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Fernando Di Leo
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Despite the good personnel, this is a lacking Italian crime film
The Bloody Hands of the Law is a rarely seen Italian crime film. It stars the reliable Klaus Kinski in a role as a professional killer. He goes through the entire movie without even saying one line of dialogue, I'm sure not having to learn any lines suited Kinski just fine. Anyway, the film still benefits a lot by having his considerable presence at its disposal. He isn't the lead actor though, that would be Philip Leroy who had an important role in another much better poliziotteschi, Milano Calibro 9. He has more of a starring role in this one and he does give it his all. He looks like a bad ass and he clearly seems to be doing his own stunt work as well. With these two on board it's a bit of a pity to acknowledge that the movie itself doesn't match up to its lead actors. The story is fairly uninteresting and has no real dynamism and it isn't even always easy to follow what's going on. The crime network that underpins the story isn't very well explained and we never really know what they're all about.
The story, such as it is, begins with a professional assassination of a crime boss. Witnesses to the crime are bumped off and then others involved in the investigation also meet violent ends. A policeman frustrated with the ineffectiveness of the law demands that the gloves are removed and a more heavyhanded approach is taken in bringing these gangsters to justice.
Like all Italian crime films it's pretty violent in places, with a particularly memorable scene where a would-be rapist has his crown jewels obliterated with a blowtorch which seemed rather appropriate. But otherwise the violence is less original and consists mostly of men administering beatings to one-and-other. As I said, the story is messy, so it's hard getting very involved in this one, which is a shame because there is good things about it. I particularly liked the downbeat and moody ending that at least rounded things off on an interesting note. This one also stars the very dark and dusky beauty Silvia Monti, who also featured in Lucio Fulci's classic giallo A Lizard in a Woman's Skin, in a support role as Leroy's lover.
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