HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Perfectly Normal Family, A
Ravage
Honeymoon Phase, The
One Summer
Bird Island
Variety
Devil to Pay, The
Gypsy
Lost in London
Divorce Italian Style
Becky
Salon Kitty
Misbehaviour
Charles, Dead or Alive
Gretel and Hansel
Mademoiselle
Tunnel, The
India Song
Last Rhino, The
Made in Hong Kong
Ring of Spies
Rom Boys: 40 Years of Rad
Pocketful of Miracles
The Tomb: Devil's Revenge
Sidecar Racers
Space Dogs
Out/Marriage
Safety Last!
Bride Who Has Returned from Hell, The
Show Boat
Savage
City Called Dragon, A
I Used to Go Here
Six Suspects
Still the Water
Not Now, Comrade
I'm Thinking of Ending Things
Wives of the Skies
Two Heads Creek
Next Stop, Greenwich Village
   
 
Newest Articles
A Knock on the Door at 4 O'clock in the Morning: The Strangers on Blu-ray
Wives of the Skies: Honey Lauren Interview
To Catch a Thief: After the Fox on Blu-ray
Tackling the Football Film: The Arsenal Stadium Mystery on Blu-ray
Film Noir's Golden Couple: This Gun for Hire on Blu-ray
The Doctor Who Connection: Invasion on Blu-ray
Hill's Angles: Benny Hill and Who Done It? on Blu-ray
Big Willie Style: Keep It Up Downstairs on Blu-ray
Walt's Vault: 5 Cult Movies on Disney+
Paradise Lost: Walkabout on Blu-ray
Buster Makes Us Feel Good: Buster Keaton - 3 Films (Volume 3) on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 3 - Don't Go Away - I Could Do with a Bit of Cheer Now!
What Use is Grief to a Horse? Equus on Blu-ray
For God's Sake Strap Yourselves Down: Flash Gordon on 4K UHD Collector's Edition
Party Hard: Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 2 - Your Faces are All Blurred!
Eve Knew Her Apples: The Lady Eve on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Tempo - Gallery One
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 1 - Welcome Once Again to Manchester!
Transformative Apocalypses: Phase IV and Southland Tales
The Happiest Days of Their Lives: The Guinea Pig on Blu-ray
Faced Poe: Three Edgar Allan Poe Adaptations Starring Bela Lugosi on Blu-ray
Hard Luck, Buster: The Cameraman on Blu-ray
At the Hop: Mr. Vampire on Blu-ray
Divine Madness: Female Trouble on Blu-ray
   
 
  Rome Armed to the Teeth War on crime
Year: 1976
Director: Umberto Lenzi
Stars: Maurizio Merli, Arthur Kennedy, Tomas Milian, Giampiero Albertini, Ivan Rassimov, Biagio Pelligra, Aldo Barberito, Stefano Patrizi, Luciano Pigozzi, Luciano Catenacci
Genre: ActionBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Uncompromising Italian cop Comissioner Tanzi (Maurizio Merli) is after a master criminal who has eluded his anti-crime task force for years. Following an informant, Tanzi and his men bust an illegal gambling den but once again the mysterious Mr. Big eludes them. Sneaky sidekick Savelli (Biagio Pelligra) refuses to dish the dirt on his anonymous employer. Between punching out purse-snatchers, roughing up rapists and decrying the system at every opportunity, Tanzi sets after hunchback Moretto (Tomas Milian), a seemingly small-time criminal who may know more about the kidnapping, bank-robbing, prostitution and drug-trafficking racket around Rome than he lets on. Tanzi’s no-nonsense interrogation methods earn him a reprimand from his by-the-book boss (Arthur Kennedy), putting Moretto back on the street and out for revenge.

Also known as The Tough Ones, Roma a mano armata (Rome Armed to the Teeth) was first in a series of films directed by Umberto Lenzi starring macho moustachioed poliziotteschi icon Maurizio Merli as Commissioner Leonardo Tanzi, although frankly his kick-ass approach to crime-busting leaves him pretty much indistinguishable from Inspector Betti, hero of the pair’s previous cop film, Violent Naples (1976). Clearly audiences didn’t care what Merli’s characters were called, so long as they were shown beating brutal criminals to a bloody pulp. And that he does, pretty much non-stop, interspersed with random atrocities that serve to underline Tanzi’s theory that Rome has gone to hell in a handbasket because the system is too compassionate towards no-good street punks (“Crap like you ought to be put in a home and castrated!”)

Written by Dardano Sacchetti (who went on to pen horror scripts for Lucio Fulci) from a story by Lenzi, this basically extends the first thirty minutes of every Dirty Harry film into an entire movie, a series of episodic encounters where our brawny hero puts a righteous smackdown on assorted scumbags. A rich kid and his juvenile pals gang rape a woman as Lenzi zooms onto her big breasts to underline a sense of moral outrage (yeah, right). Smooth-talking drug pusher Tony (horror favourite Ivan Rassimov) gives his girlfriend a lethal dose of heroin when he gets bored screwing her. Needless to say, Tanzi gives both lawbreakers a right good kicking but the film proves a wearying cycle. Whereas Dirty Harry concerns a uncompromising cop protecting society from a psychopath, in Rome Armed to the Teeth society is itself psychotic and Tanzi’s solution is unsettlingly close to the final solution: kill everybody.

Merli’s impassioned performance makes Tanzi’s rage and frustration palpable but his endless rants decrying lefties, the press, politicians and those pen-pushers sat behind their desks tread perilously close to espousing a longing for the good old fascist days of Mussolini. Tanzi clashes repeatedly with his liberal girlfriend Anna, a psychologist who orders the release of two teenage thieves who are promptly killed by a truck during their last hit-and-run. This prompts Tanzi to berate his “idiotic” girlfriend in a crowded restaurant. Anna winds up getting kidnapped by Moretto’s gang and almost crushed to death in her car, in a sequence that is more or less a big, finger-wagging “told you so” to liberal do-gooders and foolishly compassionate women.

Tomas Milian’s nuanced performance makes Moretto almost sympathetic until the finale wherein the machinegun-toting loon hijacks an ambulance with a dying woman aboard and kills everyone in his path, confirms Tanzi’s suspicions he was a scumbag all along. Lenzi orchestrates the mayhem with brutal efficiency (a spectacular rooftop chase proves a suspenseful highlight), though once again appears to have lifted ideas from the superior French policier Peur sur la ville (1975).

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 2159 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Umberto Lenzi  (1931 - 2017)

Prolific, workmanlike Italian director and writer who dabbled in most genres throughout his 40 year career. Started work as a film critic before making his directing debut in 1961 with the sea-faring adventure flick Queen of the Seas. The two decades years saw Lenzi churn out westerns, historical dramas, Bond-esquespy yarns and giallo thrillers among others.

It was his 1972 proto-cannibal film Deep River Savages that led to the best known phase of his career, with notorious gore-epics Cannibal Ferox and Eaten Alive and zombie shlocker Nightmare City quickly becoming favourites amongst fans of spaghetti splatter. Continued to plug away in the horror genre before retiring in 1996.

 
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 star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Paul Smith
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
  Lee Fiveash
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
   

 

Last Updated: