Bereaved father becomes deadly foe of gang of hardened criminals
"No alla violenza" is retitled "Death Hunt" in the full screen print I watched. It was a rather poor print but not so bad as to be unwatchable. It had hard Greek subtitles. This movie really would look good in a clean print, but that's asking a lot. The title means "no to violence", which is very ironic since the story features a "Death Wish" plot starting about 40 minutes in.
Although I rate the movie as below average, I liked it. It's honest, rough, direct and doesn't pretend to be anything more than the crime story it is. One of the honest parts is that when there are rape scenes, the film doesn't shy away from showing the whole female body but without any hint of eroticism or sleaziness. Actually, there is a strip tease scene that's not necessary to the story, but even there the stripper is a skilled dancer and the scene is not in bad taste. The Messina scenery is fine and the acting is competent. The script covers a lot of ground and characters, and doesn't all hang together but it's not a matter of much concern. One gets the drift of the revenge motive.
For about the first 40 minutes, the movie focuses on the detective, a blond guy (Al Cliver) playing a Merli-type part. The dubbed voice sounded familiar, a professional. The first 20 minutes involves a gang of young motorcycle thugs. This shows the criminal environment reaching down in age and becoming widespread. Cliver is then moved to a new case where 3 hardened criminals have escaped. Earlier we saw the arrival on boat of a slick Sicilian thug with his girl friend. He is the head of these guys and starts a crime spree, a robbery and kidnapping. Cliver fades away for awhile, and the director's character, Tano, comes forward. His daughter is killed during a high speed drive and he's determined to take revenge. There was one witness who recognized the driver and called his name "Mario". He refuses to tell the police anything, but Tano takes matters into his own hands to get information and find the gang members. The rest of the story unpacks this premise.
The music theme is nice and reminded me of the theme from "The Greek Tycoon" which in turn may have inspired some of the music in "The Godfather".
Being something of a poliziotteschi completist, I appreciated this film. These movies can be great fun, simply because of bits and pieces they contain, anything from a one-liner to an oddball character to one of the automobiles or a bit of scenery.
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