Emergency Squad / Squadra Volonte (1974)

3.0 out of 5

Stelvio Massi's first Italian crimer, his directorial debut, features interesting locations in the scenic college town of Pavia. But mayhem and vengeance hold court as Tomas Milian, sporting an intimidating mustache, guns for his slaughtered wife who was killed while grocery-shopping.

Gastone Moschin makes the most memorable impression, as the grumbling head of a crime gang that includes Communist Ray Lovelock and a hilarious, old, sweaty porn addict who throws inappropriate fits during car pursuits. This, a most unforgivable character flaw.

Lovelock meets an amusing death via a living room step, but otherwise an ordinary crimer yet not without its merits. Milian chooses to say little--a departure from so many of his other more verbose portrayals, especially during the movie's quasi-nihilistic ending. Colorful bad guys always make the difference to the genre, and this movie has its share.

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