Written by: Michael Den Boer on March 28th, 2006
Theatrical Release Date: Italy, 1974
Director: Enzo G. Castellari
Writers: Massimo De Rita, Arduino Maiuri
Cast: Franco Nero, Giancarlo Prete, Barbara Bach, Renzo Palmer
DVD released: April 25th, 2006
Approximate running time: 103 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono English
DVD Release: Blue Underground
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $19.95
Synopsis: Carlo Antonelli (Franco Nero) is brutally beaten and kidnapped thugs robbing a bank. Later after he has been let go the police inform him that there is nothing they can do since he is unable to find any of the men via police mug shots. Angered by the police’s willingness to not purse the matter Carlo takes matters into his own hands. Carlo quickly establishes contacts on the street who lead him to the men his is looking of and when he calls the police informing them of their whereabouts someone tips them off before the police are able to get their. Carlo is no more enraged then before now knows he can trust no one not even the law as he becomes a one man death squad who is hell bent on carrying out justice on his own terms.
When one thinks of action cinema in Italy the name Enzo G. Castellari instantly springs to mind with his slow motion operas of violence. Castellari does action like no one does except may be Hong Kong’s John Woo. The scene that most defines Castellari’s style is when Carlo is being chased by a thug in car who is trying to run him down. The action is beautifully captured in Castellari’s trademark slow motion photography which is accentuated at the end of the scene when Carlo swings a shovel through the windshield and hits his purser dead on in the face.
Castellari approaches the Italian crime genre the same way he approached the western genre only with the cops verse robbers now in a more modern setting then the old west. The car chases and stunts performed in this film are impressive. The action is fast and furious as the blood flows at a steady pace. The films final shoot out in a warehouse is one of the most impressive ending in any action film.
Franco Nero who usually plays the tough guy role starts off playing a character with non backbone convincingly. His character Carlo does evolve in the prototype Nero bad ass character. This film has a solid supporting cast with Euro-cult regulars like Giancarlo Prete, Barbara Bach and Renzo Palmer. It is interesting just how much things haven’t changed through the years as the plot has many instances in which the police treat victims worse then the criminals who committed the crimes. Guido and Maurizio De Angelis score is outstanding with the center piece being the brilliant theme song “Goodbye Friend”. Overall Street Law is a well made Death Wish clone.
Blue Underground presents Street Law in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the films original 1.85:1 aspect ratio. This DVD is flagged for progressive scan and grain is kept to a minimum. Colors look dead on and there is an exceptional amount of detail present in every frame. The source martial used for this transfer must have been flawless since this transfer looks incredible.
This release comes with only one audio option an English language track which is presented in a Dolby Digital mono. Dialog is razor sharp and the action sounds full as it explodes off the screen. There are no problems with hiss or distortion.
Extras for this release include a T.V. spot and theatrical trailer for Street Law. Other extras include a featurette titled “Laying down the Law” which runs about seventeen minutes in length and has interviews with Franco Nero and Enzo C. Castellari. They both discuss in depth Street Law and High Crime. Rounding out the extras is an audio commentary with Enzo C. Castellari, Andrea Castellari and moderated by Bill Lustig. Enzo dominates most of the conversation as he goes into great detail about the making of Street Law and the various techniques he used in the film. Overall Street Law finally gets released in America and Blue Underground gives it the Special edition DVD it truly deserves.