Severin Brings Out The Big Guns With Violent Streets: The Lenzi/Milian Collection

On January 31st, Severin Films unleashes two definitive action releases: Violent Streets: The Umberto Lenzi/Tomas Milian Collection includes ALMOST HUMAN, SYNDICATE SADISTS, FREE HAND FOR A TOUGH COP, THE CYNIC, THE RAT AND THE FIST and BROTHERS TILL WE DIE. January also brings the North American debut of the 1981 Australian action classic ATTACK FORCE Z, starring Mel Gibson, Sam Neill and John Phillip Law.

VIOLENT STREETS: THE UMBERTO LENZI / TOMAS MILIAN COLLECTION: Italian director Umberto Lenzi had recently completed a landmark string of kinky gialli with Hollywood outcast Carroll Baker. Cuban-born/Actor’s Studio-trained Tomas Milian had become one of Spaghetti Westerns’ most popular stars. But when these two notoriously mercurial talents came together for a series of shocking Poliziotteschi – reactionary crime films that reflected the political and sociocultural violence of 1970s Italy – they grabbed audiences by the throat, gunned down the conventions of the genre and changed the emotional velocity of action cinema forever. This collection presents Lenzi & Milian’s five greatest collaborations, now restored uncut and uncensored from the original negatives for the first time ever. 


ALMOST HUMAN: Released in Italy under the title MILANO ODIA: LA POLIZIA NON-PUÒ SPARARE (MILAN HATES: THE POLICE CAN’T SHOOT), this first collaboration between director Umberto Lenzi and star Tomas Milian remains both “a degenerate treat” (Mondo Digital) and “definitive Eurocrime” (DVD Talk): When a small-time criminal (a fearless performance by Milian) kidnaps a wealthy industrialist’s daughter, he’ll trigger a depraved spree of class warfare, sexual violence, mass murder and the rage of a police commissioner (Henry Silva) determined to end the carnage. Anita Strindberg (YOUR VICE IS A LOCKED ROOM…) and Ray Lovelock (LIVE LIKE A COP, DIE LIKE A MAN) co-star in “one of the peaks of the genre” (Indiewire) written by Ernesto Gastaldi (ALL THE COLORS OF THE DARK) with a classic score by Ennio Morricone, now scanned uncut from the original negative.


SYNDICATE SADISTS: In their second collaboration – released in Italy as IL GIUSTIZIERE SFIDA LA CITTÀ (THE VIGILANTE CHALLENGES THE CITY) – Tomas Milian stars as a biker named Rambo (the actor borrowed the name from David Morrell’s 1972 novel First Blood) who avenges a friend’s murder by orchestrating a war between rival crime families. Director Umberto Lenzi and screenwriter Vincenzo Mannino (HOUSE ON THE EDGE OF THE PARK) pack the running time with a barrage of beatings, shootings, kidnappings and chases that raised the bar for ‘70s EuroCrime and “put modern action flicks to shame” (DVD Drive-In). Luciano Catenacci (KILL, BABY… KILL!), Femi Benussi (BLOODY PIT OF HORROR) and Joseph Cotten (CITIZEN KANE) co-star in this “non-stop exciting thriller” (European Trash Cinema) – also released as ONE JUST MAN and RAMBO’S REVENGE – now scanned uncut from the original negative.


FREE HAND FOR A TOUGH COP: Following THE TOUGH ONES, this fourth collaboration between director Umberto Lenzi and star Tomas Milian – released as IL TRUCIDO E LO SPIRRO (THE CROOK AND THE COP) – introduced Milian’s iconic character of ‘Monnezza’ and served as the unacknowledged template for 48 HOURS: When a scheming convict (Milian) is sprung from prison by a hard-nosed cop (Claudio Cassinelli of WHAT HAVE THEY DONE TO YOUR DAUGHTERS?), they’ll team up to hunt down Monnezza’s former crime partner (Henry Silva) who’s kidnapped a critically ill child. Robert Hundar (CUT-THROATS NINE), Nicoletta Machiavelli (NO WAY OUT) and a murderer’s row of EuroCrime’s most recognizable character actors co-star in this “classic politziottesco packed full of fun action” (Starburst) co-written by Lenzi and Dardano Sacchetti (THE BEYOND), now scanned in 2K from the original negative. 



THE CYNIC, THE RAT AND THE FIST: For their penultimate collaboration, Umberto Lenzi and producer Luciano Martino (EATEN ALIVE!) brought together Tomas Milian as a cold-blooded crime boss known as ‘The Chinaman,’ John Saxon as a sadistic American mobster looking for his own piece of the action and Maurizio Merli as hot-headed rogue cop Leo Tanzi – first introduced in Lenzi’s THE TOUGH ONES – gunning for them both. Renzo Palmer (STREET LAW) and Gabriella Lepori (5 WOMEN FOR THE KILLER) co-star in this “fantastic piece of Italian genre cinema and a definitive statement to the craftsmanship of Lenzi” (Cinezilla) co-written by Lenzi, Dardano Sacchetti (THE NEW YORK RIPPER) and Ernesto Gastaldi (ALL THE COLORS OF THE DARK) featuring an oft-sampled score by Franco Micalizzi (DEATH PROOF, DJANGO UNCHAINED), now scanned uncut in 2K from the original negative. 


BROTHERS TILL WE DIE: For their final collaboration, Umberto Lenzi directs his own razor-sharp screenplay while Tomas Milian delivers a brilliant dual performance reprising the roles of scheming lowlife Sergio ‘Er Monnezza’ Marazzi from FREE HAND FOR A TOUGH COP as well as his twin brother, hunchbacked sociopath Vincenzo ‘Il Gobbo’ Marazzi from THE TOUGH ONES. With Milian providing his own characters’ dialogue, it’s a potent odyssey of trans prostitutes, armed robberies, double crosses, randy Albanians, angry cops, insane asylums and some of the most startling pathos and politics in the history of the genre. Isa Danieli (SWEPT AWAY), Guido Leontini (EMERGENCY SQUAD) and Solvi Stubing (STRIP NUDE FOR YOUR KILLER) co-star in the long-unseen Lenzi/Milian swansong, now scanned uncut in 2K from the original negative. 


ATTACK FORCE Z: In one of his earliest film roles, two-time Academy Award ® winner Mel Gibson stars with Sam Neill (JURASSIC PARK) and John Phillip Law (DANGER: DIABOLIK) in the true story of Z Special Force, WWII’s top-secret Pacific commando unit: When an American fighter jet crashes on an island held by the Japanese, a five-man Z Force assault team launches a daring mission of courage, carnage and desperate jungle warfare to rescue the survivors. Chris Haywood (RAZORBACK), John Waters (BREAKER MORANT) and Sylvia Chang (the MAD MISSION series) co-star in the complete version of this 1981 Australia/Taiwan co-production directed by Ozploitation veteran Tim Burstall (ALVIN PURPLE), written by Roger Marshall (AND NOW THE SCREAMING STARTS) and edited by David Stiven (THE ROAD WARRIOR), scanned in 2K from the original negative at The National Film and Sound Archive of Australia. 


___________________________________________________________________


Special Features for Almost Human:

  • Audio Commentary With Screenwriter Ernesto Gastaldi
  • Audio Commentary With Mondo Digital's Nathaniel Thompson And Troy Howarth, Author Of Make Them Die Slowly: The Kinetic Cinema of Umberto Lenzi
  • Violent Milan – Interview With Director Umberto Lenzi
  • Milian Unleashed – Interview With Actor Tomas Milian
  • A History Of Violence – Interview With Ernesto Gastaldi
  • Italian American Gangster – Interview With Actor Henry Silva
  • Trailer
  • BONUS DISC: Soundtrack CD

Feature Specs for Almost Human:

  • Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
  • Audio: English Mono, Italian Mono
  • Subtitles: English
  • Closed Captions: English SDH
  • Region: A

Special Features for Syndicate Sadists:

  • First Blood – Interview With Director Umberto Lenzi
  • Family Affair – Interview With Actress Ida Galli
  • Kidnapped – Interview With Actor Alessandro Cocco
  • Interview With The Fascist – Interview With Actor Bruno Di Luia
  • Trailer
  • BONUS DISC: Soundtrack CD

Feature Specs for Syndicate Sadists:

  • Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
  • Audio: English Mono, Italian Mono
  • Subtitles: English
  • Closed Captions: English SDH
  • Region: A/B/C

Special Features for Free Hand For A Tough Cop:

  • In The Asphalt Jungle – Interview With Director Umberto Lenzi
  • Tough Guy Corrado – A Look At The Career Of Corrado Solari
  • The Father Of Monnezza – Interview With Screenwriter Dardano Sacchetti
  • Hand-Held Camera For A Tough Cinematographer – Interview With Cinematographer Nino Celeste
  • Making Movies – Interview With Producer Ugo Tucci
  • Extended Bank Robbery Scene Sourced From The Original Negative
  • Trailer

Feature Specs for Free Hand For A Tough Cop: 

  • Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
  • Audio: English Mono, Italian Mono
  • Subtitles: English
  • Closed Captions: English SDH
  • Region: A

Special Features for The Cynic, The Rat And The Fist:

  • Merli vs. Milian – Interview With Director Umberto Lenzi
  • A Man Of Action – Interview With Umberto Lenzi
  • Me, Milian And Merli – Interview With Umberto Lenzi On His Iconic Characters
  • The Writer, The Director And The Actor – Interview With Screenwriter Dardano Sacchetti
  • Here Comes The Fist – Interview With Actor John Saxon
  • Trailer
  • BONUS DISC: Soundtrack CD

Feature Specs for The Cynic, The Rat And The Fist:

  • Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
  • Audio: English Mono, Italian Mono
  • Subtitles: English
  • Closed Captions: English SDH
  • Region: A/B/C

Special Features for Brothers Till We Die:

  • Tomas And Tomas – Interview With Director Umberto Lenzi
  • He Called Me 'The Tamer' – Interview With Editor Eugenio Alabiso
  • Music And Bullets – Interview With Composer Franco Micalizzi
  • Heart Of Rome – Interview With Composer Antonello Venditti
  • Trailer

Feature Specs for Brothers Till We Die:

  • Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
  • Audio: English Mono, Italian Mono
  • Subtitles: English
  • Closed Captions: English SDH
  • Region: A/B/C

Special Features for Attack Force Z:

  • The Z Men Debriefed – Interviews With Executive Producer John McCallum And Actors John Waters And Chris Haywood
  • Photo Gallery
  • Trailer

Feature Specs for Attack Force Z:

  • Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
  • Audio: English Mono
  • Closed Captions: English SDH
  • Region: A/B/C