La Banda del Trucido – Dirty Ghini

Country: Italy
Genre: Poliziotteschi/ Action/ Comedy
Director: Stelvio Massi
Year: 1977

Rating: ★★★½☆


La Banda del Trucido aka Destruction Force starts out like a typical Italian Dirty Harry knockoff. In a pre-credit sequence, Commissario Ghini (Luc Merenda) deals with a trio of hostage takers in the typically hamfisted way we’re accustomed to while his boss does his best to appease the criminals.

Nothing wrong with that per se. These kinds of knockoffs live and die on the creativity and pizazz of the fights, shootouts, car chases and assorted mayhem the filmmakers come up with. And actually, director Stelvio Massi and the screenwriters (Elisa Briganti, Stelvio Massi, and Dardano Sacchetti) do a fair job of keeping the action and suspense elements engaging.

The main thread of the plot concerns arch criminal Belli (Elio Zamuto), who arrives in Rome for the purpose of robbing a jewel shipment, and he isn’t shy about killing anyone who gets in his way.

But La Banda del Trucido has an ace up its sleeve — the great Tomas Milian plays Monnezza, a small time hood who opened a restaurant after he got his girlfriend pregnant. Not to worry though, he keeps his hand in the game, giving lessons to the local juvenile delinquents on the finer points of purse snatching, lifting wallets, and snagging fur coats.

What does this have to do with anything? Well, since Monnezza used to be a big deal in the underworld, he’s the one to go to if you need a wheel man, which Belli does.

But forget about the plot for a minute. The biggest pleasure in La Banda del Trucido is watching Monnezza trash talk his customers and friends, spinning off endless memorably obscene patter. As usual, Tomas Milian is a total blast. And he’s totally responsible for the success of his character, too, because he wrote his own dialog.

La Banda del Trucido is a heck of a lot of fun, on both the action and comedy levels.

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