Director: Massimo Dallamano
WORTH A LOOK
It’s difficult to say exactly what I didn’t like about Colt 38 Special Squad. It’s competently directed and paced by Massimo Dallamano, it’s got a reasonably good score by Stelvio Cipriani, it’s got a moment or two of kinky carnage, which I always appreciate, lots of innocent bystanders get whacked, but it doesn’t have that special aura of sleaze that would put it over the top.
After Inspector Vanni’s (the always welcome Marcel Bozzuffi) gun jams at a critical moment during an attempt to bust the Marsigliese (Ivan Rassimov) and his gang, Vanni’s boss gives in and allows him to create a special squad of policemen equipped with reliable Colt 38 revolvers.
Just in time, too, because the Marsigliese has engineered the heist of 70 lbs of dynamite, and intends to terrorize the population of Turin until the mayor hands over a fortune in uncut diamonds.
There are plenty of things to admire about Colt 38 Special Squad. The logic of the script holds, which isn’t always a given with Italian crime movies. The car stunts, usually a weak point in Italian crime movies, are better than usual here. They actually have an aura of danger, especially a jump onto a moving train. The fight choreography is also better than average for these kinds of movies. The punches and kicks aren’t obviously telegraphed, which is a relief. As an added bonus, Grace Jones has a cameo as a club singer, and she’s smokin’ hot.
The problem starts with the characterizations of the villains. They’re pure cardboard, and there’s nothing the actors can do to make them interesting. Another problem is that the dialog has zero charm, usually a big part of what makes Italian films so entertaining. It’s purely functional. Finally, except for one brief moment I don’t want to spoil for you, director Massimo Dallamano fails to go for the jugular. His scenes don’t have the lip smacking relish that is so much fun in the best Italian crime films.
The result is that Colt 38 Special Squad ends up being nothing special, in spite of a fairly strong premise. Rabid fans of Italian crime movies might get something out of it, but the average Trash Cinema Club reader will come away unimpressed.