BERETTA’S ISLAND. In a certain sense, it is a masterpiece
Sometimes, someone who achieves mastery in one field tries their hand at another, aiming to spectacularly soar and expose themselves to ridicule in the process. For example, a bodybuilder aspiring to become an actor. No, I’m not talking about Arnold Schwarzenegger right now, as he has indeed reached the pinnacle in the film world, but rather his weightlifting friend from Sardinia, Franco Columbu. At a certain point, he decided to follow in Arnold’s footsteps and step in front of the camera. Although he had appeared as an extra in Schwarzenegger’s films, he dreamed of a leading role. Honestly, there are no words capable of describing “Beretta’s Island”. It is such an extremely bad film that it defies all standards. Scratch that, it creates its own standards from the bottom up. In this sense, it is an absolute masterpiece.
But let’s start from the beginning. Franco Columbu stars in a film for which the screenplay was written by Franco Columbu and produced by Franco Columbu. The main character is named Franco… Armando (incognito), nicknamed “Beretta” because he likes to shoot. In the first scene, the camera focuses on Franco Colum… I mean Franco Armando, and in the background, the narrator (guess who) introduces us to this extraordinary story: “Since I left Interpol, I have time for myself. I can ride motorcycles and make wine. I am happy.” And at this moment, we know it’s going to be intense. Of course, following the clichés of action movies, Franco doesn’t enjoy peace for long. A man from Interpol asks for his help because things are going wrong in Sardinia. Our hero, after deep contemplation, which lasts maybe two seconds, takes matters into his own thick (slightly trimmed) oak-like hands…
I would say that everything lies in “Beretta’s Island,” but that wouldn’t fully capture what happens on the screen. Franco Columbu lacks Schwarzenegger’s charisma, stature, accent, or anything at all. What he does possess is an expression like frozen concrete. In scenes where he holds a weapon, he waves it around as if searching for vials of steroids… The dialogues, often transitioning from one topic to another without a clear reason, are a masterpiece of clumsiness. There is no shortage of fantastic camera ideas: the camera shows a gangster’s corpse, then moves and focuses on a turkey gurgling nearby. If that’s not a poetic metaphor for the fragility of human life, I don’t know what is. Maybe the scene where Franco pulls up to the gangsters’ villa, instructs his partner to watch the car, but when she protests, he sends her to the criminals while he stays with the car?
Chases and shootouts, the quintessence of any action film, are a topic for a separate article. The former hardly exist, and it’s a pity because I would like to see the daring drive of Franco Col… Armando navigating Sardinian roads in a Fiat Uno, chasing criminals squeezing the last juices out of a car as aerodynamic as a truck full of bricks. Unfortunately, the chases look like this: the act… people appearing in this film get into a car, there’s a cut, and then they get out. As for the fights, they are far from being spectacular, just as the script is far from Shakespearean masterpieces.
The accumulation of absurdities in just ninety minutes of projection is a true achievement, and special recognition should be given for it. If you think films like “Sharknado,” “Piranha Women,” or movies shot in Bulgaria and Romania for a sack of potatoes with Dolph Lundgren or Steven Seagal are bad, watch “Beretta’s Island.” I can’t even begin to convey how incredibly, catastrophically, extremely, and outrageously bad this title is. But precisely because of that, watching it provides a lot of joy, and I genuinely recommend it. Awkwardness in every aspect, dialogue crying out to the heavens, absolutely artificial actors, editing mistakes, unnecessary scenes (such as when the camera shows a mass in a Sardinian church for several minutes, which has no relevance to the plot), and Franco Columbu’s wooden performance (who also showcases his vocal skills!) make for an unforgettable viewing experience. Arnold, although on the poster, appears briefly at the beginning for a few minutes, as a favor to a friend. For such films, the worst TV stations and bins with DVDs in supermarkets were invented!