Arrow Video, with domestic sales and distribution support provided by MVD Entertainment Group, will release a new 4K film restoration (from the original film negative) of the late Italian filmmaker Pasquale Squitieri’s 1975 crime thriller, The Climber, on May 16 as a Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack.
In the wake of The Godfather came a wave of mafia/crime-themed films, including The Climber, which is pure Italian in nature, except for one little thing … the lead actor.
There must be a terrific backstory as to how Squitieri was able to land Andy Warhol and Paul Morrissey’s “underground” superstar, Joe Dallesandro — he had a string of very interesting films from 1968 through 1974 that made him a very hot commodity — Flesh, Lonesome Cowboys, Trash and Heat … and of course Andy Warhol's Frankenstein, and Andy Warhol's Dracula (aka: Blood for Dracula).
After shooting the two Morrissey films in Italy, Dallesandro could have headed back to the states and gone mainstream, but it just didn’t happen. Instead, we find him in The Climber as a street thug named Aldo, who runs afoul of his criminal buddies and is beaten viciously. Down, but not out, Aldo uses violence and bikes to form his own gang … revenge is clearly on his mind. But we know that it is a fool’s game that will end badly for our boy.
This is the uncut 102-minute version of The Climber, which means extra gratuitous violence and nudity. Arrow Video has both the original Italian language track, as well as an English-dubbed version, plus there is a new video session with Dallesandro titled “Little Joe’s Adventures in Europe” (perhaps we will get an answer to our early musing as to how he ended up working with Squitieri).