Blood in the Streets (1973)

I’m a big fan of Italian crime flicks, but it has to be said that a lot of them are rather similar. That’s not the case with Revolver however! Some of these films go off on a bit of a tangent and while in keeping with the elements that make this sort of film what it is (car chases, shootouts etc) deliver something more than the average cop flick, and these are the best of the genre; films such as Almost Human, Street Law and this film. Revolver benefits from a strong plot, two strong leading men and the fact that the film actually has a point to make. The plot focuses on Vito Cipriani; a prison warden and former police officer who finds himself with a choice to make when he is told by criminals that his wife has been kidnapped and the only way he can get her back is to spring crook Milo Ruiz from jail and make the exchange for his wife. Vito is not happy just to take the criminal’s word for it, however, and so decides to kidnap the criminal himself before the exchange is made. It also soon becomes apparent that the criminal’s aren’t playing straight, which leads to an unlikely combination of prisoner and prison warden on the hunt for the warden’s wife.

Oliver Reed takes the lead role, and I have to say that he should have made more Italian crime flicks! His performance is typically over the top, though he looks completely at home chewing the scenery and swearing his head off, and it’s a joy to watch too. Esteemed Polizi star Fabio Testi stars opposite and is the polar opposite of Oliver Reed, which ensures that they make a fascinating pairing on screen. The plot moves at a brisk pace throughout and it never veers very far off course, which is a bonus if you ask me considering how these films often do. There are a few moments where it does slow down a bit too much, and Revolver is just slightly overlong; but as I said, it doesn’t get boring so it’s not too big a problem. There’s less action in this film than the average Polizi flick, but we do still get a couple of decent car chases and there’s a fair bit of gunplay too. Oliver Reed’s performance really makes up for that anyway, however; the man himself has more impact than any amount of cars and bullets! Perhaps the best thing about this film is the point it has to make; I don’t expect much more than entertainment from a Polizi flick, so getting that little bit extra is a nice bonus. Overall, this is certainly one of the better of examples of this genre and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to my fellow Polizi fans.