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Askew Review 15

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(Blue Underground) 1974. Crime Thriller. 103 Minutes. Not Rated. Violence and some brief nudity.  Carlo Antonelli (Franco Nero) is an average citizen who gets caught up in the crime wave running rampant throughout the city.  When he is taken hostage after a post office robbery, the three criminals beat him and leave him behind. Carlo has had enough and decides that it is time to take the law into his own hands. With the help of a two bit thief, Tommy (Giancarlo Prete), he starts putting events into motion that will result in a showdown of violent proportions.
  Director Enzo G. Castellari and star Franco Nero have given us a beautiful example of the vigilante genre. Franco has a crazed look throughout the film when he comes to the realization that the authorities are useless in the battle against crime. There are even allusions to the fact that the police are involved at a higher level. Blue Underground gives us a fabulous, letterboxed 1.85:1/16:9 print of the film. The extras are a great 17 minute interview with Franco and Castellari that proves what a madman Franco truly is. The audio commentary is moderated by William Lustig and Castellari has remarkable recollection for a film made back in 1974. The rapport between Franco’s character Carlo and Tommy (Giancarlo Prete), the two bit thief, is incredible.  Tommy sees what a true passion Carlo has for true justice and becomes wrapped up in Carlo’s ultimate plan for vengeance. And I can not believe that I had completely forgotten about Barbara Bach! From The Spy Who Loved Me to the abysmal Force 10 From Navarone, who’s only saving grace was this exquisite beauty coming out of a bathtub in her birthday suit. Of course, there is a lot less of her on display, but her minor role as Carlo’s lover still showcases what a truly exotic beauty she was on film. It’s a shame that she hasn’t made a film since 1986. Probably a direct inspiration for the Charles Bronson film, Death Wish, this is a film that could have a great sequel. Franco is still alive and kicking as is Enzo so, why not? We need Street Law 2, so they can show how a true action film is made. Once again Blue Underground gives us a superior product and the opportunity to revisit a wonderful film. -Douglas A. Waltz



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