When a shipment of heroin disappears between Italy and New York, a small-time pimp in Milan is framed for the theft. Two professional hitmen are dispatched from New York to find him, but ... See full summary »
Luca Altieri is a gambler. He likes cards and he is a master in playing poker. He is a cardsharper too. He begins working for "The President", who has many gambling houses and everything ... See full summary »
Giorgio is a greedy adulterer who makes a deal with a serial killer to dispose of his wealthy wife, Nora. Unfortunately, a thrill-seeking young couple steal the killer's car with Nora's ... See full summary »
Just out of prison, ex-con Ugo Piazza meets his former employer, a psychopathic gangster Rocco who enjoys sick violence and torture. Both the gangsters and the police believe Ugo has hidden... See full summary »
Fernando Di Leo
"Squadra Volante" (aka. "Emergency Squad") of 1974 is an underrated Poliziottesco which gets less attention than it deserves. Sure, this is no notorious Italian Cop highlight en par with "Almost Human", but it is nonetheless a raw, action-packed, and highly entertaining film starring two of the Italian crime cinema's greatest, Tomas Milian, one of my personal all-time favorite actors, and Gastone Moschin, who is immortal for his role in the arguably greatest of all Italian Crime flicks, Fernando Di Leo's masterpiece "Milano Calibro 9". The main reason why some people seem to dislike "Squadra Volante" is due to the fact that they compare it to Umberto Lenzi's notorious Poliziotteschi-highlights "Almost Human" (1974) and "Rome Armed To The Teeth" (1976) that were made around the same time. Tomas Milian was outstanding in the role of the sadistic criminal Psycho he played in Lenzi's films, but, as far as I am considered, he is also the perfect choice to play the rough-and-ready copper he plays here.
A violent holdup in the city in broad daylight leaves a cop dead. Inspettore Tomas Ravelli of Interpol is immediately convinced that the assault was the work of the same criminals responsible for the death of his wife, who was killed in Marseille some years ago... Milian is once again outstanding in his role of the mustached, cigar-smoking tough-guy copper he plays. Gastone Moschin is equally great in the role of the bad guy the ruthless criminal Marseiliese, who is troubled by his chain-smoking habit. The supporting cast includes Italian Genre-cinema regulars Ray Lovelock ("Almost Human", "Macchie Solari", "Roma Violenta",...) and Giuseppe Castellano ("Milano Calibro 9", "Manhunt", Almost Human",...). Stefania Casini is sexy, but almost annoyingly dimwitted as Marsiglese'S bimbo girlfriend Marta. While "Squadra Volante" is not nearly as (brilliantly) gruesome as Umberto Lenzi's Poliziotteschi from the time, it is nonetheless a rough and violent film in which a lot of blood flows. The action is raw and well-made and enthralling, and while the story may not be the most original, it is definitely more than well-executed. Director Stelvio Massi was mainly a very good cinematographer, and this is also visible here as the camera work is very good. The score by Stelvio Capriani is also great. Overall, "Squadra Volante" is no Poliziottesco masterpiece, but it is definitely a very good, action-packed film with an excellent cast that I highly recommend to all my fellow fans of Italian Crime cinema.
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