Bloody Friday / Blutiger Freitag (1972)

4.0 out of 5

Heinz Klett, Raimund Harmstorf, gives his prison guards the slip on the way to a court hearing, wasting no time he rounds up a couple of mates and storms a bank in search of the heist of a lifetime. Taking a load of innocent bystanders hostage the idea is to demand a million dollars in ransom money and then skip the country. As is to be expected things go a bit askew and due to Heinz being a complete raving loony some of the hostages get killed, one gets raped and his partners in crime start to wonder what the hell they’ve let themselves in for.

Striding around in black leather trousers and sporting a beard and mane of lush ginger hair Harmstorf commands the screen like a 6 and a half foot tall psychotic Bee Gee. A cracking turn from an actor who unfortunately made very few films and stuck, on the whole, to TV work. Director Olsen, who would go on to direct Shocking Asia, pulls off some gory set pieces, most notably one that involves a hand grenade in very close quarters and turns in a thoroughly enjoyable slice of Eurocrime.

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