Director: Umberto Lenzi
Starring: Tomas Milian, Henry Silva, Ray Lovelock and Anita Strindberg .Italy. 1h 40m
This movie could easily be called “Il criminale più stupido d’Italia” as it follows the misadventures of a total psychotic loser criminal who couldn’t con his way out of a paper bag successfully but his constant efforts do cause some sensational cinema.
Opening with a bunch of robbers/kidnappers, snatching a young boy, their (not so trusty) getaway driver is Giulio Sacchi (Milian) manages to kill an officer while waiting and soon the gang is being chased around the city, they manage to speed past a train which cuts them off from the cops in time for them to drop the child and ditch the cops, they find a secluded place to recoup and kick the crap out of Giulio for foiling their efforts, after threatening to castrate him he heads back into the city alone. The brute roughs up his girl for some money and kills another cop while robbing a cigarette machine, while other officers arrive to investigate he starts displaying disturbing behaviour by squaring up to Inspector Walter Grandi (Silva). Eventually the bad tempered loose cannon, devises a scheme of kidnapping the daughter a wealthy businessman, who his girlfriend works for, but with a crazed moral compass and no scruples his manages to mess up each step of the way, but just manages to stay one step ahead of Inspector Grandi but mostly by mistake.
Giulio is a classic example of a worthless punk, he quotes a lot of Napoleon and is possibly suffering from that syndrome, agitated by a sense of wanting to be recognised as a real tough guy and drugs, he seems to cannon himself into degradation. After he picks up a couple of comrades including the iconic Ray Lovelock, their mere presence leads him to up the bravado, he talks big, and ultimately ends up causing mayhem. There’s the needless slaughter of his longtime friend and his old aged prostitute girlfriend, and running into an innocent family could have been a peaceful event but Giulio somehow starts playing a sadistic game and ends the fun by machine gunning a child.
After all of the mayhem Grandi begins to put the pieces together and closes his net on the case but Giulio then turns on his beloved and then turns up at the police station to play innocent and to taunt the officers.
It’s a gruesome thriller that keeps the danger alive as one of the best cop/robber movies, on par with Dirty Harry (1971) but with a bigger shoulders that carry more violence, blood and deranged behavior. Milian really carries himself well as this psychotic little creep who’s 50/50 dumb and dangerous, he had huge schemes but he could fuck up a cup of coffee and he seems to hate women. Silva plays the good cop who goes above and beyond to get his man but I feel he’s underused in this dazzling film. Definitely one of the better Poliziotteschi productions.
R: The Boss (Il Boss, 1973), Manhunt in the City (L’uomo della strada fa giustizia, 1975)
5s: Henry Silva,