Violent Rome / Roma violenta (1975)

4.0 out of 5

Rome is the Violent City. Along with the usual stuff that goes on within the genre such as holdups and shakedowns there are some opportunist motorcyclist purse snatchers who terrorize the ladies until accidentally encountering a cop in drag who kicks smoke out of them. The moral is that real men fight back against crime and Maurizio Merli as Commissario Betti is one such man.

Betti hates crime as the antithesis of the liberty of the citizen and loves nothing better than socking villains in the jaw to an occasionally mistimed sound effect. This time we get some back story involving his brother and this is emphasized in meaningful stares sometimes in close up as he listens to the stories of the criminal plague upon the populace. Even when losing his job Betti joins a vigilante group under the guidance of Richard Conte who was sadly soon to leave us. He just cannot help himself.

Luciano Rossi goes purple and is completely insane as a rapist intruder and tastes baseball bats, a knuckleduster, chains and few swift kicks to the gonads for his effort at the hands of the amateur street lawmen.

Ray Lovelock adds some melancholy when he ends up in a wheelchair and Merli cops it only to return from the grave for Napoli violenta for which this film is a good introduction. Featuring a memorable score by De Angelis and De Angelis the movie is directed by Marino Girolami who also brought the world the creepy keep it in the family comedy Lover Boy with Edwige Fenech. John Steiner is in this too. Can't go wrong with Violent Rome.

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