18 September 2008 | The_Void
Another excellent film from Fernando Di Leo
Naked Violence is yet another well made and effective offering from Fernando Di Leo; a director that often doesn't receive the praise he deserves. Di Leo would go on to make some of the best Italian crime films in the early to mid seventies, but he also made some interesting stuff in other genres; such as this film. The film is based on a novel by Ulkranian writer Giorgio Scerbanenco, who also wrote books that inspired other Di Leo films. The film is very concise and the director is keen to focus on the important elements of the plot, which helps the film to keep focus and in turn makes it more interesting. The film begins with a scene that sees a young schoolteacher raped and murdered by her class; which just happens to be full of delinquents high on alcohol. Police Inspector Liberti gets on the case and begins by interrogating the kids in the class, but as he continues his investigation; he realises that it's becoming less and less likely that the kids acted on their own accord, and his suspicions are confirmed when his best witness is found dead.
The film is essentially a character study and we mainly focus on the Police Inspector and a handful of the boys at the centre of the crime. The locations used are not particularly diverse; especially not during the first third when almost everything takes place inside a room in the police station. The film does have a very minimalist approach, but it's all done very professionally and the film is of a higher quality than a lot of the output from Italy in the late sixties and early seventies. The film is bolstered by a handful of good acting performances; Pier Paolo Capponi is absolutely great as the police inspector and receives good support from Giallo heroine Susan Scott (who in truth doesn't have a whole lot to do) and Giuliano Manetti as the main character of the school class. The majority of the film is build-up as we try to work out the reasons behind the heinous crime at the start of the film; and the brutal climax doesn't disappoint. The motive for the killings might not go down too well in some circles; but it's inventive enough and ensures that the film finishes well. Overall, this is an excellent thriller and comes highly recommended!