John Charet’s Take On: Almost Human (1974)

Please note that the following may contain some spoilers so If you have not seen the film, I recommend not to continue reading from here.

Although some have implied that Almost Human ranks as the number one best poliziotteschi film ever, I am not too sure. Nevertheless, I do agree that it ranks as one of the many greatest ones. Almost Human (like many poliziotteschi entries made before and after it) may have been shot on a shoestring, but what it lacked in it’s budget, more than compensated with their truly gritty flavor.

In Milan, homicidal small-time thief Giulio Sacchi (Tomas Milian) aspires to get rich, so he hatches up a plan to kidnap the daughter (Laura Belli) of a wealthy businessman (Giudo Alberti). Using his girlfriend’s (Anita Strindberg) car as transportation, Sacchi then buys a bunch of guns from an old acquaintance (Pippa Starnazza). Simultaneously, Sacchi hires some hoods to execute the kidnapping. At first, Sacchi’s plan looks like a success, but as Inspector Walter Grandi (Henry Silva) and his team of cops begin to slowly put the pieces together, Sacchi loses his sanity and in the process, jeopardizes the lives of everyone around him.

I will not go any further with the plot from here, just watch for yourselves. As for Tomas Milian himself, he was robbed of an Oscar nomination for his electrifying performance here as the psychotic Giulio Sacchi. One minute he is quick-witted and then the next, suddenly incompetent. Speaking of the latter, check out the scenes featuring his mob boss Ugo Maione (Luciano Catenacci) beating the crap out of Sacchi for screwing up – can you really blame him? Perverted? Aside from the kidnapped girl, Sacchi rapes two women during that notorious home invasion sequence. Sadistic? Once again, read that last sentence. Murderous? He does not seem to mind killing his girlfriend, an old colleague or his own goons. Along with Malcolm McDowell’s Alex DeLarge in A Clockwork Orange, Milian’s Giulio Sacchi is truly bad to the bone. While not the scene-stealer that Milian is, veteran tough-guy actor Henry Silva offers excellent support as detective Walter Grandi, who credibly dishes out Dirty Harry Callahan-like justice.

* * * * (Out of * * * *) stars

Here is a youtube video link to what may be the film’s American trailer (released under the title The Death Dealer)

P.S. I also want to give a huge shout out to Steve (a fellow reader of this blog) for introducing me to this excellent film 🙂 If any of you readers are interested in watching his videos (and I am one of them), click here to view his youtube channel – great stuff indeed 🙂

My Favorite Lucio Fulci Films

* * * * (Out of * * * *)

1.   The Beyond (1981)

2.   Four of the Apocalypse (1975)

3.   Massacre Time (1966)

* * * 1/2 (Out of * * * *)

1.   Don’t Torture a Duckling (1972)

2.   A Lizard in a Woman’s Skin (1971)

3.   One on Top of the Other (1969)
(a.k.a. Perversion Story)

My Favorite Agnes Varda Films

* * * * (Out of * * * *)

1.   Faces Places (2017)
(co-directed with JR)
(Documentary)

2.   The Gleaners and I (2000)
(Documentary)

3.   Vagabond (1985)

4.   Daguerreotypes (1976)
(Documentary)

5.   Cleo from 5 to 7 (1962)

6.   Jacquot de Nantes (1991)
(I saw it on an old VHS tape)

7.   The Beaches of Agnes (2008)
(Documentary)

8.   Happiness (1965)
(no relation to the 1998 film)

9.   Cinevardaphoto (2004)
(Documentary)

10. Far from Vietnam (1967)
(co-directed with Joris Ivens, William Klein, Claude Lelouch, Jean-Luc Godard, Chris Marker and Alain Resnais)
(Documentary Anthology)

11. Mur murs (1981)
(Documentary)

12. La Pointe Courte (1955)

13. Jane B. for Agnes V. (1988)

14. Documenteur (1981)

15. One Sings, the Other Doesn’t (1977)
(I saw it on an old VHS tape)

16. Kung-Fu Master! (1988)

17. The World of Jacques Demy (1995)
(Documentary) 

18. The Young Girls Turn 25 (1993)
(Documentary)

19. The Gleaners and I: Two Years Later (2002)
(Documentary)

20. One Hundred and One Nights (1995)
(I saw it on an old VHS tape)

21. Lions Love (and… Lies) (1969)

* * * * (Out of * * * *) (Short Cinema)

1.   Cleo from 5 to 7: Remembrances and Anecdotes (2005)

2.   La cocotte d’azur (1958)
(Documentary Short)

3.   Ydessa, the Bears and etc. (2004)
(Documentary Short)

4.   Ulysse (1983)
(Documentary Short)

5.   Salut les Cubains (1971)
(Documentary Short)

6.   Along the Coast (1958)
(Documentary Short)

7.   Black Panthers (1968)
(Documentary Short)

8.   Uncle Yanco (1967)
(Documentary Short)

9.   The So-called Caryatids (1984)
(Documentary Short)

10. Elsa la rose (1966)
(Documentary Short)

11. 7p., cuis., s. de b., …a saisir (1984)

12. Diary of a Pregnant Woman (1962)

13. Women Reply (1975)
(Documentary Short)

14. You’ve Got Beautiful Stairs, You Know (1986)

15. Le lion volatil (2003)

16. The Pleasure of Love in Iran (1976)
(Documentary Short)

My Favorite Billy Wilder Films

* * * * (Out of * * * *)

1.   Avanti! (1972)

2.   Kiss Me, Stupid (1964)

3.   Some Like It Hot (1959)

4.   Ace in the Hole (1951)

5.   Sunset Boulevard (1950)

6.   Double Indemnity (1944)

7.   Fedora (1978)

8.   The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes (1970)

* * * 1/2 (Out of * * * *)

1.   Witness for the Prosecution (1957)

2.   The Major and the Minor (1942)

3.   Stalag 17 (1953)

4.   The Fortune Cookie (1966)

5.   One, Two, Three (1961)

6.   The Apartment (1960)

My Favorite Lina Wertmuller Films

* * * * (Out of * * * *)

1.   Seven Beauties (1975)

2.   Love & Anarchy (1973)

3.   Swept Away (1974)

4.   The Seduction of Mimi (1972)

* * * 1/2 (Out of * * * *)

1.   Ciao, Professore! (1992)

2.   All Screwed Up (1974)

3.   Ferdinando and Carolina (1999)

4.   Blood Feud (1978)
(I saw it on an old VHS tape)

5.   A Night Full of Rain (1978)

My Favorite Wim Wenders Films

* * * * (Out of * * * *)

1.   Kings of the Road (1976)

2.   Paris, Texas (1984)

3.   Alice in the Cities (1974)

4.   Wings of Desire (1987)

5.   The Wrong Move (1975)

6.   The American Friend (1977)

7.   The Goalie’s Anxiety at the Penalty Kick (1972)
(a.k.a. The Goalkeeper’s Fear of the Penalty)
(I saw it on an old VHS tape)

8.   Lightning Over Water (1980)
(co-directed with Nicholas Ray)
(Documentary)

9.   Beyond the Clouds (1995)
(co-directed with Michelangelo Antonioni)

* * * * (Out of * * * *) (Short Cinema)

1.   Ten Minutes Older (2002)
(Segment: “Twelve Miles to Trona”)

* * * 1/2 (Out of * * * *)

1.   The Salt of the Earth (2014)
(Documentary)

2.   Pina (2011)
(Documentary)

3.   Buena Vista Social Club (1999)
(Documentary)

4.   The Soul of a Man (2003)
(Documentary)
(Episode of PBS’s “The Blues”)
(TV Documentary miniseries)

5.   Notebook on Cities and Clothes (1989)
(Documentary)

My Favorite Orson Welles Films

* * * * (Out of * * * *)

1.   Chimes at Midnight (1965)

2.   F for Fake (1973)

3.   Othello (1951)

4.   The Magnificent Ambersons (1942)

5.   The Trial (1962)

6.   The Lady from Shanghai (1947)

7.   Touch of Evil (1958)

8.   Citizen Kane (1941)

9.   The Other Side of the Wind (2018)

10. Mr. Arkadin (1955)

11. Filming Othello (1978)
(Documentary)
(Television)

12. The Immortal Story (1968)
(Television) 

13. Macbeth (1948)

14. The Stranger (1946)

* * * * (Out of * * * *) (Short Cinema)

1.   The Fountain of Youth (1956)
(I watched it on youtube)
(Television)

2.   Around the World with Orson Welles (1955)
2a. Episode: “Pays Basque I (The Basque Country)”
2b. Episode: “Pays Basque II (La Pelote basque)”
2c. Episode: “Revisiting Vienna” (a.k.a. “The Third Man Returns to Vienna”)
2d. Episode: “St. -Germain-des-Pres”
2e. Episode: “Chelsea Pensioners”
2f. Episode: “Madrid Bullfight”
(Television)

Note: In case any of you readers are interested, Netflix is going to premier Orson Welles last film The Other Side of the Wind (1972-1976) in November (November 2, 2018). The film can best be described as both completed and uncompleted (read here for more info). Here is the link to the trailer in case any of you readers are interested below 🙂

My Favorite Lars von Trier Films

* * * * (Out of * * * *) 

1.   Dogville (2003)

2.   Melancholia (2011)

3.   Dancer in the Dark (2000)

4.   Breaking the Waves (1996)

5.   Antichrist (2009)

6.   The Kingdom (1994-1997)
(Danish TV miniseries)

7.   The Idiots (1998)

8.   The Five Obstructions (2003)
(Documentary)

9.   Europa (1991)
(no relation to Europa Europa)

10. Manderlay (2005)

11. Medea (1988)
(Danish TV Film)

12. Nymphomaniac (2013)

13. The Element of Crime (1984)

14. The Boss of It All (2006)

15. Epidemic (1987)

16. The House That Jack Built (2018)

My Favorite Luchino Visconti Films

* * * * (Out of * * * *)

1.   The Leopard (1963)

2.   Senso (1954)

3.   Death in Venice (1971)

4.   Rocco and His Brothers (1960)

5.   Bellissima (1951)

6.   La Terra Trema (1948)

7.   White Nights (1957)

8.   Ossessione (1943)

9.   Ludwig (1972)

10. Conversation Piece (1974)

11. The Damned (1969)

12. The Innocent (1976)

13. The Stranger (1967)
(I watched it on youtube)

14. Sandra (1965)
(I watched it on youtube)

* * * * (Out of * * * *) (Short Cinema)

1.   Boccaccio ’70 (1962)
(Segment: “Il Lavoro”)
(Anthology Film)

My Favorite Jacques Tati Films

* * * * (Out of * * * *)

1.   Playtime (1967)

2.   Parade (1974)

3.   Monsieur Hulot’s Holiday (1953)

4.   Jour de Fete (1949)

5.   Mon Oncle (1958)

6.   Trafic (1971)

* * * * (Out of * * * *) (Short Cinema)

1.   Forza Bastia (1978/2002)
(finished by Sophie Tatischeff)
(Documentary)

2.   School for Postmen (1947)

3.   Gai dimanche (1935)
(co-directed with Jacques Berr)