Tuesday, 11 March 2014
Mad Dog (1977)
One of the surest ways to put me off a piece of media is to include lots of sexual violence. I'll usually give it a pass if such acts are shown as a horrible, vile thing without a hint of eroticism, but that's definitely not the case in this film. We even get soft-focus lenses for one of the rape scenes.
Also known as Mad Dog Killer or Beast with a Gun, this 1970s Italian film comes across as something of a celebration of criminality, to be frank. The actor playing the villain gets top billing, and by far the largest amount of screen time. It's a film about a criminal's attempts to stay ahead of the police, rather than the police's attempts to catch the criminal. Given how inept the police are in the script, this would perhaps have been a good choice, were the criminal in any way the kind of person you might empathise with. But he's just a raping, murdering thug, and I certainly hope that's not someone any of you would identify with.
The plot? Criminal escapes from jail. Does some assault, some killing and some raping. Then does some more raping. And some killing. And some raping and killing. And some killing with a side order of sexual violence. Meanwhile, a police inspector ineffectually chases him. Blind luck puts said inspector in just the right location to deduce the criminal's hiding place, and they have their final face off, where the policeman wins the day.
I did like that having triumphed, the inspector arrests the crook, rather than kill him. That's a nice change from the norm. Overall, however, unless you want to wallow in cruelty, this is one to skip.