Naked Violence (1969)


Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5

Original title:  I ragazzi del massacro

, 1969.  , .  Story and Screenplay by , , , based on the novel by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .

A teacher is raped and murdered by her students at a school for juvenile delinquents, and the police haul the entire class into the clink for the crime.  Interrogating them, the lead detective on the case (Pier Paolo Capponi) discovers something very odd about their testimonies: they all have exactly the same story down to the finest detail except for one boy, a gay young man who says he was forced to participate.  The uniformity of the remaining suspects’ testimony leads Capponi to believe that there might have been someone else in the room, an adult who orchestrated the whole thing (and who, in the crime’s campiest detail, sprayed aniseed liqueur all over everyone to make them incredibly drunk).  Going from witness to witness with his colleague, Capponi asks questions until he gets his man (and isn’t that a twist in the tale).  Fernando di Leo’s penchant for fast-paced and exciting police thrillers doesn’t fail him here, focusing more on unfolding plot details than on action, then makes up for the lack of Luc Merenda-worthy violence with a terrific fight scene in the film’s conclusion.  Watching it from a modern perspective makes its denial of toxic masculinity laughable, its plot serving up the worst behaviour of a culture obsessed with machismo that is then blamed on the gay and trans community.  Great acting (despite the Fellini dubbing) and terrific cinematography as well.

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