original title: Milano Odia: La Polizia Non Puo Sparare
aka: The Death Dealer, The Executioner
Director: Umberto Lenzi
Starring: Tomas Milian, Henry Silva, Laura Belli, Gino Santercole, Mario Piave
There is a reason for every living creature… with one exception.
Giuliu Sacchi is a small-time violent criminal who gets kicked out of his gang after killing a cop while his partners in crime is robbing a bank. This unnecessary killing makes the gang abandoned their robbery and Giuliu is beaten and kicked out of his gang. Out of a gang and money, he comes up with a master plan, together with his two new partners Vittorio and Carmine, to kidnap the daughter of a rich businessman for ransom and kill off anyone that might bring the crime back to him.
The trail of bodies they leave behind sets inspector Walter Grandi into a frenzy and he tries to do whatever he can to hunt them before more innocent people get hurt, regardless of what type of means he has to use.
Almost Human (original title is translated into Milan Hates: The Police Can’t Open Fire) is a 70’s “poliziotteschi” movie by Umberto Lenzi. Lenzi is mostly known for his cannibal and horror movies, but he did just as many great movies in the crime genre (Violent Naples and Syndicate Sadists are two others I can recommend). Here he delivered such a violent, fast paced and sleazy movie that it even was promoted as a horror movie in America!
The cast Lenzi had to work with here is awesome. Tomas Milian gives perhaps his greatest performance as the scumbag sociopath Giuliu Sacchi. Sacchi is such dirty weasel that would pimp out his own mother if he could make a buck. There’s absolutely nothing likeable about the guy. Milian is so great in this part and looks so sadistic that it seems like he loves every violent act his character has to perform. In every scene there is some new great expressions on his face and some great dialogue coming out of him.
Henry Silva plays Walter Grandi and he is also fantastic and intense in this. He delivers his lines with outrage and I’m not sure if it’s intentional or not but the torment of Grandi in that he is powerless against the criminals that can do whatever they want while he is restricted to stop them by the law is very interesting.
Ray Lovelock (Let Sleeping Corpses Lie, Live Like A Cop Die Like A Man) is also superb as Carmine, the newcomer to such heinous crimes that he is introduced to by Sacchi. Gino Santercole (Robbery Roman Style, Nobody’s Children) is good as Vittorio, a loyal henchman that would follow Sacchi’s every wish. Even the smaller characters are done greatly, for instance the good performance by the beautiful Laura Belli as Mary Lou, who is the one who gets kidnapped and Luciano Catenacci who is equally great as the mob boss Majone. The score by Ennio Morricone is perhaps not his finest work, but it suits this movie very well.
Almost Human is an excellent film with wonderful performances from everyone involved, especially Tomas Milian who is absolutely fantastic. It’s just amazing, see it.