June 23, 2024

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Gamble City (Movie Review)

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Luca Altieri (Luc Merenda)

Luca Altieri (Luc Merenda, The Violent Professionals and Joe D’Amato’s Tough To Kill) is an ace gambler who impresses a local crime boss, who offers him a job at his casino. But things start to go wrong when Luca falls in love with the boss’s daughter Maria Luisa.

This poliziotteschi thriller was directed by Sergio Martino and co-written with frequent collaborator Ernesto Gastaldi, who was better known for his giallo slashers like The Night Train Murders and The Mountain Of The Cannibal God. Featuring a top-notch cast including supermodel Dayle Haddon, Enrico Maria Salerno and Corrado Pani, 겜블시티 was a little more subdued than many of Martino’s other films, but still packed plenty of thrills.

The reissue of the film from the young DVD label NoShame comes with an array of extras, including a long audio commentary track with main man Luc Merenda. Its a nice treat and a welcome addition to any fan of European cinema of the sixties.

Maria Luisa (Dayle Haddon)

Maria Luisa (Dayle Haddon) is a beautiful model who shattered age taboos as an anti-aging spokesperson for Estee Lauder. She also became a UNICEF ambassador and has appeared in several magazines.

Gambling City begins with cocky card sharp Luca Altieri winning a job cheating for a wheelchair-bound casino owner. After a while he goes on to work for the President, an illegal gambling kingpin.

However, he soon finds himself conflicted with his boss’s self-entitled son Corrado. When Luca falls in love with Maria Luisa, he and the girl must use every trick up their sleeves to escape before Corrado brings the house of cards down on them.

The film has a good cast, led by Luc Merenda and Enrico Maria Salerno, who have a range of character roles that don’t scream Euro-porn. The plot isn’t terribly original, but it has enough sex scenes to hold our interest and the lead performance from Merenda is top-notch.

The President (Enrico Maria Salerno)

The President (Enrico Maria Salerno) is a powerful illegal gambling kingpin with several casinos in the city of Milan. Luca Altieri (Torso’s Luc Merenda), a card sharp and master of poker, gets into his employ after running a scam at a high-stakes poker table.

When Luca meets and falls in love with the President’s daughter Maria Luisa (Dayle Haddon), things get a little out of hand when he is forced to compete with her father’s hot-tempered son Corrado Pani (Pani) for her hand. During the violent competition, Merenda is mercilessly beat up by thugs hired by Corrado, and eventually, the two end up on the run together.

Corrado Pani (Corrado Pani)

When cocky cardsharper Luca Altieri (Luc Merenda) wins a job cheating for a wheelchair-bound casino owner known as the President, his life takes an interesting turn. He meets a beautiful woman, Maria Luisa (Dayle Haddon), the daughter of his boss’s decadent and ambitious son Corrado Pani.

As a crime-themed romance, Gamble City has plenty of sexy appeal. It also features a slick, visually alluring plotline that is executed with style.

Director Sergio Martino (TORSO, MOUNTAIN OF THE CANNIBAL GOD) handles this lesser-known movie with aplomb. He sets his story in the glamorous Italian city of Milan and the French Riviera, capturing the spirit of classic Italian poliziotteschi thrillers like Kiss of Death and Tenebre. Unlike the better-known European genre auteurs, Martino is not afraid to take risks. Using a clever mix of slick special effects and cleverly constructed action, he delivers an entertaining movie in the vein of The Sting or The God of Gamblers.