Director Alberto de Martino gives us a crime drama ridden with cliches. Crime Boss offers a story about a young, ambitious gangster (Antonio Sabato) trying to move up in a crime organization led by Telly Savalas. The two develop a father/son relationship quickly. That almost happens out of the blue and is totally unconvincing. Sabato's mediocre acting isn't beneficial either. Savalas does a routine job as the Don. Nevertheless he is by far the best actor in the movie. Of course there is also a part for a lady. Paola Tedesco plays the Don's niece, and does a decent job even though her character could have easily been left out. The movie meanders in predictable fashion. Not a whole lot happens. The sporadic crime elements in it (fist fights, shooting etc.) manage to keep it from getting too boring. Joe D'Amato's cinematography is solid, stripped from costly lavishness. In other words: The cheapness of this production gives it a grittier feel. Francesco De Masi provides a good score, as usual. It adds to the atmosphere as it should. The final shootout at the clinic felt obligatory, but managed to satisfy me to a certain extent. All in all however, this is a forgettable crime flick that I can solely recommend to the Italian b-movie fan.
The disc comes in a cheap cardboard sleeve. The artwork, if you can call it that, looks unprofessional and is downright ugly. To make it seem a bit more appealing Lee Van Cleef's name and pictured are slapped on it. Lee Van Cleef is NOT in this movie. When you push play in the main menu, you'll find out quickly that the first two minutes (or so) are missing. The opening titles are almost over when the movie 'starts'. The movie also ends rather abruptly during the closing credits. If you wish to know what actors are in this movie, you can't use this disc to look it up. The movie suffers from various types of print damage, one of which -a constant stream of red blemishes- leads me to believe the source material is a somewhat battered VHS tape. However, the movie is presented in widescreen; probably in its original aspect ratio. The aspect ratio more or less makes up for the lesser print quality. It is pretty 'watchable', mainly considering the fact I've seen far worse. Besides that, my expectations weren't that high. The label that released it is called Dollar-DVD. Go figure. The audio is muffled in a lot of places, making it harder to follow dialogue. Cranking up the volume helps though. There is only an English language track. The dubbing is pretty bad. Luckily Telly Savalas' real voice is used. Apart from chapter selection the disc has no extras.
Specifications Label: Dollar-DVD (Brentwood Communications); released in 2004
Title: Crime Boss