HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Last Warrior, The
Artemis 81
Rampage
Quiet Place, A
Braven
Changeover, The
Isle of Dogs
Funny Cow
Maze Runner: The Death Cure
Mad to Be Normal
Beast of Burden
Dead Men Walk
Game Night
Under the Tree
L'Amant Double
Gonin
Coco
Producers, The
Molly's Game
Forest of the Lost Souls, The
Hatchet III
Birdman of Alcatraz
Pacific Rim: Uprising
Wonderstruck
If It Ain't Stiff, It Ain't Worth a Fuck
Nun, The
Red Sparrow
My Friend Dahmer
Journeyman
Heat, The
   
 
Newest Articles
Players of Games: Willy Wonka, Tron and Ready Player One
What Am I Doing Hangin' 'Round? The Ends of The Monkees
Flings and Arrows: Conquest vs Flesh + Blood
Orson Around: F for Fake and The Late Great Planet Earth
ITC What You Did There: Retro-Action on Blu-ray
And It Was the Dirtiest Harry We Have Seen in a Very Long Time: The Dirty Harry Series
Manor On Movies: The Astounding She Monster
Manor On Movies: Don't be a dolt. That's not a cult (movie)
Wes Anderson's Big Daddies: Steve Zissou and Others
Bad Taste from Outer Space: Galaxy of Terror and Xtro
A Yen for the 1990s: Iron Monkey and Satan Returns
Hey, Punk: Jubilee and Rock 'n' Roll High School
Help! with The Knack: Richard Lester in 1965
Roll Up, Get Yer Free Cinema: The Shorts on the BFI Woodfall Blu-rays
Time for Heroes: The Dam Busters and How I Won the War
   
 
  Colt .38 Special Squad Extreme methods get extreme resultsBuy this film here.
Year: 1976
Director: Massimo Dallamano
Stars: Marcel Bozzuffi, Carole André, Ivan Rassimov, Riccardo Salvino, Giancarlo Bonuglia, Fabrizio Capucci, Francesco Ferracini, Daniel Gabbai, Antonio Marsina, Ezio Miani, Giancarlo Sisti, Franco Garofalo, Eolo Capritti, Dino Emanuelli, Armando Brancia
Genre: Action, Thriller
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: In crime-ridden Seventies Turin dogged Inspector Vanni (Marcel Bozzuffi) leads a police raid that turns into a bloody shootout with an armed gang led by a criminal mastermind known as the Black Angel (Ivan Rassimov). When Vanni kills the Black Angel's brother the ruthless mobster retaliates by murdering Vanni's wife in front of their young son. He then disappears leaving the cop a broken man. Years later the Black Angel resurfaces with a plan to plant explosive devices around Turin and hold the city to ransom for ten-million dollars. Only now Vanni heads a special squad of crack-shot stunt-biker cops that shoot first and ask questions later.

Sadly after completing this poliziotteschi thriller talented cinematographer-turned-director Massimo Dallamano died in an car accident. Best known for his schoolgirls-in-peril themed giallo trilogy (What Have You Done to Solange? (1971), What Have They Done to Your Daughters? (1972) and Red Rings of Fear (1978)) and glossy sexploitation films (e.g. Venus in Furs (1970), Dorian Gray (1970)), Dallamano made two Euro-crime movies: the wildly eccentric Super Bitch (1973), which also stars the saturnine Ivan Rassimov, and Colt .38 Special Squad which shares plot elements in common with star Marcel Bozzuffi's later hit Stunt Squad (1977). Bozzuffi was cemented in the popular imagination as an instant icon of Euro-crime thanks to the frankly spoiler-ific poster for The French Connection (1971). Here however he plays the hero in a cop thriller that echoes themes found in the Clint Eastwood classic Magnum Force (1973) though also prevalent in many poliziotteschi films like Street Law (1974), Violent Naples (1976) and The Big Racket (1976).

The multi-authored screenplay, which includes input from Dallamano, draws a few uncomfortable parallels between the trigger-happy cops and real government-sanctioned death squads active in Europe and Latin America around this time. Yet the film consistently struggles to make up its mind as to whether we are meant to view them as tragic heroes or gung-ho, morally dubious idiots given they repeatedly fail to save innocent lives. Questions about police ethics and transparency are raised then frustratingly given short shrift while the press are portrayed as one-note ghouls. As the tit-for-tat brutality escalates (in a wince-inducing scene: one crook gets his fingers sliced off by a car door) Colt .38 Special Squad conveys some sense of a futile cycle of rage and revenge that entraps cops and criminals alike with helpless ordinary folks caught in the crossfire. A subplot sees the Black Angel take advantage of his right-hand man Guido's (Antonio Marsina) relationship with glamorous nightclub owner Sandra (Carole André) to use her as an unwitting stooge. In the time-honoured tradition of misogynistic Italian crime films Sandra predictably suffers a great deal abuse before making her exit. Interestingly the film registers far more emotion over the fate of second-string cop characters like Nico (Riccardo Salvino) despite portraying them for the most part as smarmy, cocksure and amoral.

For the most part action and suspense override any potent social commentary. Dallamano maintains a blistering pace. He employs a lot of effective hand-held tracking shots as the near-suicidal stunt team pull off spectacular chase sequences. By contrast the film's abundant dodgy disco dance scenes are nowhere near as well choreographed. Look out for a young Grace Jones lip-synching away at Sandra's nightclub.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 594 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which film has the best theme song?
Spectre
The Ups and Downs of a Handyman
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
  Robert Segedy
Darren Jones
  Asma Amal
  Chris Lawrence
Enoch Sneed
George White
Stately Wayne Manor
   

 

Last Updated: