Directed by Umberto Lenzi
Written by Vincenzo Mannino
Produced by Luciano Martino
Music by Franco Micalizzi
Cast: Tomas Milian, Femi Benussi, Joseph Cotten, Maria Fiore, Mario Piave, Luciano Catenacci, Guido Alberti, Luciano Pigozzi & Shirley Corrigan

1975/92 mins/Color/Mono
2.35:1 anamorphic/English/Italy/NTSC Region 1

Review of the Media Blasters DVD

Seven years before Vietnam vet Sylvester Stallone drew FIRST BLOOD in Ted Kotcheff's film, Milian plays Rambo, an ex-cop who seeks revenge against two powerful crime families who were responsible for the murder of his friend who was investigating the kidnapping of a young boy.

The team of Umberto Lenzi and Tomas Milian (one of my all time favorite actor) teamed again for this explosive 1975 poliziotteschi film. The film came to be just after Tomas Milian happened to read David Morrell's novel while flying from the U.S. to Rome. Loving the story he tried to talk some Italian producers in making a movie out of it, with him starring as John Rambo but nothing happened. He then decided to use the name Rambo in his next film as a a super-cool full-bearded bad-ass drifter.

The storyline of this film, in which the anti-hero plays two criminal gangs against each other, is derived from that of Sergio Leone's milestone A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS, which itself was inspired by Akiro Kurosawa's masterpiece YOJIMBO. A similar storyline was used in several other Spaghetti Westerns, most notably Sergio Corbucci's DJANGO; With this film, Umberto Lenzi takes it to modern-day Milan. The film is also known as FINAL PAYMENT (Canada), ONE JUST MAN (Europe) and RAMBO'S REVENGE (USA dubbed version).

The film is presented in its original 2.35:1 aspect ratio and it is an anamorphic. The image isn't that impressive as there is lots of print damage and the colours are soft but it is still watchable. We only get a English dubbed audio track which is ok at best. It would have been welcomed to have the original Italian track with English subtitles available. There's an interesting 8 minutes interview with director Umberto Lenzi, a photo gallery, and trailers for MAN FROM DEEP RIVER, ALL THE COLORS OF THE DARK, DUCK! THE CARBINE HIGH MASSACRE and LIZARD IN A WOMAN'S SKIN. The film is separated in 12 chapters stop and features static menus with music. Surprisingly, the cover and menu image of a guy terrorising a chained, half-naked couple with a blowtorch simply never happens in the film.

(Original title: Il giustiziere sfida la città)





This Film Features:

Review by Kim Dubuisson. All Right Reserved. 2009. ©

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