Rome Armed To The Teeth / Roma a mano armata (1976)

4.0 out of 5

Rome Armed To The Teeth features the themes that are pretty standard to the genre. The film is also recognizable as a Maurizio Merli film as he lets his fists do the talking while rallying against liberal enforcement methods and the constraints of democratic oversight as he plays the superman figure.

The political points are played out in a series of set pieces that illustrate the effects of crime with gunplay, car chases and other such familiar themes.

The supporting cast is a strong one and includes Arthur Kennedy, Ivan Rassimov, Luciano Pigozzi and Luciano Catenacci. Tomas Milian is exceptional as an underestimated hunchback. There is a pumping score and director Umberto Lenzi shares writing credits with occasional Lucio Fulci collaborator Dardano Sacchetti.

Merli reprises his role of Tanzi in The Cynic, The Rat And The Fist and Milian revisits the hunchback in the more lighthearted Brothers Till We Die where he plays two starring roles and a scene of a BMW crashing through boxes is one that is recycled footage. Umberto Lenzi here directs what could be a great starting point for those who wish to discover some of the popular themes of European crime cinema.

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