This movie is like a men’s adventure pulp novel come to life. It works, and fans of the genre should appreciate it.
A tough cop gets demoted for his tactics, and then he’s transferred to another district altogether, but one thing remains: He’s the best at what he does.
Homicide detective Olmi (Maurizio Merli) is on a case where a teen girl is found murdered by a river, which leads to another murdered teen, a boy who was the murdered girl’s boyfriend. The leads take him to a rich teen whose bigwig father might’ve had the two teenagers killed, but when he gets a judge to serve a warrant for the bigwig, the facts later come out that Olmi slapped the man’s son around for a confession, which throws the whole case into debate with the press and the authorities, who then demote Olmi for his excessive force tactics. He doesn’t care: He’s put in the emergency squad, which he’s just as good at, and even more lethal. In one instance, he’s chasing down a bunch of terrorists who are speeding away in a getaway van, and Olmi – in a helicopter – shoots them all dead one by one as they try scrambling and scattering away. The press eats it up and declares him a menace to society for shooting first and asking questions later, and so he’s transferred out of town altogether. On his first day in the small town, he’s spooked by a sound in an alleyway and he turns and shoots without a split second’s hesitation and he realizes he’s just killed a completely innocent bystander. He covers it up and moves on, but his conscience picks and nags at him and he sets his gun in a drawer and lets his subordinates do the shooting instead. Olmi is now the chief inspector of a Podunk town, but he has respect now, and he also gains a girlfriend (played by Olga Karlatos), a beautiful schoolteacher who puts some pep in his step. He stumbles into a smuggling case that might upend the entire seaside town, and as he gets closer to the top of the smuggling chain, he’s forced to pick up his gun again to save his girlfriend and a bunch of kids at her school when the smugglers get desperate and take hostages.
A pretty good Italian action film in the vein of many other hardboiled detective / renegade cop movies from the region during the mid-late ’70s, Convoy Busters has a great lead in Merli, who looks a lot like Franco Nero to me with his blonde locks and neatly trimmed mustache. The guy looks good on camera and was comfortable with the physicality the role required of him. This movie is like a men’s adventure pulp novel come to life. It works, and fans of the genre should appreciate it. From director Stelvio Massi.
Relatively new boutique label Cauldron Films has been putting out some interesting titles over the past few years, lots of under-the-radar genre films, including some choice Italian titles, including this one. Their treatment is top notch, with a 2K restoration from the negative, an interview with Merli, a commentary, other interviews and features, plus all the usual trailers and still galleries. Check out what Cauldron is up to because I have a feeling they’re going to be around awhile and will be competing with the bigger labels like Vinegar Syndrome, Synapse, and Arrow for years to come.