26 August 2008 | Bunuel1976
REDNECK (Silvio Narizzano, 1973) **
This proved to be a rare case of a poliziottesco made with British funding; unfortunately, the result is undistinguished (except by its exceeding unpleasantness and borderline-camp approach) despite stars and director. The former is led by a wooden Franco Nero and an ultra-hammy Telly Savalas as a couple of would-be robbers (if anyone is able to believe either actor who generally exude cool as a duo of bumbling crooks, he's more gullible than I am!).
Their 'job' goes awry (ending in murder and saddled with cases of cutlery instead of jewels!) however, the mismatched criminals see an opening to their dilemma when they inadvertently 'kidnap' the son of a British diplomat (a miscast Lester, who even gets to kick trigger-happy Savalas where it hurts at one point). Still, they never actually ransom him and their sole intent is to cross the border into France; tagging along with them is Nero's girlfriend (a wasted Ely Galleani): soon enough, though, she's had enough and decides to run away while the others are sleeping; the crazy Savalas notices this and, following the girl, kills her. In the meantime, Nero and Lester have woken up the former thinks his accomplices may have double-crossed him, so he goes on the lam with the boy in tow; after a brief spell at a rich old lady's country estate (which features totally gratuitous rear nudes by both Nero and Lester!), Savalas catches up with them. They continue their trek, where the trio run into a family of German campers: the situation degenerates to the point where Savalas shuts them inside their trailer and tosses the lot into the river though he's badly hurt in the process himself; typically, it all ends with the 'heavies' getting killed just as they're about to reach the border.
The film, therefore, contains most of the genre's typical elements sleaze, sadism, violence, chases (the aftermath of the opening robbery when the getaway car causes havoc in the city's narrow back-streets and even disrupts a funeral procession is downright farcical), etc.; one mildly interesting aspect to it is that, by the end, Lester himself is seen to have been definitely (irrevocably?) marked by the experience coming to feel excitement when an act of violence is committed.