Introducing The Roving Eye: ‘Young, Violent, Dangerous’

Posted by Brian Salisbury - May 4th 2012 @ 5:28 pm

What the hell is The Roving Eye, and what is it doing here? A fair question, if rudely phrased. Here at HND our passion for the genre tends to restrict us, often under penalty of death from The Old One, to only writing about horror. While this is an acceptable edict for any website model in our opinion, there are times when we wish we could bring you coverage of great genre films that don’t fall into the horror category. So we consulted the ancient tomes, engaged in dark meditation, and made many, many sacrifices to Cthulhu.  Finally we were granted permission to introduce HND’s one-and-only non-horror column. Every week(ish), The Roving Eye will introduce you to a film you’ve probably never heard of that will feature either gangsters, aliens, sorcerers, samurais, martial arts, superheroes, or roaring muscle cars…or, fingers crossed, all of the above. Ladies and madmen, I give you The Roving Eye.

Title: Young, Violent, Dangerous

Year: 1976

Director: Romolo Guerrieri


What The Hell Is It?

Young, Violent, Dangerous is not so much a gangster movie as it is a kids-on-a-crime-spree movie.

Where Did It Come From?

This week’s entry comes to us from the unscrupulous boot known as Italy. Italy’s history of genre films is all but completely pilfered from the genre film canon of other nations; most notably America. Fore example, if not for John Carpenter and Australia’s George Miller, Italy would never have made any sci-fi films from 1982-1990. Equally as popular as their liberally repurposed science fiction were their poliziotteschi films. This was the catch-all banner under which fell any film centering on the police, gangsters, or those otherwise disinclined to follow orderly laws. However, while fitting this subgenre in almost every regard, the one stark and fascinating deviation in Young, Violent, Dangerous is that neither the police nor gangsters are the protagonists.

How Dare You?

I dared to review Young, Violent, Dangerous for a number of reasons; the first of which I’ve hinted at in the previous section. Admittedly, for all my knowledge of the trash cinema of the spaghetti land, I’m still a bit of a novice in the poliziotteschi department. The trail of bread crumbs for my hopelessly lost babe in the woods has been thus far provided by RaroVideo, and their stellar releases of the Fernando di Leo Blu-ray set as well as this one-off DVD.

The film revolves around a trio of teenagers, and their female captive, who, for no apparent reason, go on a nationwide crime spree that produces a leaning tower of corpses. Though we should have known trouble was afoot when their playful romp began with a deviant S&M bondage party attended by nubile young ladies who, while game for more traditional nook, took none too kindly to being bound and degraded. From thence into notoriety as their crimes escalate to Natural Born Killers levels and the police begin a coordinated man hunt for our roving (see how nicely that works into this inaugural piece?) killers.

The reason to stray from our beloved genre long enough to endure the 100 minute runtime of Young, Violent, Dangerous is to behold in depraved wonderment the steadily increasing bodycount. These kids kill with the proficiency of a mafia hit squad and yet their targets are none so deserving. At a certain point, the degree of the insanity freely adopted by our “heroes” denotes a serious mistrust of, and a paranoia toward, youth culture. Aforementioned Italian genre luminary Fernando di Leo penned the script for this film, clearly after running afoul of a trendy coffee shop or outdoor rock concert. The morality play builds to its inevitable conclusion, but is ultimately a satisfying journey for the viewer.

The Eye has it, Young, Violent, Dangerous is a worthy diversion

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