New York City is torn apart by an all-out mafia war. With brother Peter at his side, Vincent "Mad Dog" Coll blasts his way from streetfighter to kingpin in the dangerous world of organized crime.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Peter Coll
Thomas McHugh ...
Kid Twist
Eddie Bowz ...
Joey Noe
...
Owen Madden
...
...
William Anthony La Valle ...
Irish thug O'Malley
Anna Garduno ...
Rosie
...
Lieutenant Abadabba
Dennis Predovic ...
Carmine Genovese
Ignacious Palaciaw ...
Young Peter Coll
Aaron Perkening ...
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Storyline

New York City is torn apart by an all-out mafia war. With brother Peter at his side, Vincent "Mad Dog" Coll blasts his way from streetfighter to kingpin in the dangerous world of organized crime.

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They took what they wanted and they wanted it all. They had the... Killer Instinct.

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Action | Crime | Drama

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R | See all certifications »
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22 September 1993 (Japan)  »

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Killer Instinct  »

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User Reviews

Outstanding performance by Christopher Bradley- fine film.

MAD DOG COLL and HIT THE DUTCHMAN were the only two films produced in what was to have been a series of ten films - same characters, same cast, with different writers and directors on each one - sort of a multiplex Rashomon take from different angles.

MAD DOG COLL is by far the superior film - beautifully photographed by Janusz Kaminski (fine lighting and rich use of color) and with an excellent score by Terry Plumeri, this is a well scripted, well directed, taut look at two brothers, fallen into the maelstrom of early thirties New York gang war, and as they mature, trying to make some sense of life as they struggle to prolong that life, with death around every corner.

The acting is uniformly excellent with Rachel York a standout as Vince Coll's fiancé. Tough, brittle, hard as nails on the surface, and cupid's victim when she meets Vince. The semblance of a life together, which they try to achieve, soon falls apart in the face of reality and choices made, both by themselves and others.

What sets this film apart from most gangster-genre films of this period, is the moving, subtle, totally professional and stunning performance of Christopher Bradley as Vince. This is such a well-rounded piece of character writing and acting, that one rarely sees its like in film these days. Bradley captures every emotional nuance of the character - the toughness, the confusion, the frustration, and most importantly the joy and transcendence of love. He does what every actor "should" do, and what few deliver - he lets us "inside" Vince and we both understand him and care about him. It so easily could have been played on the surface, but Bradley digs and in doing so, he creates one of the most memorable characters of the genre.

I have learned that the original script was much tampered with before it got to the screen. Many motivations for emotions and character development were eliminated along the way, so it is to the credit of the performers that there are no obvious "gaps" in character development. The film went through three directors, with Golan uncredited as the third, finishing this film and directing HIT THE DUTCHMAN.

There are many plot discrepancies between the two. In DUTCHMAN, Dutch meets the Colls for the first time on the day of his prison release. In MAD DOG, they are boyhood friends (along with Lucky Luciano) and meet again as adults only when Dutch is well established in the rackets. In DUTCHMAN, Joey is Dutch's close friend and soon to be brother-in-law, when he is gunned down on the day of his wedding - in MAD DOG, he is just one of the gang. None of the Colls' private lives are revealed in DUTCHMAN. In DUTCHMAN, Will Kempe plays Legs Diamond with a mustache, in MAD DOG, without.

Watch the two together to see how talent and vision determine the difference between an excellent film and simply a good one. And that proposal scene between Bradley and York - have you ever seen one so full of awe, admiration and vulnerability? A gem.

Get your hands on this one - it should be DVD'd. Only the folks who write the blurbs on the boxes need to learn to spell - Vince Coll is referred to as Vince Cole. Maybe the writer thought it was set in the old west - go figure.


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