Rebel, The / Poliziotto solitudine e rabbia (1980)

3.0 out of 5

Maurizio Merli re-teams with director Stelvio Massi for his final poliziotteschi and one of the last entries before the genre finally crashed and burned the same year. The plot sees Merli try to infiltrate a gang of hitmen who have killed his best friend on a bodyguard assignment for a high profile businessman, he slowly unravels a complicated plot that takes him from Venice to a bleak snow covered Berlin.

This is by far Merli and Massi's best collaboration. Typically, as with most Massi films the action is scant with plot taking centre stage, but what there is is well done. Particularly Merli jumping through a stain glassed window in slow motion and an action packed climax en route to an airport.

Merli's burgeoning romance with Vivian, Jutta Speidel, is also surprisingly delicate and touching; something usually lacking in these types of films.

Not as hard boiled as Violent Rome or Merli's collaborations with Lenzi, but there's a lot to like here and a crying shame Merli's career went into free fall after this.

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