original title: Uomini Si Nasce Poliziotti Si Muore
aka: The Terminators, Vanishing
Director: Ruggero Deodato
Starring: Marc Porel, Ray Lovelock, Adolfo Celi, Franco Citti, Silvia Dionisio
Fred and Tony are a duo of violent cops that will let nothing stand in their way of taking down the dirty criminals of Rome. They usually leave a big mess behind them and even though their police department appreciate their hard work, they also have to be constantly reprimanded due to the damages they leave behind them.
They are brought into a special unit with the focus of taking down the Roberto Pasquini, the crime boss of everything illegal that goes on in the city. The best friends will be put to the test and they have to use all their skills (legal or illegal) to succeed on this mission.
Live Like A Cop, Die Like A Man sees genre hero Ruggero Deodato dabble into the poliziotteschi genre. He teams up here with the more experienced crime movie filmmaker Fernando Di Leo, who came up with the story and wrote the script to this film. They also get some great help by Ubaldo Continiello who provides the film with some awesome music.
As expected by Deodato, and the genre itself, the film has plenty of action and brutal violence. Even the dog of a blind man isn’t safe in this film and there are also plenty of women that feel the wrath of being slapped around (would be hard to make a film like this today). Even if it has a lot of brutality, it is still done in a comedic and light tone. The exact opposite of the violence in Cannibal Holocaust in other words.
The two main characters, Fred and Tony, are quite interesting. They come off very homoerotic, they live together, they work together and they even have sex one after the other when they are interrogating a female informant. It’s very strange as it isn’t easy to see if it was done on purpose or it just so happen to come off this way to the viewers. It should also be noted that Marc Porel and Ray Lovelock are excellent and very fun to watch together. It’s too bad that they didn’t make a sequel so we could follow Fred and Tony on new adventures.
The villains in this film isn’t that much fun though and that’s an aspect that hurts the film. Renato Salvatori’s character Roberto Pasquini is hardly a memorable bad guy in a genre that can present enough deranged killers to make any horror fan happy. The film, just like any other movie ever made, could really have benefitted from having a bad guy portrayed by Tomas Milian instead.
The script is also not that great. There’s not that much of a social commentary to spot here and the story is very simple. You do expect more when you know that it is done by Fernando Di Leo, one of the biggest names within this genre. Deodato makes up for it by having it pace quickly and always have an entertaining scene after another coming to the screen.
Live Like A Cop, Die Like A Man is not one of the best of the poliziotteschi genre, but it is still one of the most charming and fun ones. It is a film that holds up very well on repeated viewings and if you are ever in a bad mood you can always cure it by cracking open a beer and pressing play on this action packed euro crime movie.