Killer Cop / La polizia ha le mani legate (1975)

5.0 out of 5

Commissioner Ronaldi, Claudio Cassinelli, is leading an investigation into a drug smuggling racket when it crosses paths with the terrorist bomb investigation of Judge “Minty” De Federico played by Arthur Kennedy. With an international crisis at bay due to the bombing which killed several important diplomats, both men find that their investigations narrow down to the one same man, nearsighted Franco, Bruno Zanin, a terrorist with a conscious.

An interesting approach not unlike those in the movies of Massimo Dallamano, Killer Cop not only has some great moments of suspense and action; but also makes a point of aiming criticism towards the political corruption of Italy at the time. Ronaldi knows he onto something, but doesn’t quite know what as he’s still looking for a bust in his drug case. De Federico who is higher in the hierarchy – and also infamous for not taking bribes – obstructs him, but there are still other rotten apples in the highest places of the justice system. Again, themes used eagerly by Dallamano, and ones that also bring certain pessimism to the piece.

Characters are well written - there’s some to like, some to feel for and some to fear. And the sympathetic Franco makes for a far more interesting villain than the usual cynical bad guy usually found in poliziotteschi flicks.

One of Ercoli’s few poliziotteschi movies, and one that proves he was a great director even outside the couple of magnificent gialli he directed. A brilliant script, some splendid performances by the cast and what may be one of Stelvio Cipriani’s finest soundtrack make this a superb movie.

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