Almost Human (1974) (Shameless Numbered Edition) (Blu-ray Review)
Directed By: Umberto Lenzi
Starring: Tomas Milian, Henry Silva, Laura Belli
Rated: 18/Region B/Widescreen/1080p/Number of Discs 1
Available from Shameless Screen Entertainment
Guilio Sacchi (Tomas Milian) is a small-time hood disillusioned with the crime syndicate for which he works. Looking to make some big money fast, he and some friends kidnap the beautiful Marilù (Laura Belli), the daughter of a billionaire and demand 500 million Lira as ransom. However, hot on his heels is Inspector Grandi (Henry Silva) a hardened cop who only becomes more hell-bent on catching Guilio and his gang with each corpse he finds! Director Lenzi reflects on the “Years of Lead” in Italy, a time when terrorists caused chaos and police action was judged as deficient.
Well, one thing that should catch your eye as you watch this is the performance of Tomas Milian. His role of Guilio Sacchi is a memorable one and a very entertaining one. You could even go as far as to say he is the highlight of the film, as he brings this scum of a character to life. I wouldn’t call any of the acting in the film bad at all, but I think he just sticks out above everyone else. You believe his character is just as twisted and evil as he is supposed to be here. And that always helps making the watching of something more enjoyable. And as the movie moves along, you really want to see Guilio get his. You might think a crime film of this nature would be right down my alley and if you are thinking that you are totally right. Naked women are hung from the ceiling, people are gunned down at the drop of a hat, and even innocent kids find themselves feeling the wrath of our criminals here. For the most part, I did enjoy what I saw in a lot of areas. But I thought some of it was just a little too slow, and I think there’s no real connection to any of the other characters on the screen. We have our bad guys and Guilio really does stand out for the reasons listed before, but the rest of the characters are well acted. They just don’t seem to connect with me. I think the story could have had a lot bigger of an impact if more time was at least spend making you care for the girl they kidnapped here just a bit more. That being said, the movie is still a really solid and fun one.
Some of the more crazy moments of this one end up standing out as more of the film’s highlights. I don’t know about you guys, but I’ve never seen people hung from a ceiling like in this film before. And while not really graphic in its nature, you have to admit a kid being killed wasn’t something you could see every day in 1974 in a film. So while you could say the film overall might not be everyone who sees its cup of tea, I could see where a lot of people could really get a lot more from this film than others if we just look at what it accomplishes. In its defense, at least parts of the story are unpredictable and it has a very nice ending that I liked a lot. So, while I didn’t love it, I’d still say it was an above average film for sure. It also looks good as you can see and has some nice extras that I’ve listed below. If you want to check it out you better not delay. As the numbers on the back of the case show, we only have 3,000 of these out there.
– Brand New Interview with Director Umberto Lenzi
– Milian Unleash: An Interview with Tomas Milian
– Period Interview with Umberto Lenzi, Star Ray Lovelock, and writer Ernesto Gastaldi
– Both English and Italian Audio with Subtitles
Quality of Transfer: 93%