The .44 Specialist (1976) Poster

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More Dark than Mark
Bezenby5 September 2018
Narky Mark is back a third time as the skinny cop with a white guy 'fro, this time infiltrating a German terrorist organisation who are causing havoc across Europe.

He wasn't supposed to be doing that, mind you. He just happened to be in the right place at the right time. Y'see, he's just a cop but now he's in there with there terrorists (led by a skeletal John Steiner), he the connection Interpol and various organisations need. This is where agent John Saxon steps in, becoming Mark's contact with the outside world, but then again - things are never as straight forward as they seem in these films right?

It's good that this film takes a different angle from the usual Eurocrime films, as Mark ends up getting deeper and deeper into the terrorist's activities, beginning with getting a doctor to a wounded terrorist, all the way helping hijack a train full of people. Stelvio Massi seems to crank everything up to ten for the duration of the film too, with an amazing amount of brutal gun violence involved ending with people drenched in blood, and plenty of scenes of tension, from the comical driving a corpse through heavy traffic to the tense massacre of businessmen in a tower blocl that Mark accidentally avoids being caught up in.

The guy that plays Mark isn't going to win any Oscars any time soon, but does fine here as the charming cop trying to find the person responsible for all the chaos that's being caused (as well as bedding the ladies, including Melissa Longo in a scene that gives Massi a chance to show off his skill with weird camera angles). The best bit of the film is when two bag-snatchers on a moped steal a bag from one of the terrorists, only to have it contain a bomb and explode about a minute later. Whoops!

All in all this might be the best of the Mark trilogy, and you don't have to watch the other two first either, what with your busy lifestyle and that.
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