"Almost Human" is the best known of the "poliziotesschi", or Italian crime films, made by the highly respected Umberto Lenzi. It's a crackling story that travels far on the unholy magnetism of its unbalanced villain, and it's also a story with its fair share of dark twists and turns. The action scenes are first-rate, and the script (by the prolific Ernesto Gastaldi) keeps one absorbed, wondering when, or if, our antagonist will ever receive his comeuppance.
Tomas Milian stars as Giulio Sacchi, a low life criminal who never passes up an opportunity to make some money - or spread some blood around. He actually has a girlfriend (Anita Strindberg),and while sitting with her one day he gets the bright idea: kidnap his girls' boss' daughter for a hefty ransom. He seems to be one step ahead of the law the entire time, although a determined police inspector (Henry Silva) does soon pick up his trail.
Mean-spiritedness prevails in this interesting, effectively violent film, and it's never more interesting than when it follows the activities of the piece of scum at the story's centre. Milian is a force of nature to behold here, having no regard at all for human life and fixated on that "big score" that will make him an insanely rich man. It's something of a treat to see Silva as the good guy who will ultimately work outside the law to see justice done, although truth be told, he's often been at his best when playing roles similar to Milians'.
Punctuated by the typically grandiose talents of composer Ennio Morricone, "Almost Human" is very, very good of its kind. You won't believe what depravities Giulio will be capable of from scene to scene; in particular, that moment in the country manor will definitely drive that point home.
You may not like Giulio Sacchi, but you may find him fascinating as he sometimes just can't control himself from his most vile intentions.
Seven out of 10.
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Guilio Sacchi, an underworld crime boss, is about to rise above the rank of Mafia hitman to the most savage killer in Milan. He kidnaps the daughter of a wealthy businessman, planning to live a life of luxury with the ransom he collects. In the course of obtaining the money, Guilio finds it necessary to mercilessly slaughter anyone who gets in his way, and the city's death toll increases by the minute. Walter Grandi is a frustrated police chief who's seen too many innocent people die by Guilio's hands. Determined to exterminate Guilio and his men, Grandi attempts to convict the vicious criminal only to realize he can never obtain the necessary proof. Finally, Grandi must transgress the rules of his profession to stop Sacchi's ruthless reign of terror.
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