Street Law - 88 Films (Blu-ray)
Theatrical Release Date: Italy, 1974
Director: Enzo G. Castellari
Writers: Massimo De Rita, Arduino Maiuri
Cast: Franco Nero, Giancarlo Prete, Barbara Bach, Renzo Palmer
Release Date: February 26th, 2024
Approximate running time: 101 Minutes 46 Seconds
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Rating: 15 (UK)
Sound: LPCM Mono Italian, LPCM Mono English
Region Coding: Region B
Retail Price: £16.99 (UK)
"After Carlo is mugged by thugs he goes to the police, but when they drop the case, he loses faith in the justice system and decides to take on the hoods himself. Teaming up with a young robber, he goes on a mission of vengeance." - synopsis provided by the distributor
Here’s the information provided about this release's transfer, "2K Restoration From the Original Camera Negative."
Street Law comes on a 50 GB dual layer Blu-ray.
Disc Size: 46.5 GB
Feature: 29.8 GB (102 Minute Version), 5.9 GB (U.S. Theatrical Version)
The source used for this transfer looks excellent. Flesh tones look healthy, colors are nicely saturated, image clarity, black levels, and compression are solid, and the image always looks organic.
Audio: 5/5 (LPCM Mono Italian, LPCM Mono English)
This release comes with two audio options, an LPCM mono mix in Italian and an LPCM mono mix in English. Both audio tracks are in great shape; there are no issues with distortion or background noise, the dialog comes through clearly, and everything sounds balanced. Range-wise, the score and action set pieces sound robust. Included are removable English subtitles for the Italian language track and a second removable English subtitle track for Italian text when watching the English language track.
Extras for this release include a TV spot (32 seconds, Dolby Digital mono English, no subtitles), a theatrical trailer (3 minutes 23 seconds, Dolby Digital mono English, no subtitles), an Interview with actor and stuntman Massimo Vanni titled Street Stunts (14 minutes 51 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo Italian with removable English subtitles), an Interview with composer’s Guido and Maurizio De Angelis titled Oliver Onions (41 minutes 40 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo Italian with removable English subtitles), an Interview with director Enzo G. Castellari titled Enzo’s Law (25 minutes 19 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo Italian with removable English subtitles), a featurette by Mike Malloy titled Sniff Around and Find Out (10 minutes 5 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English, no subtitles), an audio commentary with Italian cinema experts Eugenio Ercolani, Troy Howarth and Nathaniel Thomson, shorter U.S. “Grindhouse” cut of Street Law (76 minutes 20 seconds, 1.85:1 aspect ratio, Dolby Digital mono English, no subtitles), reversible cover art, a limited edition reverse-board matte O-ring (limited to the first pressing), a poster (limited to the first pressing), and a 8-page booklet (limited to the first pressing) with an essay titled Action and Reaction: Thrills, People and Politics in Enzo G. Castellari’s Street Law written by Francesco Massaccesi.
When one thinks of action cinema in Italy, Enzo G. Castellari instantly springs to mind because of his operas of violence, which are most known for their use of slow-motion camera work. And nowhere is this clearer than in the scene in Street Law, where a thug uses a car to chase and run Carlo down. The use of slow-motion photography that culminates with a shot of Carlo swinging a shovel through the windshield and hitting his purser dead in the face is a beautifully realized moment of action.
Enzo G. Castellari approaches the Italian crime genre the same way he approaches the western genre. With the law versus the outlaws in a modern setting instead of the old west, The fast-paced action set pieces are well executed, the stunts are impressive, and Street Law’s depiction of violence is in your face. Street Law’s most memorable action set piece is saved for a shootout that takes place in a warehouse.
Franco Nero is cast in a role that is the polar opposite of the character he is most known for portraying. He does a superb job of portraying a character who initially has no backbone. Another reason this performance is so strong is how effortlessly Franco Nero transforms from a character with no backbone into a prototype bad-ass character.
Besides Franco Nero, there is a solid supporting cast who are all very good in their roles, especially Giancarlo Prete (Confessions of a Police Captain) in the role of Tommy, a small-time thief who reluctantly helps Carlo track down the four men who beat him. Another performance of note is Barbara Bach's (Short Night of Glass Dolls) in the role of Carlo’s girlfriend.
In the 1970s, there was an influx of vigilante justice-themed films. Though Italian cinema is known for taking elements from popular films, calling Street Law a Death Wish knockoff since Street Law had already begun production before Death Wish was released in Italy. So, any similarities seem to be coincidental. That said, it is interesting just how much things haven’t changed over the years, and Street Law’s plot has many instances where the police treat victims worse than the criminals who committed the crimes.
Street Law gets an exceptional release from 88 Films that comes with a solid audio/video presentation, two versions of the film, and a wealth of insightful extras. Highly recommended.
Written by Michael Den Boer