Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Convoy Busters - 2.5/5

Fans of Italian cinema know that any film with Maurizio Merli can't be all that bad. This man has a charisma and screen presence to him that can't be rivaled...well maybe only by the presence of Franco Nero. You can't help but go along with anything this man does on screen. Still even with Maurizio Merli as the main star doesn't make Convoy Busters a great poliziotteschi film. Compared to his other poliziotteschi gems of his like Violent Naples, Rome Armed to the Teeth and The Cynic the Rat and the Fist, Convoy Busters comes out being one of his weakest (and last) outings in the genre.

Merili here plays his typical Dirty Harry type come who has extreme methods when it comes to upholding the law. When he connects a high political figure's son to a killing he then gets reassigned to a different precinct. While being head honcho at the new station he stumbles upon illegal smuggling of weapons. He also finds time for love with the beautiful actress Olga Karlatos (best known for the eye-ball scene in "Zombie").

Director Stelvio Massi keeps the film moving at a brisk pace with some great action and a few bitch-slapping scenes (for which Merli is famous for) but the film is oddly structured. There's a lot of twists and turns that don't finish the plot of the previous section. The film is like two different movies with Merli not tying up events from the first half. This is a shame as most viewers will feel somewhat cheated by the end. I sure did.

Overall Merli still makes this movie extremely watchable. Merli oozes machoism and toughness from start to finish making this film a must for fans of poliziotteschi films as well as American fodder like Dirty Harry. It's just a shame the film didn't come out a little better. Ironically this is the only Merli film to have an official DVD release in the United States despite the fact it is one of his lesser outings. I also do not get the newly christened title Convoy Busters. There were no convoys in the film and it just shows the further confusion of Italian title translations.

Written By Eric Reifschneider

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