Street Law (1974)

 
Street Law aka Vigilante II, stars the enigmatic Franco Nero as Carlo Antonelli, an engineer from Genoa, Italy. Whilst collecting a package from the post office, Carlo is beaten and kidnapped by three armed robbers. After surviving his ordeal, and disillusioned by the police who seemingly refuse to act, Carlo seeks vengeance against those that wronged him. 

 
After his amateurish attempts at making underworld contacts leave him coming close to a beating, Carlo tries again, this time making contact with a robber called Tommy, played by the late Giancarlo Prete, whom he blackmails into helping him track down the 3 robbers responsible for his beating. All leading to a breathtaking shootout in a warehouse. 

 
This is my first real foray into the Euro Crime genre and I must say I was very impressed. The action is used sparingly, but staged believably so.  Carlo doesn’t immediately become a gun toting vision of vigilante justice. No. His fear and anxiety come through on screen, showing that he is still just an ordinary guy refusing to be afraid any longer. That’s what I liked about it. Franco Nero really sells it too. There’s no John Woo balletics here, but raw, gritty action instead. 

 
Everyone is on point here. Barbara Bach who plays Carlo’s love interest isn’t really given much to work with, but does well with the screen time she is given. The soundtrack is amazing too. The music by Guido and Maurizio De Angelis is very catchy, and it’s safe to say you’ll be humming it long after the credits roll. I can highly recommend this if you haven’t seen it. Enjoy. 

5/5

JM

  

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Blood and Black Lace (1964)

 
Directed by Mario Bava, Blood and Black Lace was one of the first giallo’s to be released, but not *the* first as my good friend Kat Ellinger over at http://thegoresplatteredcorner.com/ pointed out to me. I’ll be honest I wasn’t really a fan of some of Bava’s other work like Lisa and the Devil. However that being said Blood and Black Lace really did it for me. 

 
When a beautiful young model is murdered and her body found in a salon the finger is pointed at many who knew her. When her diary is later found it causes many to become worried, as they fear there may be something that could implicate them inside the diary. However has the bodies pile up, and more grisly murders take place, it’s clear there is something far more sinister at play. A masked maniac stalks the women, bumping them off one by one, with the police oblivious to who could be responsible. 

 
Director Mario Bava’s use of colour is extrordinary. They literally pop off the screen, with red being the most prevelant colour. The transfer from Arrow Video is nothing short of sublime. The blacks are rich and deep and the close ups of each actor are vibrant to say the least. It looks like a movie that was made last year and not 51 years ago. My only gripe is the music. Not that it’s terrible, because it isn’t. No, my issue is where it’s used in the movie. It’s far too upbeat to create any tension, so when it’s used in the stalking scenes, I just didn’t feel the tension I felt the director may have been trying to create. Though that really is all I can fault this movie for and that’s saying something. 
 
The acting is great and not at all hammy, like it can be in some Italian movies I’ve seen. The costume and set design is wonderful, and you really do wish you could just step into the movie just for one moment. This copy of Blood and Black Lace was generously provided by the folks at http://www.arrowfilms.co.uk/ and is available to purchase now. It’s available in a steelbook release or in a reversible sleeve jewel case. Personally I’d choose the sublime reversible sleeve with the beautiful Graham Humphreys artwork. 

5/5

JM