Cut and Run aka Inferno In Diretta (1985) Starring Richard Lynch, Karen Black, Willie Aames, Lisa Blount, Leonard Mann, Michael Berryman, Eriq Lasalle, Richard Bright, John Steiner, Valentina Forte, Gabriele Tinti, Penny Brown, Edward Farrelly.
Directed by Ruggero Deodato.
Running time: minutes
Rating: R (Brutal violence and gore, nudity, sexuality & drug use, coarse language)
“What does he mean by that?! What does he mean by that?!”
Indigenous raiders (led by the creepy Michael Berryman) butcher a group of cocaine refiners in their island midst, steal the powder and give it to a Cult leader (Lynch).
Investigative news team (reporter Blount & camera guy Mann) with absolutely no fear (or sense of good taste) venture into the realm of the drug wars in Miami and trace the cause of particularly brutal local drug murders back to the island. They fly over there apparently to make names for themselves as investigative reporters or out of some subconscious death wish.
The people they encounter along the way meet gruesome deaths but they somehow do not and get some remarkable footage which, they send back via satellite feed. While their producer (Karen Black) marvels over the footage the station manager hires mercenaries to try to get them out because his son also just happens to be there.
If you have to compare this title to others (which I know critics do far too much) think of it as a cross between Aguirre the Wrath of God/Apocalypse Now and the China Syndrome.
With its graphic violence featuring some grisly decapitations this film may as well be classified as horror even though that is not technically what it is. It makes Inferno In Diretta quite literally nauseating. As grisly as it is the production is at very least above average in terms of acting and quite passable when it comes to most other aspects.
You do however have to set the bar a bit higher when it comes to film. Something that is well done is not necessarily good. That may seem like an odd statement but think about it. A cinematic production can be well done without necessarily being entertaining. That is what this film is. It goes a lot of places where mainstream audiences probably won’t want to be taken. It went places I did not want to be taken.
The ending is so absurd as to be spectacularly deflating after that which we have seen. Because of all of that and because of the fact that this was meant as entertainment (if it weren’t the format would have been documentary) then this movie is therefore not good.
I applaud the bravery of the cast and production team for taking on such gritty material and trying to make something interesting but I can’t recommend this film to anyone. It crosses lines that North American moviegoers do not tend to like seeing crossed. But it does it with largely an English language cast in a very blatant attempt to get over with English speaking audiences after its initial release in Europe. Italian films were not merely considering theatrical release in the North American marketing but also home video by this time.
Leonard Mann was able to carve out a niche for himself in Italian cinema via his uncanny resemblance to Italiano matinee idol Giuliano Gemma. That does not mean he wasn’t a good actor. In fact he is at least as good as Gemma.
Richard Lynch as the Colonel, ably adds support in a role that is no departure for him. Here his character is a very sinister psycho. He comes across looking like a personification of all things creepy and evil, which he so often played on film and TV over decades in the motion picture industry. You don’t assume he is the villain. You know it for a fact just by looking at him and remembering what you have seen him in before.
Karen Black of course was no stranger to foreign film audiences. She had appeared in Italian film before. Her part here is small and looks as though it was shot over the course of a single day. The role is almost completely superfluous but her appearance in it helped flesh out the credits with her familiar name to lure audiences in to seeing it.
The always solid John Steiner, a British actor who made a long career in Italian film, has a brief turn here as an enforcer for a drug cartel.
That is Eriq Lasalle playing the purple clad pimp. This was a good 8 years before he would find a measure of fame on TV with ER.
Quite probably Willie Aames best performance comes out in his role here. But that really isn’t saying much is it?