering a cappuccino. His disposal of one henchman with a shotgun during the movie's finale, four humongous blasts, is about as worked up as gets, whereas Merli, with his signature teeth-gnashing and states of aneurysm-induced fury, can rarely go five minutes without smacking a man's face to pulp.

Otherwise, a diverting enough Italian 70s crimer with some nice touches, one of them being Gasparri's charismatic St Bernard dog, and some passable, if not ordinary, electric music on the soundtrack.

Gasparri has an effective screen presence but could use a little more intensity. Compared to Merli or a Tomas Milian, he lacks the proper Italian cop indignation to overcome his pretty face.

Maurizio Merli header graphic courtesy of Paddy O'Neill of Foxyfide Graphics