Film #156: GAMBLING CITY aka LA CITTA GIOCA D'AZZARDO
Gambling City (aka La Citta Gioca D’Azzardo)
2.75 out of 5 stars
The great Italian director, Sergio Martino (TORSO, THE SCORPION WITH TWO TAILS, THE SUSPICIOUS DEATH OF A MINOR, and many, many more), brings us this polizioteschi (of sorts). The film is the story of a gifted gambler who falls in love with his gangster boss’ son’s girlfriend. Lantern-jawed Luc Meranda (TORSO, HOSTEL: PART II, LE MANS) plays Luca, a good-looking, talented card shark who, after his hands are crippled by the gangster’s son, seeks revenge for his assault. The acting, for the most part, is competent and is of the caliber you get in these kinds of films. The story is constructed in an interesting fashion and there are enough twists and turns to keep the audience engaged. Meranda, who looks like he could be a young David Lee Roth’s long-lost brother, is a likeable protagonist and Dayle Haddon (NORTH DALLAS FORTY, CYBORG) is beautiful and exudes both sexiness and vulnerability. The only real problem with the film is Luciano Michelini’s (SCREAMERS, THE SUSPICIOUS DEATH OF A MINOR) score which is alternately completely too light and absolutely inappropriate for this kind of film. As usual, Martino handles the tension well and can construct a nice looking shot. His handling of the film’s slower sequences (and admittedly wonky ending) is adept enough to keep the interest level up in order to get to the action (which admittedly there isn’t a whole lot of). So, yeah… While not as action-packed as other polizioteschis, GAMBLING CITY is still a solid film for fans of the genre but others will also undoubtedly enjoy it as well.