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Sunday, March 16, 2014

Meet Him and Die (RaroVideo Blu-ray)

My first experience with Franco Prosperi was not his elegant cop thriller Meet Him and Die. It was Hercules in the Haunted World at the Exhumed Films 24 Hour Horrorthon in the wee hours of the morning. Though it is easy to appreciate the highly fantastical journey into the underworld featured in Haunted World, there’s nothing like the cold bleak lens of reality to show us what a director really has in his cans. Thus I look at Meet Him and Die as a sort of fantasy of what it must have been like to be a copy in the mid 70’s in much the same way that Haunted World is a fantasy about the legends of the ancient gods. It’s rough. It’s filthy. The good guy doesn’t always seem to get ahead in spite of what so many westerns may have assured us in the years prior to Meet Him and Die (al dente?). With that we come to the first time Blu-ray release from RaroVideo who has had great success with Italian cinema as of late, creating a beautiful transfer of Nightmare City and I Cannibal, and now moving into Prosperi’s nearly unreal reality.

Synopsis from RaroVideo:

A robbery goes terribly wrong for a hapless criminal Massimo (Ray Lovelock) when he tries to break into a jewelry store only to have the steel shutters immediately slam down and lock him inside until the police arrive. Naturally, he is sent straight to jail but it doesn't take long before he befriends a big time crime boss inside, but the plot thickens when it transpires that the young man is actually not who we think he is. The two execute a successful escape and we soon find out that we don't really know the true background of these criminals or what is really motivating them.

Menu screen from RaroVideo:


The transfer is rich on the screen painting stark images, not necessarily colorful and vibrant but raw. The video is 1920 x 1080 @ 23.976p/Aspect Ration 1.76:1, Linea PCM audio in Italian with English subtitles. Include is a slip sleeve and insert with two distinct but traditional pieces of cover art and a booklet, fully illustrated providing a background to the release and it’s place within the framework of Italian cinema and the pliziotteschi genre. It’s a handsome package, perfect for fans of Italian cinema, lighter Giallo enthusiasts and Krimi fans. This particular disc is not heavy on the extras on disc, but does contain an introduction from Mike Malloy.

While I am not a scholar as respect crime and policy movies of Europe through the 60’s and 70’s I’ve seen enough to see the influence of American cinema and the reciprocation with their European counterpart creating ever racier pictures with progressive soundtracks and a “take no shit” attitude carried as if they were issued alongside badge and gun. Meet Him and Die takes a different approach following rather unlikely protagonists into prison, out of jail and into the seedy world of revenge. With twists that are less than obvious and an unfamiliar feeling that is alluring and exciting.

You can pick up Meet Him and Die as well as other RaroVideo releases now. Each is highly collectible and encased in packaging and extra features that expose the company’s love for genre film and, in this instance, Italian pictures.

Italian Horror people… the screenplay is by none other than Claudio Fragasso.

Also note, I need to pick up Last House on the Beach. 


-Doc Terror

3 comments:

  1. "It’s a handsome package, perfect for fans of Italian cinema" Has the reviewer actually watched the blu-ray? One of the worst transfers I've seen. Don't waste your hard earned money on this disaster (the transfer, not the movie).

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    1. Yes. The reviewer watched it. He hasn't seen a bad Raro transfer yet. A suggestion: Adjust the settings on your TV. Releases of new transfers from this period do not handle some of the finer digital enhancing. It looks the best it has looked aside from a film print. Can you recommend a version?

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  2. Bitch bitch bitch. You're lucky we're even seeing this shit get released in the states. Probably another goon that has his TV settings out of wack.

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