Wednesday, June 20, 2007

There'll be blood...on the floor...when Super Snooper opens the door...

One of the best bits of news I received last year was news that an old favourite—Sergio Corbucci's SUPERFUZZ (1981) aka POLIZIOTTO SUPERPIU—was finally getting a legitimate Region 1 DVD release this February. A special edition no less, although what ultimately hit store shelves was not what many fans were expecting. The R1 DVD of Superfuzz turned out to be the U.K. cut of the film, which lists among its offenses: PAL speedup, additional and extended scenes which screw up the pacing a bit, music replacement, alternate voices from the U.S. version, missing narration, and more.

Also, the distributor didn't port over the interviews with Corbucci's wife and actor Sal Borgese from the Italian disc, opting instead for a bio of Terence Hill and clips from other films (but NOT Superfuzz, oddly enough).

Saigon says skip this baby and get the Italian DVD instead (see below).

While some folks may have fond memories of SUPERFUZZ from it's endless airings on HBO in the network's early years, I was one of the few, the proud, to have seen it first run in a theatre, geek that I was. And what would possess a small-city 12-year-old to place a fluffy, often puerile Italian comedy made by people he'd never heard of above all other fare—even RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK—playing the local multiplexes that summer?

Well, the theme song definitely had something to do with it, which is why I posted it over at Youtube, taken from the awesome Italian DVD of the film that came out a couple of years ago: :D

I'm sure there was more to it than just a groovy title track, though. But for my money, rarely has a theme song so infectiously encapsulated the personality of a film. After all, this is a film about a Miami cop (Terrence Hill) who gains superpowers when he accidentally shoots a Nasa rocket out of the sky after firing a warning shot to scare a freeloading alligator out of his police canoe on a routine call to collect on parking tickets at a swamp shack in the everglades! THE LEOPARD this ain't. By the end of the movie, Hill and Ernest Borgnine are floating on a giant chewing gum bubble over sunny Miami. In between is all manner of humour that perhaps only a 12-year-old could love.

When I discovered the uncut, anamorphic widescreen, 5.1 Italian DVD about two years ago, after years of fruitless wading through listings for bootlegs on eBay and shoddy "official" fullscreen releases from the U.K. and elsewhere, I was in a deep nostalgic haze for several hours, thanks in no small part to an ever-present all-region DVD player. Not having seen the film since that theatrical showing 24 years prior, I was pleasantly suprised to discover how little of this film I'd actually forgotten over the years. That said, I'd highly recommend sourcing out the Italian DVD while it's still in print. It contains the original U.S. English language track, a beautiful transfer, and the aforementioned interviews.

If you like Corbucci's sillier stuff, or just about anything with Terrence Hill in it, then POLIZIOTTO SUPERPIU will be money well spent.

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