Euro Cult Movie Forum > Police & Crime

Emergency Squad / Squadra volante (Stelvio Massi, 1974)

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Tomas Milian, Ray Lovelock, Gastone Moshin

Milian plays Inspector Ravelli, an interpol agent who stalks the gang responsible for the daylight shooting of his wife who got in the way of a robbery. When bullet casings taken from a heist match those from the scene of his wife's murder, Ravelli identifies the leader as the "Marseilles" (Moshin from GODFATHER 2). Ravelli throws away his badge and hunts down the Marseilles and his gang.

The film is more character driven than most in this genre and Milian is quite good as the dour and embittered police inspector. He seems closed off from everyone else save for his girlfriend and his son who survived the earlier shooting. Milian delivers a strong, albeit emotional and quiet performance with occassional burst of brutality and even a lighter more comical side when he visits a hippie commune and mingles with the pot heads until the police arrive. Also Milian sports a small cigar for the entire picture but never lights it until the end.

Gastone Moshin is very good as the villain who, unlike other villains in these movies is more humanistic than usual. There are even some subtle editing techniques from director Stelvio Massi that link the protagonist and antagonist in character traits. Also the Marseilles devotion to his girlfriend is unusual for the typically mysogynistic attitude the bad guys have in these movies. The finale is handled quite well and is similar to a showdown in a spaghetti western.

Milian needs no introduction as he became a staple of these films with his most popular role in Italy being the COP IN BLUE JEANS series which spans 11 films and all directed by Bruno Corbucci if I am not mistaken. Milian moved to America in 1985 after finishing the final BLUE JEANS COP film.

Director Stelvio Massi directed some fine examples of the genre and this is one of them. Different in some areas it appears fresh and there are some nice touches done with the cinematography that help the movie stand out. Not recommended for newbies however, but once you have seen some of the more known titles, this one is a nice change of pace.

This DVD, as are all of No Shame's releases, is packed with special features. Massi's final interview before his death contains several humorous bits one refers to an american director who sent him a letter saying what a big fan he was of his movies but Massi could not remember the name. His wife chimes in- "Tarantino".

Another interview with Milian, a still gallery and a generous Massi gallery, there usual informative booklets that accompany the releases, trailers and a director's intro.

Here's the rundown on the special features,

STELVIO MASSI-THE LAST ROUND-Last interview with late director Massi
TOMAS' SQUAD-interview with Tomas Milian

All interviews are subbed but confusingly, you must select the italian track with subs to see them then go back into the menu and switch the english track on to watch the film that way. I wasn't able to use my remote to do it. Only one or two of the NoShame US DVDs I have enable me to use the remote. The Milian interview is already in english.

Stephen Grimes:
Another winner from Neo Publishing in France,this superbly designed digipack has Italian/French language options plus a 36min interview with Ray Lovelock and Stefania Casini(Marta Hayworth).

That's really nice! What's the Lovelock interview like? Is it exclusive to the Neo release or do you think it's been on another release?

Haven't seen this film for years, since I first got the Alan Young DVD to be precise.

Stephen Grimes:

--- Quote from: Jonny on 24 Jun 2008 - 14:07 ---What's the Lovelock interview like? Is it exclusive to the Neo release or do you think it's been on another release?

--- End quote ---
It's exclusive to this release and comes with French subs,i'll give it a watch later and report back.
Also the transfer looks great and alot better than the AYP release from a few years back which was one of the first Italian crime films released on disc.I still haven't got the NoShame version so i can't compare it to that.


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