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Rome Armed To The Teeth (1976)

Umberto Lenzi sends supremely angry cop Maurizio Merli flying around Rome beating and shooting the shit out of every criminal in the city on his hunt for Tomas Milian’s ‘machine gun carrying hunch-banked psychotic killer.’

This is a ripper of a Poliziotteschi film, full of rough violence (physical and sexual in a particularly brutal scene) and riding on a wave of pure angry energy that Merli brings to the film. He’s the sort of cop that walks out a building & immediately sees the crim he’s looking for or drives past a robbery & gets involved (very Lethal Weapon). He’s a seething mess of masculine anger that will do anything to get his man, constantly arguing with his superiors, his girlfriend and pretty much everyone who gets in his way.

There’s a bar fight where he beats the crap out of a room full of young punks and you completely buy it. The car chases are thrillingly dangerous, even though they are clearly sped up. Plus there’s a scene where Merli crawls into a bank hostage situation through the air vents (hello Die Hard).

Milian is a great opposite to Merli as the killer who happily sprays a crowd of people with bullets and kills a man who refuses to touch his hump (for luck!) Lenzi and his lead actors are on fire, the action is great and the score is reliably dirty & funky.

4 lucky humps out of 5

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