Live Like a Cop, Die Like a Man
Director - Ruggero Deodato
Cast - Marc Porel, Ray Lovelock
Country of Origin - Italy
Discs - 1
MSRP - $29.98
Distributor - Raro Video
Reviewer - Scott MacDonald
The Film (4/5)
I have only seen a handful of Ruggero Deodato's extensive filmography, but none of them have matched the expectation of his exploitation horror masterpiece Cannibal Holocaust. So when Live Like A Copy, Die Like a Man was announced for Region 1 by Raro, I was expecting a run Poliziotteschi film, but I did not expect a film that would compete for my number 1 favorite Deodato film position, but it happened.
Live Like A Cop, Die Like a Man is the type of film that keeps me watching exploitation films year after year, and doing time consuming obsessive things like running this site. It is sleazy, violent, a little bit cheezy, but a whole Hell of a lot of fun the entire way through. Much like Cannibal Holocaust this is Deodato and his most uncompromising. This is a very un-PC film, and if you are willing to watch a film that may offend your sensibilities (or if you're like me, and welcome the offense), then you my Euro-cult loving friend are in for quite the treat.
The film stars Marc Porel (Don't Torture the Duckling, The Psychic) and Ray Lovelock (Living Dead at Manchester Morgue, Django Kill!) as Fred and Tony, a pair of special forces cops whose sole mission is to prevent crimes before they can happen. The methods with which they do this usually gets them into trouble with their boss played by Adolfo Celi.
The movie starts out with a real whiz-bang motorcycle chase through the streets of Rome, that really states this movies intentions quite clearly as a huge violent action fest. The film then becomes somewhat vignetted as Fred and Tony display their crime fighting methods against a series of local crimes. Each one getting them into more trouble than the last one. Finally the boss assigns them to one big case to take down the mob boss Pasquini.
I will be honest this is a pretty straight forward cop film. It's got all the clichés you've seen in a million film noirs, and cop dramas before this one. So what makes Live Like a Cop, Die Like a Man stand out? 2 things.
1. The chemistry between Marc Porel and Ray Lovelock is absolutely fantastic. So much so that one can't help but notice some underlying homoerotic elements to their relationship, whether intentional or not. Regardless, they are a great pairing, and really help make this film come alive.
2. The direction of Ruggero Deodato, and his willingness to not compromise the material. This film is violent and sleazy, I've said that before, and you've heard that about a lot of films as selling points, but damn do I mean it here. In the opening seen a woman gets dragged into a fire hydrant, and a harmless blind man gets harmed as part of the initial chase. As part of their interrogation process Fred and Tony take turns having sex with a witness while questioning her! Some exploitation movies promise things, and they don't deliver. Live Like a Cop, Die Like a Man delivers on things it didn't even promise!
Another excellent restoration from Raro USA, Live Like a Cop, Die Like a Man is presented in the films original 1:85:1 anamorphic widescreen aspect ratio. The transfer is a bit soft in places, and not much in the way of print damage can be seen. The black levels are deep for the most part, and flesh tones are normal.
The audio is similarly well restored with the film presented in both English and Italian Dolby Digital Mono tracks. Dialogue is crisp and clear all the way through, and is mixed appropriately with the music and sound effects. I couldn't pick up on any audio defects on the transfer.
Raro has put together a nice little package for Live Like a Cop, Die Like a Man. The disc main extra is a 42 minute documentary called Violent Cops which goes into the making of the film starting with Ruggero Deodato's comeback film, and then goes into the details about the production. If you are a fan of this film, or are just getting into it, this is simply a fantastic, informative, and downright interesting watch.
The other extra on the disc is 20 minutes of commercials Deodato shot for Italian television. These are interesting, but I don't really see myself going back to these too often. There is also a booklet of liner notes, including a short bio on Deodato.
I started this site because I am a sucker for European genre films, so this film was a total revelation to me. If that last sentence describes you, or you are a fan of exploitation cinema in the slightest pick this up. The restoration work here is fantastic, and from the little research I have done is allegedly an improvement over Raro's European PAL disc. That combined with the extras makes this disc HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!