The Bloody Hands of the Law (1973)

Original Title: La mano spietata della legge
Director: Mario Gariazzo
Starring: Philippe Leroy, Klaus Kinski, Cyril Cusack, Tony Norton, Silvia Monti, Fausto Tozzi, Pia Giancaro, Lincoln Tate, Rosario Borelli
Music: Stelvio Cipriani

The film opens at an airport. A professional hitman, Joe Gambino (Lincoln Tate) has flown in. He meets with another hood, Salvatore Perrone (Rosario Berelli), and together they go an assassinate and old guy lying in a heavily guarded room in a hospital. The hit goes like clockwork, and Gambino returns from whence he came.

Unfortunately for our two killers, a girl at a counter at the airport noticed Gambino as he came in. Equally unfortunate, the two killers noticed her, noticing them. Once an identikit photo of Gambino is splashed all over the newspapers, the criminal organisation behind the hit, decree that the girl should be silenced.

The task of killing the girl falls on Vito Quattroni, played by Klaus Kinski. Kinski looks very dapper in this role. He wears nice suits and a slick pair of sunglasses. As with most of Kinski’s performances, there is something creepy about it. This is amplified by the fact that he doesn’t speak throughout the film.

Quattroni does what he is paid to do. He arranges to have the key stolen to the girls apartment, so he can wait for her return. Quattroni isn’t even perturbed when she turns up with her boyfriend. He kills her and then stabs the boyfriend in the back. All without a flicker of emotion.

All this criminal activity is assigned to Detective DeCarmine (Philippe Leroy). Leroy has all the best clichéd dialogue. He is a cop from the Maurizio Merli, Franco Nero school. That is to say, he is doggedly determined to fight crime, no matter what methods are required to obtain results. Of course this brings him into conflict with his superiors. You know the score. Here the difference is that Leroy doesn’t have the ‘golden boy’ looks of some of the other stalwarts of the Eurocrime genre. He is not a gorgeous avenging angel. He is a bit older, his hair is thinning and his face is gaunt. He looks like he really has spent his time on the bricks.

After a few more witnesses and suspects die, DeCarmine’s superior’s allow him to use some more aggressive methods for tracking down the ringleaders of this current crime wave. This leads to some good old fashioned interrogation scenes, with bright lights and suspects chained to their seats, while DeCarmine beats the living shit out of them. Eventually, along with some furniture and a few skulls, DeCarmine starts to break the case. One lead, leads into another and so forth.

The Bloody Hands Of The Law is a half decent Eurocrime feature. It doesn’t have the flair of some of the ones that were made in the mid seventies, but all of the pre-requisite Dirty Harry inspired clichés are here. What stops this from being a great Eurocrime film is the repetition in the second half. Once DeCarmine’s shackles are removed and he can go about the case his way, it is almost a foregone conclusion that he’ll break the crime ring. But we see one beating after another, and it all becomes mind-numblingly the same.

No Comments Posted in Film
Tagged , ,

Leave a Reply

Using Gravatars in the comments - get your own and be recognized!

XHTML: These are some of the tags you can use: <a href=""> <b> <blockquote> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>