Street Law 1974 ***

A good example of an exploitation movie with ideas above its station, Enzo G Castellari’s 1974 film features Franco Nero as scientist Carlo who gets caught up in a bank-robbery and taken hostage. When the police fail to deal with matters to his satisfaction, he embarks on a complex revenge plot. Rather than just hunt his captors down, he engages in a cat-and-mouse game, setting them up and planting evidence; it’s a demonstration of the film-makers skill that Nero’s character doesn’t actually kill anyone until the extended shoot-out in the final scene. The point is that ordinary citizens are ill-equipped to take on criminals; Nero gives a huge performance as he switches from mild-mannered man to crazed killer, and Barbara Bach provides surprisingly demure support as his domestic goddess. The inspiration of William Lustig’s Vigilante, Street Law is a tough thriller with patience and righteous anger.


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