LA BANDA DEL GOBBO 1976- aka THE BAND & THE HUNCHBACK (literal translation) aka BROTHERS TILL WE DIE
Tomas Milian (dual role as Vincenzo & Monnezza), Nino Pazzafini, Sal Borgese
Vincenzo, a hunchback, plans a robbery of an armored police van with his gang. Once the job is pulled, his gang attempt to kill him and the band absconds with the loot. Vincenzo hides in the sewers before looking up his loony friend Monezza whom the police later interrogate for his involvement with vincenzo. Meanwhile, Vincenzo goes about getting revenge on his gang by knocking them off one at the time in various brutal fashion. He locks one in a freezer, lures Borgese away before putting a big hole in his head and greets one of them in the dentist office and performs some surgery with a big drill among other things.
The movie is very different from Lenzi's other cop movies. Humor is prevalent here often times somewhat dark. Milian owns this movie and is apparently playing characters from previous movies. Monnezza from LA BANDA DEL TRUCIDA and Vincenzo I assume from ROMA A MANO ARMATA. I do not speak Italian but understand some of it. Some of the scenes are quite humorous what I could make out. One involves Monnezza scarfing down lots of cigarettes as the police close in. He is taken into custody and upon being taken into an interrogation room, he sees a hippy and assumes it's Jesus come to take him away. There is even a line referring to a Claudia Cardinale movie!
It would be really interesting to know everything that is being said, but from what I gathered, some of the humor would be lost in translation. Another funny bit involves Monnezza inside a mental institution.
As a movie, the film is very average. There is very little action and in these scenes it would appear that Lenzi had little to no time to pull off convincing set pieces. The sole reason to watch is of course Milian. And not just one Milian performance but two. Also, it is most unusual to see a Lenzi Crime movie, much less a Lenzi movie period that features very little violence and what there is is often times offscreen anyways. The final battle between the crooks and the police is done well enough to make up for the shortcomings in the other brief action bits. The final scene with Vincenzo escaping on a bridge only to have a black cat cross his path proves hauntingly poetic.
This DVD from Federal Video is very good quality and the film has obviously been remastered. Recommended only for Milian's double performance and those that don't mind watching a movie in which they cannot totally understand the language.