Wednesday, July 27, 2011

CANI ARRABBIATI - Stelvio Cipriani - "Rabid Dawgs" (1974)

Some people think I should change my name to Enema!! and become a rapper! Some people think that "Cani Arrabbiati" is another Mario Bava classic, I say if you make as many movies as Mario Bava did, like 72, there's bound to be a couple of clinkers! Let's just give Mario credit on this one just for getting it done! Well, No, that didn't happen either, so let's just give him credit for being Mario Bava, that's a big enough of an accomplishment for me!

Made in 1974, but not released until 23 years later because of legalities, "Cani Arrabbiati" came out in 1998 after Mario Bava's son Lamberto took over the directorial reins. The English title was changed consequently from "Kidnapped" to "Rabid Dogs!" Good choice since Robert Louis Stevenson it's not!!

It all starts with a robbery or as some would rather say, a heist!

The three mean mofo's who did the deed try and stage a getaway....

....but the police are immediately on their tail! Even with low or no budget, Mario Bava is able to steal some choice background shots here and there!

Trapped in an underground parking lot, the robbers kill one woman shopper, and kidnap another one in order to escape, and show that they mean business! This fantastic shot looks like it came out of a 50's men's action and adventure magazine like "Man's Story," or "Male," or some 10 cent detective pulp!

Get ready, because this is the set for about 80% of the rest of the movie!

Okay, so who are these wild and crazy killers anyway?

On the left is Luigi Montefiori, stage name, George Eastman as Trentadue or 32, a name he acquired because of the size of the third member of his manual transmission, in centimeters! For your information, 32 centimeters is approximately 12 and a half inches! George is 6'9" tall, so he probably is up there in the Milton Berle department for sure! His pal is Aldo Caponi, stage name, Don Backy, as the ruthless killer Bisturi, or in English, "Blade," or "Stilletto!"

In an effort to elude the cops, the guys have strong-armed a new car driven by a kindly older man, and in an effort to tug at your heartstrings even more, he's just trying to get his very sick and feverish son to a doctor!!

The very cool original soundtrack was composed by the very prolific Stelvio Cipriani, who we have mentioned here before for his work on another Bava film, "A Bay Of Blood" aka "Twitch Of The Death Nerve" but the list of titles Stelvio has composed for is numbered at 215, is all over the place, and reads something like this: "Luana, The Girl Tarzan," "12+1" "The Lickerish Quartet," "The Devil Has Seven Faces," and "The Three Superguys!"

The helplessly hopeless kidnap victim stuck in the middle between 32 and The Blade is Lea Lander as Maria! Lea was also in the real Bava classic, "Blood And Black Lace!" The Blade is a moody brooding killer, and 32 is a madman!!

Maurice Poli is Dottore, the boss of the gang, the guy who gets to sit in the front seat, and he's just had about enough of 32's shenanigans!

They stop to get something to drink, and ole 32 would like a Lamborghini Margarita right about now, that's just like a regular Cadillac, but instead of having it with a shot of Grand Mariner, you serve it up with a shot of Amaretto instead!

The little guy dwarfed by 32 is Riccardo Cucciolla as who else but Riccardo? Riccardo started his career in acting in 1953, and he passed away in 1999! They must be doing something right in Italy because beside Riccardo Cucciolla and Mario Bava, all the rest of the main cast of this film are still alive!

32 is all over Maria and at any given point it goes from tense and disturbing, to degrading, disgusting, and foul!

When Dottore has finally had enough, and tries to get 32 to calm down, everything just gets worse, especially since 32 and Blade have now been drinking heavily!

Don Backy was a singer and songwriter in the 1960s, and was part of a musical congregation called "Clan" along with one of Italy's most popular pop stars, Adriano Celentano!

Right out of left field, there's also a love song in the movie called "Hold On To Me" that was also written by Stelvio Cipriani, with lyrics by Myriann D'Antine, that was sung by Simona Patitucci!

Maria Fabbri as Maria Sbravati, but billed as Marisa Fabbri's car breaks down, and she's desperate enough to take a lift from this crew! It turns out to be a very poor decision!

They make a couple more stops, and before too long, and as Chubby Checker would say, "It's Twistin' Time!"


Christopher said...

This movie and Lisa and the Devil (2 very differen't films)are my favorite Bava films of the 70's..I prefer the old gothic style Bava and find the slasher films he did in the early 70s a bit dull..But this was captivating with a nice twist at the end.

Eegah!! and Tabonga! said...

Exactamundo amigo, clear and concise, but it took four hours for me to say the same thing!

occhio sulle espressioni said...

I'll read for a while ', this blog is a gold mine!!!
What about "Cani arrabbiati"? Mario is one of my points of reference, and did not disappoint me even with this, although most prefer their horror classic. It was shot in a stretch of highway blocked for the occasion. Even Luigi Montefiori is one of my favorites, a true symbol of the "Bis movies" time.
Just recently, on Monday night, here are broadcasting a series of films by Mario Bava ... at 4 a.m.! :D


zillagord said...

32 and The Blade would fit right in up here in Portland: they look like every other unkempt hipster walking the boulevarde. Portland needs to shave!
Shit, I digress, nice review...

Eegah!! and Tabonga! said...

Grazie, Grazie!!!

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