Saturday, June 13

The Perfect Killer (1977)


"You look at people as if you want to shoot someone...why are you here anyway?"

"To shoot someone..."


A.K.A. Quel pomeriggio maledetto
Directed by Mario Siciliano
92 Minutes / Prism Entertainment / Cropped from 2.35:1 to full screen (a dead-center crop)

Harry Chapman (an excessively hairy orificed Lee Van Cleef) is known as the best contract killer, but he's getting up in the years and wants to finally tie up all the loose ends in his checkered past for good. After purposely botching a hit on an old cellmate friend, Harry is soon tracked by a young assassin (Alberto Dell'Acqua) and goes globe-trottin' to find the man who double crossed him years ago resulting in a stint in prison.

Van Cleef was sliding into his long twilight by this time in this meandering soap opera histrionics-stuffed "action"/"thriller". The spag western icon seems on auto-pilot, probably more interested in taking in the beautiful European vistas and women upon the scene ends than delivering anything memorable in his performance. Siciliano himself appears to have seen the writing on the garnish '70s decor, as the latter half is more concerned with lush love scenes and a nineteen-year-old hot for the then fifty two-year-old leading man as the story becomes ever aimless.

There's two little sequences that manage break the protracted banality with sheer strangeness. Dell'Acqua gets cornered by three lipsticked crossdresser informants in a steam room armed with a straight razor. Van Cleef even enters a seedy bar to talk to one of the penis-tuckers over scotch. Later, a nude girl is repeatedly shot in the crotch with each of the shots sounding off like a BB smacking a tin roof. That's about it, no car chases or fiery gunplay, but just more double crosses and bland revelations by the small group circling around Chapman with the viewer gettin' restless. Prism's cover art is as snappy as usual though.


VHS Picture: 4/10
VHS Sound: 5/10

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