Death Collector / Mean Dog Blues (1976 / 1978) UK Quad Poster
Joe Pesci’s acting debut, Death Collector is a hard-nosed low budget New Jersey Mafia tale, where cocky Jerry Bolanti is a collector and hold-up man. But he’s also a hothead, and makes enemies faster than he makes money for the bosses. Using the same tragic circularity as Carlito’s Way (1993) Ralph De Vito’s only film is a gritty look at the mob’s low-level footsoldiers, striving to make a buck. It foreshadows elements of Goodfellas (1990) and Casino (1995). Scorcese cast both Pesci and Frank Vincent in Raging Bull (1980) after seeing this.
Mean Dog Blues is a classic innocent man incarcerated story. A musician is railroaded on a hit and run accident, and sentenced to a five-year stretch in a hellish desert prison, where the sadistic foreman trains his fighting dogs on prisoners. A poor man’s Shawshank perhaps, but director Mel Stuart’s extensive documentary background gives it a sharp realism that is accentuated by cinematographer Robert B. Hauser – A Man Called Horse, Soldier Blue (both 1970), Willard, Le Mans (both 1971). Samuel Z. Arkoff produced for Bing Crosby Productions.
Aka: The Collector, Family Enforcer / Purgatoire, Arizona campo 4
Condition: GOOD - Staining to rear left hand side, edge dinks
Cast: Joe Cortese, Lou Criscuolo, Joseph (Joe) Pesci, Frank Vincent, Victoria Hale, Jack Ramage / Gregg Henry, Kay Lenz, George Kennedy, Scatman Crothers, Tina Louise