Live Like a Cop, Die Like a Man / Uomini si nasce poliziotti si muore (1976)

2.0 out of 5

Despite a rousing motorcycle chase in its opening, and plenty of grotesque cruelty played for laughs, this is not an easy poliziottesco to like. Its cheerful and blatant disregard for human life, or seeing eye dogs, is more obnoxious here than anything, but when a movie asks its audience to root for two protagonists, Ray Lovelock and Marc Porel, who convey about as much charm as wisecracking SS officers, not even their stunning cheekbones can make a difference.

The plot offers even more ludicrous material, whether it be stupid police beauracrats who are convinced hostage holders are "bluffing" after they've murdered three victims, or the perspiring criminals who gnash their teeth and turn their roles into cartoons. With today's CG effects houses suffocating the action genre, one could easily slip in a Warner Bros. composite of the Tasmanian Devil to replace the numerous live-action thugs and killers.

Pasolini's Franco Citti makes a memorable cameo out of what is, essentially, a snarling caricature.

Sicko director Ruggero Deodato can serve up the atrocities, like a charming eyeball squishing, with the best of them, though. Even making Umberto Lenzi appear restrained.

In spite of the movie's attempts at black humor, all the "immoral tone" would likely send British or American censors into hysterics. When one old woman states, "What is it coming to when common criminals join the police?" most, if any, hints of irony are subtracted.

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