Story: After he kills a criminal at a large scale drug bust, Inspector Vanni (Marcel Bozzuffi) finds himself locked in some kind of sick game with someone known as Black Angel (Ivan Rassimov). Black Angel is determined to revisit the violence Vanni engaged in and turn the tables, making the lawman feel the loss this time around. As it happens, Black Angel is the brother of the gunned down drug dealer and soon he takes a drastic step in his vengeance plot, invading Vanni’s personal home and killing his wife, leaving the cop a widow. Even as his life breaks around him, Vanni remains focused and plans to get justice for his wife and bring down Black Angel for good. He gains permission to create a new, elite unit of officers, armed to the teeth, to take on the toughest, most violent criminals around. But can he get justice, even with the Colt 38: Special Squad by his side?
Entertainment Value: Now this was a fun movie, a cops vs. mobsters action movie with all kinds of the 70s grit and practical stunts you’d hope to see. The narrative isn’t all that fresh, but it suits the genre and allows for the barrage of action and violence that follows, while also giving us some interesting characters to follow. That is one of Colt 38: Special Squad’s strongest assets, as the movie remains fun to watch even in the slower, non action driven sequences, whereas some crime thrillers tend to taper off somewhat between set pieces. But the film certainly delivers on those set pieces too, with some well crafted action scenes that really spike the flow of the picture and provide some real thrills. The car chases are are well done and have some harrowing moments at times, made all the more hair raising knowing this was all done with practical stunts and effects. You can do a lot with digital effects, but there is so much more suspension of disbelief with the practical stunts, especially in this genre, where the car set pieces are a tentpole element. You also have frequent, wild shootouts, foot chases, fist fights, and more, so there is a good amount of action in this one. I had great fun with Colt 38: Special Squad and would recommend it anyone looking for a good crime/action flick.
I appreciated the cast here a lot and the interesting characters they’re given, which lead to some fun performances. Ivan Rassimov is quite the villain in this one, in a mean and downright cruel kind of character who unleashes a wealth of violence on the general public. Rassimov plays the role in a chill, ice cold type fashion, which makes sense, given the horrific things Black Angel does while showing no real signs of remorse. He has good screen presence as usual and really crafts an interesting character, one that adds so much to the overall picture. Also good is Marcel Bozzuffi as Rassimov’s foil, the weary police officer hot on Black Angel’s trail. Bozzuffi brings a sense of toughness to the role, which is needed for sure in this case, while also having a vulnerable aspect. You can tell Inspector Vanni feels tread upon by all he has seen and done in law enforcement, as he carries that weight in the mannerisms and facial expressions shown by Bozzuffi here. The cast also includes Carole Andre, Riccardo Salvino, and Antonio Marsina, while Massimo Dallamano served in the director’s chair.