Blutrausch – Dreckige Wölfe (1973)

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Blutrausch – Dreckige Wölfe: Directed by Silvio Narizzano. With Franco Nero, Telly Savalas, Mark Lester, Ely Galleani. Sadism and sleaze dominate this fast-paced film about the getaway aftermath of a heist-gone-wrong-turned-kidnapping.

“An offbeat entry in the Italian crime genre that features elaborate flourishes of brilliance here and there but becomes increasingly disappointing as the story progresses. I love polizia movies and thereu0026#39;s every reason to love this one too, from the reliable cast members to Silvio Narizzanou0026#39;s confident direction, but the story seems to lose focus as the running time increases and come the end thereu0026#39;s a whimper rather than a bang.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eItu0026#39;s a pity, because things kick off with a robbery followed by a blistering car chase which is one of the best Iu0026#39;ve seen in a long time. Once the robbers have become unwitting kidnappers, however, things really start to lose their way. The presence of the hostage would, you think, add to increased suspense and ransom demands, but none of this ever takes place and the police barely register. Instead, the plot meanders its way across the Italian countryside as Telly Savalas chews the scenery and Franco Nero contributes an oddly subdued turn.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eThe filmu0026#39;s attempts to become a psychological drama fail thanks to the distractingly over the top cast members. Mark Lesteru0026#39;s plummy British accent is an irritant to even this British viewer, while Savalas adopts a grating Southern accent (hence the title) which is truly irritating to listen to. In fact, I refuse to believe Savalas put this excruciating voice on himself and I prefer to think heu0026#39;s been dubbed. Nero, who gave such good value throughout his career as a leading man, is miscast as a clumsy robber and scenes like the one where he accidentally drops his gun are never believable for an instant.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eAn inexplicable interlude, set at night with no lighting, means that a full twenty minutes of the plot takes place in almost complete darkness and by this stage I was starting to lose my patience. Things do pick up occasionally when Savalas commits further depravities – the interlude with the German campers is a highlight – but his antics pale in comparison to the likes of Tomas Milian in ALMOST HUMAN and ASSAULT WITH A DEADLY WEAPON, where the scriptwriters and director knew how to play up their star to his full potential. In the case of REDNECK, it feels like a missed opportunity.”


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