20 September 2008 | The_Void
Ernest Hemmingway's The Killers, Italian style
This film was apparently written by Alberto De Martino and Vincenzo Flamini, but if you ask me a writing credit should have gone to Ernest Hemingway as his story 'The Killers' clearly had more than just a passing influence on the film. Alberto De Martino is not a director I would rate among Italy's best; despite a few successful films. The director would seem to be better known for his rip-offs, with films like Holocaust 2000 and The Antichrist (rip offs of The Omen and The Exorcist respectively), but at least this rendition of The Killers is of a more high quality that the usual "Italian version of an American film". Our lead character is Paolo Sartori; a man who resolves to investigate the death of his friend after he is found dead. He meets various people that knew his friend and asks them for information. The story is then pieced together through various dialogues and flashbacks and we eventually wind up with a good picture of the kind of man his friend was along with a host of possible suspects for the killing.
I say this film is high quality because it's well put together and the acting is good; but unfortunately this doesn't stop The Insatiables from being boring. It's really too slow and the few moments of excitement are not enough to keep the film interesting for its duration. It also has a very dumbed down feel and the film never really gets out of the starting blocks in terms of thrills. It has a very downbeat feel to it through and it's really not a very 'fun' watch. That being said, the film does at least retain some interest where the characters are concerned as we get introduced to a wide range of different characters. Robert Hoffman takes the lead role and does fine with it at least and there are a few memorable scenes; such as the one that sees a man have his face squashed into a cat's litter tray. Alberto De Martino would go on to have a varied career after this film; with the low points being the likes of The Killer Is on the Phone, and highs including Dirty Harry rip off A Special Magnum for Tony Saitta and underrated Giallo A Formula for Murder. This one is average both for the director and the genre and I wouldn't recommend going out of your way to find it (see the 1946 film version of The Killers instead!).