Almost Human / Milano odia: la polizia non può sparare (1974)

4.5 out of 5

In an interview once Tomas Milian stated how back in the day his acting style was influenced by Al Pacino and Robert De Niro to whom he compared himself. Whether such comparisons are valid should be left to the individual but whatever the conclusion one draws there is no doubt that Milian puts in an incredible performance as the Britpop styled cowardly bully Giulio Sacchi who is a nickel-and-dime thief with delusions of grandeur.

Conscious of his own failing Sacchi puts little value on life as he draws on his own worthless experience as he is prepared to kill for a few hundred Lira yet will snivel and cry when is own pointless existence comes under threat. This results in him being identified as Chicken by a gangster Ugo Majone played by Luciano Catenacci in a role to which he is perfectly suited.

Valuing money over the lives of others and judging success purely on this basis Sacchi is prepared to snuff out all that stand in the way of his ultimate goal including his own girlfriend as he hatches a plot to kidnap the daughter of a rich industrialist. This course of action puts him in conflict with a police Commissario played by Henry Silva who himself is prepared to step outside the law in the name of justice to underscore the almost consequentialist whatever means necessary theme that is central to Almost Human.

Directed by Umberto Lenzi and written by the prolific Ernesto Gastaldi Almost Human is a highly effective, if somewhat dark and unsettling, slice of European crime cinema. Ray Lovelock puts in a minor supporting appearance as a reluctant henchman with an attack of conscience in this totemic slice of cult film.

Maurizio Merli header graphic courtesy of Paddy O'Neill of Foxyfide Graphics