Classic Italian crime flick: ROME – ARMED TO THE TEETH review

Maurizio Merli is back in action and this time he’s armed to the teeth! Which, according to this film, is the best way to catch criminals. Merli plays Inspector Tanzi, a hot tempered cop in Rome who goes after a hunchbacked psycho killer called Il Gobbo (the multi versatile Tomas Milian). Tanzi is tired of the legal system and bad guys like the hunchback getting released from jail only to commit more crimes. He hates bad guys, HATES them, and he’s the kinda guy who beats up scumbags for fun. His boss is a real dork though and he doesn’t like Tanzi. But the police needs badasses who like to blow shit up, and the city needs a hero. And guess what? Maurizio is the best, he’s the man, and he’s the only one who can make the streets of Rome a sunnier and better place. Which makes him very happy, because he can wander around with a big gun and kill bad guys. Maurizio Merli was in some of the best and most brutal films in the poliziotteschi genre and he almost made Dirty Harry look like a sissy in comparison. If you dig Eurocrime, Umberto Lenzi’s adrenalin-rushing Rome – Armed To The Teeth is a must-see. Lenzi is perhaps most famous for Cannibal Ferox, but he’s also one of the finest directors of the poliziotteschi genre and this is one of his best films.

Rome – Armed To The Teeth (“Roma a mano armata”)
Aka. Assault with a Deadly Weapon
Release year: 1976
Country: Italy
Director: Umberto Lenzi
Starring: Maurizio Merli, Tomas Milian, Ivan Rassimov


Mannequins in Gialli

  1. Blood and Black Lace | Mario Bava, 1964
  2. Hatchet for the Honeymoon |  Mario Bava,1970
  3. Black Belly of the Tarantula | Paolo Cavara, 1971
  4. Spasmo | Umberto Lenzi, 1974