Violent Streets: The Umberto Lenzi/Tomas Milian Collection
Blu-ray ALL - America - Severin Films
Review written by and copyright: Eric Cotenas (27th February 2023).
The Film

"Italian director Umberto Lenzi had recently completed a landmark string of kinky gialli with Hollywood outcast Carroll Baker. Cuban-born/Actor’s Studio-trained Tomas Milian had become one of Spaghetti Westerns’ most popular stars. But when these two notoriously mercurial talents came together for a series of shocking Poliziotteschi –reactionary crime films that reflected the political and sociocultural violence of 1970s Italy – they grabbed audiences by the throat, gunned down the conventions of the genre and changed the emotional velocity of action cinema forever. This collection presents Lenzi & Milian’s five greatest collaborations, now restored uncut and uncensored from the original negatives for the first time ever."

Almost Human: After fouling up a bank robbery by panicking and shooting a traffic cop, hood Giulio Sacchi (Milian) is beaten and tossed out on the street by smalltime kingpin Majone (Kill, Baby... Kill!'s Luciano Catenacci). Dismissed as a gasbag by his fellow Milanese cohorts for aspiring to more than purse snatching for a living, Sacchi lights upon a way of making easy money when he goes to pick up his secretary girlfriend Iona (Murder Obsession's Anita Strindberg) and spots Mary Lou (From Corleone to Brooklyn's Laura Belli), the twenty-year-old daughter of wealthy industrialist Porrino (The Fifth Cord's Guido Alberti). Reasoning that most kidnappers get caught because they actually release their captives once they get the ransom, he tells buddies Vittorio (Velvet Hands' Gino Santercole) and Carmine (The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue's Ray Lovelock) that they will ransom the girl for a billion lira, kill her as soon as they get it, and be set for life.

Accosting the girl while she is parking in the woods with her secret boyfriend Gianni (Deep Red's Lorenzo Piani), they kill the boy but Mary Lou manages to escape to a nearby country house and things end up badly for the owners (Bread and Chocolate's Francesco D'Adda and Acquasanta Joe's Rosita Torosh), their seven year old daughter, and their party guests (The Cat O'Nine Tails' Tom Felleghy and Emanuelle's Revenge's Annie Carol Edel). Connecting shells left at the scene of Gianni's murder and the party massacre to the slaughter of a gun-running tinsmith and his wife, Commissioner Grandi (The Italian Connection's Henry Silva) is stumped until another murder leads him to Giulio. Giulio is one step ahead, threatening Majone with revealing details about the bank robbery in exchange for an alibi, but Vittorio and Carmine have become unsettled by Giulio's increasing instability and sadism. Although Grandi knows that Sacchi is behind the crimes, he finds his own investigation suspended by the chief on behalf of Porrino who is willing to do anything to ensure his daughter's survival.

"What started as a simple kidnapping ...turned into an orgy of murder." Although Lenzi often catches flack for his mostly workmanlike gialli and the often absurd bent of his horror films, the poliziotteschi genre was where Lenzi excelled, and Almost Human is one of his most grueling and brutal efforts thanks more to Milian's performance more so than the onscreen bloodshed (Zombie's Maurizio Trani was one of the film's make-up artists). For all of his character's boasting and posturing, Sacchi really is just a weasel and a "gasbag" who feels most powerful with a gun in his hands, and anyone who calls him out on his shortcomings is a victim. By contrast, just about every other rotten character seems far more sympathetic from the conflicted Carmine to the contemptible Majone. Milian's character is so much the focus that Silva as performer and character is sidelined for much of the film, making his Dirty Harry-esque takedown of Sacchi less satisfying but fitting in its setting and Sacchi's climactic whining. The film was the second polizioteteschi of screenwriter Ernesto Gastaldi following Sergio Martino's The Violent Professionals, both produced by Luciano Martino, and his work is ably supported by another jangly score from Ennio Morricone.

Syndicate Sadists: After bumming around Marseilles for the better part of a year, Rambo (Milian) returns to Milan and discovers that buddy Pino Scalia (The Biggest Battle's Mario Piave) has joined a private police organization that protects business interests when the regular police prove ineffective. Rambo is wary about joining up in spite of the acknowledgment of both Scalia and his boss Ferrari (Nana's Tom Felleghy) of Rambo's superior fighting and shooting abilities. When kidnappers abduct Gianpiero (Alessandro Cocco), child of wealthy industrialist Marsili (The Horrible Dr. Hichcock's Silvano Tranquilli), Scalia suspects that local gangster Conti (How to Kill a Judge's Luciano Catenacci) is behind it, having moved up from purse-snatching to take on the casinos of rival Paternò (Baron Blood's Joseph Cotten).

In spite of Rambo's warning not to mess with kidnappers, Scalia not only tracks down the suspects but also the location where the boy is being held. No sooner does Scalia give Rambo the name "Duval" than he is run off the road and murdered, leaving Rambo to avenge him on behalf of the other man's wife Maria (Hercules the Invincible's Maria Fiore) and child Luigino (Puzzle's Duilio Cruciani). After beating and killing Duval (Autopsy's Antonio Casale) after getting the location of where the child is being held, Rambo approaches Paternò - in spite of bad blood between them due to an incident that left the older man blind – with the idea of nabbing the child from Conti in order to humiliate his rival and cash in on the two-and-a-half billion lire ransom (of which Rambo only asks ten percent). Dependent on his ruthless son Ciccio (Spasmo's Adolfo Lastretti) to run operations, Paternò agrees to the plan in spite of his own misgivings. After Rambo shows Ciccio where the boy is being held, Ciccio pays him off but then proves there is no honor among thieves by sending his men to get the money back and kill Rambo. Rambo, on the other hand, has already approached Conti in order to play both gangs against each other with his own plans for the kidnapped child.

Although the next film in this set Free Hand for a Tough Cop opens up with a spaghetti western film-within-a-film, Syndicate Sadists feels somewhat like a spaghetti western transposed to the Italian crime genre; perhaps so because the screenplay of Vincenzo Mannino d – who would also script Violent Naples and co-script From Corleone to Brooklyn for Lenzi – feels like a standard poliziotteschi than a lazy variation on Raymond Chandler's "Red Harvest" and the various films that unofficially adapted it like Yojimbo and A Fistful of Dollars – with Milian's Rambo living by his own law, playing gangs against each other to reunite an innocent captive with their family, along with bar fights and rural shootouts before Rambo rides off into the sunset (on a motorcycle in this case). What keeps the film from being dull is not so much the Lenzian brutality but the charisma of Milian and a funky Franco Micalizzi (The Visitor) score with funky electronic arrangements by Alexander Blonksteiner (who later augmented Walter Rizzati's more lyrical passages of House by the Cemetery). That's really all there is to it since Cotten (dubbing himself in English) is sleepwalking through his role (even literally phoning in parts of it), Tranquilli and Ida Galli (The Bloodstained Butterfly) as the boy's mother have little to do but emote in the confines of their villa, Shirley Corrigan (The Devil's Nightmare) has a nothing role as Conti's mistress, and poor Femi Benussi (So Sweet, So Dead) is on hand to be stripped and brutalized as Rambo's loyal stripper girlfriend (indeed, both child actors have more agency than any of the female characters). Incidentally, the use of the name "Rambo" lead to the film being distributed in VHS in some territories as "Rambo's Revenge" in the eighties.

Free Hand for a Tough Cop: Milian is theif Sergio Marazzi aka "Monnezza" is just adjusting to life behind bars when he is busted out by a police commissioner Antonio Sarti (What Have They Done to Your Daughters?'s Claudio Cassinelli). Originally banished to Sardinia because of his unconventional methods, Sarti has been called back by old boss Franchini (Powers and Lovers' Renato Mori) when young Camilla Finzi (Whisper in the Dark's Susanna Melandri) is kidnapped for ransom just days before she is to receive a lifesaving kidney transplant. Suspecting that French gangster Brescianelli (Cry of a Prostitute's Henry Silva) is behind the kidnapping, Sarti wants to use Monnezza to find him, which is difficult because the gangster has just returned from Switzerland after having a face lift and is completely unrecognizable. Resourceful Monnezza tips off the police about a train robbery by Brescianelli's rival Calabrese (Death Laid an Egg's Biagio Pelligra) and then informs Calabrese that Brescianelli was behind the tip off in order to obstain the help of him and his associates Mario (Cut-Throats Nine's Robert Hundar) and Vallelunga (Emergency Squad's Giuseppe Castellano). Sarti cannot help but break his cover multiple times as they navigate their way through a network of lowlifes in the midst of various criminal activity, but Calabrese and his partners are not so much moved by Camilla's plight as the potential to cash in on it themselves once Sarti and Monnezza lead them to the elusive Brescianelli.

The least-satisfying of the Lenzi/Milian collaborations in this set, Free Hand for a Tough Cop feels like a lazy retread of plot elements from Syndicate Sadists including housebound scenes of the parents (Spasmo's Mario Erpichini and Seven Deaths in the Cat's Eye's Dana Ghia) of the missing girl – whose kidnapping occurs before the story proper and she is not seen until late in the film – that ultimately slow the film down and go nowhere, even seeming to drop the idea that one of their relatives or even their lawyer (The Bird with the Crystal Plumage's Umberto Raho) might be in on it. Just as most female characters in these films are introduced to be roughed up – including a pair of jewelry store employees and Brescianelli's mistress (Beyond Good and Evil's Nicoletta Machiavelli) – the episodic story introduces even more male characters who provide exposition and are then killed off as the film moves towards the ninety-minute mark. Although Cassinelli and Milian have an equal amount of screen time, it is Milian's Monnezza who steals focus as expected, although there is only so much Milian can do with a bum story and action scenes that do not really distinguish themselves from equally proficient action scenes from other films in this set that have more interesting characters and stories. The supporting cast includes brief appearances from Tano Cimarosa (Delirium), Corrado Solari (The Working Class Goes to Heaven), Antonio Casale (Silent Action), Arturo Dominici (Black Sunday), Tom Felleghy (Nightmare City), Fulvio Mingozzi (The Scorpion with Two Tails), Luciano Rossi (Death Smiles at Murder), Ernesto Colli (Autopsy), and stuntman/Zombie's worm-eyed corpse Ottaviano Dell'Acqua which could be described as "wasted" by Eurocult film fans familiar with them without recognizing that they are more working actors than character actors.

The Cynic, the Rat and the Fist: Disillusioned with his job, former inspector Leonardo Tanzi (Mannaja: A Man Called Blade's Maurizio Merli) is now editing pulp crime novels. No sooner does he return home to find a death notice for himself slipped under the door than he is shot down by gunman Ettore (The Psychic's Bruno Corazzari). Tanzi's former boss Commissioner Astalli (Danger: Diabolik's Renzo Palmer) learns too late that Luigi "The Chinaman" Maietti has escaped prison and sworn vengeance against Tanzi who put him behind bars; however, Tanzi survives the attempt on his life contrary to the newspaper reporting and Astalli puts him on a train to Switzerland to lay low. Tanzi instead heads to Rome to track down The Chinaman who – along with his partners Dario (Cut-Throats Nine's Robert Hundar) and Ettore – have gone into business with American gangster Frank DiMaggio (The Girl Who Knew Too Much's John Saxon) collecting his protection money from particularly difficult "clients" for a seventy-thirty split. With the help of not-entirely-trustworthy hooker Nadia (Violent Naples' Gabriella Lepori) - whom he has rescued from both an abusive client and then her pimp (No, the Case is Happily Resolved's Claudio Nicastro) – Tanzi decides to turn The Chinaman and DiMaggio against each other with a bit of intervention in the movement of DiMaggio's collection money between a high-tech security vault and his Swiss bank. This proves easier than anticipated since The Chinaman has grown tired of DiMaggio's constant reminders about how he handles traitors and decides that this country is not big enough for the two of them.

Perhaps the best-known Merli cop film (more so than a Milian vehicle), more so for its title than the wider distribution enjoyed by some of his other works, The Cynic, the Rat and the Fist is perhaps the most audience-friendly poliziotteschi in the set, suggesting more of The Chinaman's and DiMaggio's sadism than shown in contrast to Almost Human and containing some light humor without spilling over into parody, while also delivering the requisite fisticuffs, gunplay, chases, and generally reserving most of its onscreen brutality to the nastier characters. Milian's Chinaman is suitably menacing and disarming – actually shocking one of his loyal partners when he headbutts him for a perceived failure – while Saxon's DiMaggio is wonderfully full of himself switching between English and Italian as he punts golf balls at a victim's head before setting his dogs on him. Merli's charisma is limited but his righteous contrast to the villains and physicality in the action scenes is satisfying when up against the main villains and a small time hoods who still dabble in un-organized crime. If the final confrontation between Merli and Milian is not quite as viscerally-satisfying as that of Silva and Milian in Almost Human, The Cynic, the Rat and the Fist is still a nice step up from Free Hand for a Tough Cop and anticipates the tone of of Lenzi's and Milian's last collaboration.

Brothers Till We Die: Returning to Rome after two years in Corsica following a payroll robbery, the hunchbacked Vincenzo Marazzi (Milian) reconnects with his twin brother Sergio aka Pigpen (also Milian), a mechanic who wiles his day away in a garage daydreaming. Vincenzo is in town to meet up with some former partners – car dealer Perrone (Kill, Baby... Kill!'s Luciano Catenacci), Milo the Albanian (If You Meet Sartana Pray for Your Death's Sal Borgese), and fishmonger Flatfish (The Valachi Papers's Guido Leontini) – to pitch an armored car robbery using his new favorite weapon: gas bombs. His partners do not trust him an plan to kill him during the robbery, but wounded Vincenzo makes it back to the apartment of his ex-prostitute girlfriend Maria (Cinema Paradiso's Isa Danieli) who spies on Vincenzo's partners while he convalesces. News of the hunchback's return has also police commissioner Sarti (Born Winner's Pino Colizzi) who is still bitter about failing to capture him on the payroll heist. Sarti focuses his attentions on Sergio who has, as instructed by Vincenzo if the police come, swallowed a couple cigarettes, but the resulting illness is interpreted by a doctor as mental illness and Sarti loses Sergio to an extended institution stay from which he must bust the man out if he is to discover Vincenzo's whereabouts. When Vincenzo starts taking his revenge on his betrayers, however, the police start to make connections between the hunchback and the armored car robbery.

Although Lenzi is well-known to Eurocult fans as a director of horror and cannibal films like Eaten Alive and Cannibal Ferox he was a jobbing director who dabbled in several genres including the giallo (A Quiet Place to Kill, Orgasmo). Although in his fallow periods, Lenzi had also written a number of giallo novels, the film genre in which he truly flourished was the poliziotteschi, a genre of crime film that emerged in the turbulent seventies amidst domestic terrorism and changing social mores with Ferndando Di Leo (Milano Calibro 9), Stelvio Massi (Highway Racer), and Enzo G. Castellari (High Crime) among its better known practitioners. While Lenzi and Milan were capable to delivering the goods in gritty violence with entries like the aformentioned Almost Human and The Cynic, the Rat and the Fist, Brothers Till We Die came up near the end of the decade, and like the Sergio Martino's giallo-poliziotteschi hybrid Suspicious Death of a Minor – produced like the Lenzi film by Martino's brother Luciano – was lighter in tone to the point of almost being a comic parody of the genre with Milian chewing the scenery in two roles playing two characters (and taking credit for writing the dialogue of both). Between the two characters, Milian ekes out some sympathy for both, with a surprisingly tender ending (although one wonders if the final ambiguity was intended to leave room open for another sequel for one of the characters). Typecast as prostitutes in her earlier days, Danieli also turns in a supporting performance so sweet and funny that one is relieved she is not treated like other women in Lenzi's grittier crime films. By this point, the genre was on its way out, with Milian appearing in a number of other comedy crime films by Bruno Corbucci as the Nico Giraldi character before moving back into the Italian art film and American mainstream circles while Lenzi's eighties career veered towards horror.


Shortened for its U.S. theatrical by Joseph Brenner & Associates – with an added coda recapping the film's violence in slow motion and a scrolling text punishing Grandi for taking the law into his own hands – as "The Kidnap of Mary Lou" with subsequent re-releases as "The Death Dealer" and finally Almost Human – with a misleading horror-oriented advertising campaign and the title later incorporated into Brenner's advertising for Shock Waves was released by Prism Entertainment for their cropped VHS release under that third title. An Italian DVD from 2003 had an anamorphic transfer but NoShame's 2005 US release was derived from a superior HD master. First out of the gate on Blu-ray were Shameless' numbered limited edition UK release and filmArt's German edition derived from the same master with slightly brighter grading. A year later, Code Red debuted a US limited direct sale edition derived from a newer scan with additional color correction performed stateside – with the added bonus of the American edit also from an HD scan – followed by a stripped down standard edition distributed by Kino Lorber. Severin's 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 2.35:1 widescreen Blu-ray boasts of being "now scanned uncut from the original negative" but so too did NoShame's DVD transfer. We have not seen the Code Red version but the yellow-tinge of the NoShame HD master is absent here, resulting in lighter skin tones and better reproduction of colors and textures like the green of Sacchi's coat and its more apparent wear, facial features including lines and wrinkles less apparent before – particularly in the case of Milian, greatly aiding one's perception of both actor and character living rough – as well as veins in Silva's face which has always looked too smooth and plastic in older transfers of this film and other in his filmography. The older HD master featured Italian credits while Severin's transfer features the export credits sequence with the title card "The Executioner".

Released theatrically in the U.S. by Sam Sherman's Independent-International and on VHS by his Super Video label, Syndicate Sadists made its DVD bow from Media Blasters in a rather poor-looking anamorphic transfer from material supplied by Independent-International representing the slightly shorter export version with the American title card looking overall grainy with bleached highlights and a faint green tinge. 88 Films' region free U.K. disc boasted an HD transfer from the original camera negative and was a massive improvement even though it too was the export version. Severin's 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 2.35:1 widescreen transfer of the longer Italian version (93:20 versus 90:27) also has slightly lighter saturation than the earlier HD master to the benefit of facial features, hair, the weaves of particularly Milian's idiosyncratic knitwear and bright whites no longer ringed in pink.

Unreleased theatrically in the United States, Free Hand for a Tough Cop was only available on DVDs in Italy and Germany without English audio or subtitle options. The English track came with the film's debut on German Blu-ray from the Cinestrange Extreme boutique label followed quickly by a British Blu-ray from Fractured Visions, both utilizing the same 1080i50 HD master – with the latter edition converting the master to 1080p24 – while Cinestrange went the extra mile to assemble the longest version including a brief scene extension to the jewelry store robbery that turned up in some video releases and was presented in upscaled HD. As with the UK disc, Severin's 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 2.35:1 widescreen transfer boasts of being "now scanned in 2K from the original camera negative." Framing appears identical but the grading differs again, looking brighter with less rosy, more neutral skintones, while detail appears similar.

Unreleased theatrically or on video in the United States, The Cynic, the Rat and the Fist also went without an English-friendly DVD release (not counting a pressed bootleg from a mail order company falsely marketing the disc as Australian in origin) until Germany's filmArt stepped up. 88 Films debuted the film on Blu-ray, and the region free disc more than satisfied the curious; however, the weaknesses of this edge-enhanced, noise reduced transfer – which came just before 88 Films started their crowd-funding campaign to commission new masters – and Severin's 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 2.35:1 widescreen transfer from a new 2K master is less eye-straining in long shots which "look" softer but possess more depth than the flatter look of the earlier transfer. The yellow-leaning of the older master is absent here, resulting in healthier-looking facial features and colors that remain saturated but slightly more variegated.

Unreleased in the United States and only available in poor quality boots and later fandubs of the Italian DVD, Brother Till We Die was popular enough in Germany that FilmArt put out a limited edition DVD in 2013 – followed by a standard edition in 2015 – featuring an English track and English subtitles for the Italian and German tracks and subsequently in 2017 a Blu-ray from X-Rated featuring the English track and a German-language audio commentary and a region free British edition in 2019 from 88 Films. Severin's 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 2.35:1 widescreen transfer comes from a newer 2K scan and once again shows just how much more appealing the image of a rough-and-ready low budget film can look with the removal of that yellow tinge seen in so many older scans, making the saturated hues of a not particularly considered color scheme look more vivid with some pop in set and wardrobe accents not so evident before.


Thankfully, all five films include both English and Italian DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 mono tracks that are all in good condition considering that dialogue on both tracks is entirely post-dubbed – even Milian is dubbed in both languages and plenty of familiar voice actors are present on the English dubs – and the sound design is made up of mostly overfamiliar library effects and action-specific exaggerated foley effects. Optional English subtitles are provided for the Italian dubs and are actual translations while SDH subtitles are also included for the English dubs, revealing some of the differences between the dialogue and character names between the two languages.


Although audio commentaries have been recorded for previous releases of four of the films in this set, only Almost Human features commentary, two actually, starting with the Italian DVD audio commentary by screenwriter Ernesto Gastaldi, moderated by Federico Caddeo in which he recalls the sociopolitical context in the aftermath of the 1968 protests, terrorism, and both right wing and left wing extremists, his opportunity to write something expressing his feelings about that after the success of The Violent Professionals, the use of the Milan setting for crime movies rather than Rome, describing some horror-tinged sequences as "cynical violence," the dynamics of the characters, Milian's improvisation, the futility of getting too detailed on writing sex scenes or action scenes and leaving that to the director, working with the Martinos, and comparing Lenzi and Sergio Martino as directors.

New to the set is an audio commentary by Mondo Digital's Nathaniel Thompson and Troy Howarth, author of "Make Them Die Slowly: The Kinetic Cinema of Umberto Lenzi" recall seeing the film in the context of Brenner's American version with its misleading horror campaign – noting that the artwork from The Golem used on the posters has a bewildering analogue in the Italian advertising for Sergio Martino's The Case of the Scorpion's Tail, the trailer of which name drops the film for some reason as a genre predecessor – composer Morricone's reworking of themes from earlier work and subsequently in The Untouchables and Lenzi blaming Morricone's wife for ending their working relationship over her supposed reaction to the film's violence, the sociopolitical aspects in the contrasting between Silva's model (for Lenzi) cop and Milian's "social totem" of the underclass (given more emphasis in the actor's improvisation than in the script itself), and Milian's transition from handsome sixties leading man to hard-living method actor who was taking various substances to stay in character.

In "Violent Milan" (29:01), director Lenzi discusses the rise of the mafia and the move from local crime to organized crime with the Marseilles gang taking over Milan, and how film depicts not gangsters but petty thieves driven to extremes by a paranoid and schizophrenic leader. He also reveals that Martino had originally proposed John Saxon for the lead but Lenzi felt he was too old, and that it was Lovelock who had been given the script and recommended band mate Milian for the lead.

Ported from the NoShame DVD is "Milian Unleashed" (25:50), an interview with Milian who reveals that he very insistent about who dubbed him in the Italian versions of his films until he won the Italian Oscar for Bernardo Bertolucci's La Luna in which he dubbed himself. He discusses the film and his character favorably but did feel that the film went too far in killing a child. While he is less gallant in discussing his sex scene with Strindberg, he does speak very proudly of his American co-stars from Silva to Jack Palance, as well as friend and band mate Lovelock as "an angel" both in the film and in real life. It is a very casual chat that could have used a moderator but still manages to be entertaining.

In "A History of Violence" (37:43), screenwriter Gastaldi recalls deciding after The Violent Professionals to write a film about "scoundrels" rather than underworld villains, the relative simplicity of plotting crime movies, especially when "Tomas Milian is the movie" and Lenzi is directing. He also recalls how his twenty year working relationship with the Martinos broke down after Luciano Martino apparently tried to sabotage his meeting with Sergio Leone about writing My Name is Nobody.

In "Italian-American Gangster" (5:30), actor Silva recalls liking his Italian films because the productions of them were more spontaneous and how he initially got over his qualms about them not shooting sync sound since he realized he could change or improve his line readings in the dubbing.

The disc closes with the English international trailer (3:23).

Syndicate Sadists' extras start with "First Blood" (8:04), an interview with Lenzi in which he recalls coming back from Spain after shooting Eyeball to discover that Almost Human was a huge success and that the Martinos wanted a follow-up. He describes the script by Mannino as a "mediocre crime thriller remake of A Fistful of Dollars" and very specifically as a "western disguised as a crime movie." He reveals that the original director Milian chose quit due to issues with him and being attracted to the project because of Cotten and his opportunity to ask him about Old Hollywood.

In "Family Affair" (17:13), actress Galli recalls having already worked with Lenzi on Knife of Ice and being friends with him, but primarily taking Syndicate Sadists because it allowed her to work with her son Cocco who had already appeared in La bellissima estate for producer Martino. She does not remember Milian favorably but does recall her misgivings about her son riding with him on a motorcycle with no helmet in the film.
In "Kidnapped" (27:02), Cocco himself recalls growing up with an actress mother, being exposed to several genres, seeing the film as an adventure, his admiration of Milian, and memories of Lenzi, the supporting cast, and the shoot.

The only interview in the set to be preceded by a disclaimer, "Interview with the Fascist" (24:17) features actor Bruno Di Luia (Blazing Flowers) who got into acrobatics and then stunt work, and how his looks got him plenty of bad guy roles – he's the thug who carries off Gianpiero during the opening kidnapping – before expounding on his proud fascism, his opinions on left-wingers, and some other opinions that justify the disclaimer.

The disc closes with the English international trailer (3:31).

Free Hand for a Tough Cop's extras start with "In the Asphalt Jungle" (3:46), in which director Lenzi describes the film as a "funny movie" and that Milian did indeed get the Rambo name from reading the recently-published "First Blood".

In "Tough Guy Corrado: A Look at the Career of Corrado Solari" (38:45), actor Solari recalls being considered for the role eventually played by Antoine St. John in Duck, You Sucker but was too young and was instead cast as one of Rod Steiger's sons, spends much time recalling his work on Elio Petri's The Working Class Goes to Heaven – a role which he got through Duck, You Sucker production manager Claudio Mancini – and his friendships with Petri and Volanté – a lot of which he also covered in his interview on Radiance Films' Blu-ray of the Petri film – with only a short time spent on working with Lenzi and Milian before discussing some of his other favorite filmmakers and actors with whom he worked.

In "The Father of Monnezza" (34:02), screenwriter Sacchetti recalls that the film was producer Ugo Tucci's attempt to branch out into the genre after the success of Duck, You Sucker, but that the difference in approaches between himself and Lenzi to the script lead to tension, especially when Milian leant towards his own interpretation leaning towards irony and humor.

In "Hand-Held Camera for a Tough Cinematographer" (15:40), cinematographer Nino Celeste whose work on I Cannibali was liked by Milian which lead to him being hired to shoot Lenzi's Violent Naples, but that he left the production after he was blamed for two shots that did not photograph only to discover that it was the fault of some old film stock Mancini bought from Leone that was expired. He won a lawsuit for it, but felt he could not continue on the film and was replaced by Luigi Kuveiller (A Quiet Place in the Countyr).

In "Making Movies" (12:10), producer Tucci recalls meeting Lenzi at a popular restaurant for filmmakers working at the Fono Roma sound stages, leading to the production of Spasmo, the need to dub Milian to give him a Roman dialect, and the casting of Silva for international sales.

The aforementioned extended bank robbery scene sourced from the original negative (3:27) that was integrated from a poor quality video source into the German Blu-ray but left out entirely from the British one is included here from the negative with English audio. It seems obvious that Severin chose to leave it out because the segment has vertical scratches, splice tape residue, and the source for the English audio is intelligible but riddled with hiss.

The disc closes out with the English international trailer (3:24).

Extras for The Cynic, the Rat and the Fist start off with "Merli vs. Milian" (4:18), an interview extract with Lenzi in which he recalls the tension between Merli and Milian – production stopped for two days after Milian actually kicked Merli and they got into real fight – Milian's fight with other actors on other films (including Gian Maria Volontè on Face to Face), Merli's imposition on the film by producers and Lenzi's assessment of Merli's acting abilities, and his decision to keep them separate during the shoot, including using body doubles for each of their reverse angles during the climax.

Two more Lenzi interviews are ported from the Italian DVD starting with "A Man of Action" (10:13) in which he discusses his preference for reality to fantasy and the action, war, and thriller genres, his fifties Hollywood filmmaking idols, his feelings about critics who impose political readings where there are none in his work, and the recent cult status of his old film. Also ported over is "Me, Milian and Merli" (19:33) in which he reveals that the original concept the Martinos handed to him was called "Together for a Big Robbery" and had the heist at the forefront, and his response to the concept and his decision to rework it as well as "steal" a title from Leone and subvert it with Milian's Chinaman as the cynic, Merli's cop as the rat, and Saxon's gangster as the fist.

In "The Writer, the Director and the Actor" (32:00), screenwriter Sacchetti recalls that his relationship with Lenzi broke down over their differing approaches to Free Hand for a Tough Cop and that his is credited because both he and colleague Gastaldi often wound up working on the same scripts at different time without knowing since the stories were developed by Luciano Martino and colleague Sauro Scavolini (American Rickshaw). He notes that unlike himself, Lenzi is unconcerned with the sociopolitical background of character, favoring the existential and that their approaches meshed best when he too was feeling a certain nihilism about the political situation of the period.

Finally, in "Here Comes the Fist" (8:37), actor Saxon recalls his surprise about fan familiarity with his Italian films, the new life given to those films by younger fans and a new generation of filmmakers, as well as his fleeting memories of the film including the golf ball scene.

The disc closes out with the English international trailer (3:41).

Brothers Till We Die's extras start with "Tomas and Tomas" (12:05) is an interview with director Lenzi that seems to be combined from two separate archival interviews as he discusses how he achieved the shots of Milian sharing the frame with this "twin" by way of a different interview about how he did the same with actress Helga Liné's dual role in Kriminal based on studying the twin effects in The Dark Mirror. He also reveals that he wrote the bulk of his own scripts and was rarely satisfied with ones written by others apart from Almost Human and The Violent Professionals, but that he gave credit to Milian for his improvised dialogue with a writing credit.

In "He Called Me 'The Tamer'" (19:28), editor Eugenio Alabiso (Torso) recalls meeting Lenzi through his brother Salvatore Alabiso who produced Orgasmo, and discusses how Lenzi shoots with the edit in mind but gave him the freedom of input, allowing him to "tame" Lenzi's action scenes when they would not cut together.

In "Music and Bullets" (19:32), composer Micalizzi discusses choosing instruments based on the tone of scenes, discovering the Clavinet keyboard in America and being one of the first to use one in Italy (having to have one shipped in from Austria), as well as his friendship with Lenzi.

Ported from the UK Blu-ray is "Heart of Rome" (18:51), an interview with composer Antonello Venditti – whose song "Sora Rosa" is referenced by Vincenzo during one of his monologues, recalls writing the song as a child, getting into music, and into artsy circles where he met Milian and Lou Castel (Fists in the Pocket), both of whom he greatly admired. He also discusses the subsequent song he wrote that was used thematically throughout Brothers Till We Die and how it tied thematically to "Sora Rosa."

The disc closes with the English international trailer (3:50).


The five discs are housed in black keep cases in a handsomely designed hard box. There are no reversible covers or booklets.


With Violent Streets, Severin Films brings us as definitive an overview of the Lenzi/Milian collaborations as possible given the rights issues with the other titles and their extras.


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