Elio Petri directs Marcello Mastroianni, Ursula Andress and Elsa Martinelli in this Italian sci-fi satire where humans hunt one another around the globe in a big televised game, only for two of the leading contestants to fall for each other.
Very silly, this sparse vision of the future has influenced everything from Austin Powers to Blur pop promos. It is a wayward piece of exploitation with robot dogs, machine gun brassieres and polythene dance numbers. It doesn’t really work as a thriller, a satire or a sex comedy. Yet it is a fun little curio to watch, never boring and always taking the road less travelled. Considering the basic hook has been battle royaled to death since, from The Running Man to The Hunger Games, it is kinda sweet that this early variation is one of the most irreverent takes. My second Elio Petri of the week and clearly he is an anti-establishment voice who likes slick men, sexy femme fatales and bonkers scores. The jazzy little numbers by Piero Piccioni form a soundtrack that suits only this camp and chaotic vision of a swinging dystopia.
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