Probably a “What not to do” lesson in kidnapping.
Almost Human (1974)
Directed By: Umberto Lenzi (Cannibal Ferox)
I must be honest, before now I had never heard of, Almost Human. But thanks to our friends in the UK at Shameless Screen Entertainment, they are bringing us a very lovely transfer of the film on DVD! And like I’ve pointed out about Shameless films before, they are region free! So you can enjoy this title from anywhere you are located. And what a strange little film it is. It’s rugged and grimy crime film from the year of 1974. Imported from Italy and originally given a title I can’t pronounce, Almost Human gives us some pretty new and shocking stuff for the year of 1974. So, if you are a fan of crime films and foreign films, I think you will be right at home when it comes to this one.
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 move along you really want to see Guilio get his.
You might think a crime film of this nature would be right down my alley. 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. And 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. But 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.
But none the less the story does drag on a bit, and there is moments of some rather cool 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 it’s nature, you have to admit a kid being killed wasn’t something you could see everyday in 1974 in a film. So while you could say the film overall wasn’t personally my cup of tea, I could see where a lot of people could really get a lot more from this film than I did. In it’s 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.
It’s above average in my humble opinion but still a little lacking. Of course I’m talking strictly on the movie it’s self, the DVD release from Shameless is great as always and packs plenty of cool features. So, if you want to take a chance on this one, you can get it HERE and I suggest you take a look at these guys and what they have, because they have some awesome DVDs and Blu-rays.
The Rating (6/10)