Perche si uccide un magistrato
Damiano Damiani’s How to Kill a Judge is a low key thriller that sits uneasily within the poliziotteschi cycle to which it has been consigned. It is almost totally devoid of action set pieces, and is remarkably bloodless for a 1970’s Italian crime flick. Compared to the high octane thrills and spills of Enzo G. Castellari or Fernando Di Leo this is a sedentary affair that at times comes perilously close to total inertia. Damiani who co-wrote the screenplay with Enrico Ribulsi was clearly intent on making a very serious film in which social and political imperatives are far more important than the conventions of the cycle. In fact at times Damiani goes out of his way to frustrate generic expectations. This is in order to maintain the clarity of the films political purpose, a purpose which might otherwise have been undermined by a proliferation of stunts and gunfire. Damiani was no stranger to appropriating the conventions of a genre in order to pedal an ideological point of view. His western A Bullet for the General (1966) flaunts its leftist credentials, but importantly retains a high entertainment factor. His earlier poliziotteschi Confessions of a Police Commissioner to the District Attorney (1971) likewise retains its entertainment factor without compromising its ideological vision. How to Kill a Judge however is so entangled within its socio/political message that at times it forgets to be entertaining.
© Shaun Anderson 2011