Street Law - Code Red (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: January 8th, 2019
Approximate running time: 101 Minutes 46 Seconds
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Sound: DTS-HD Mono English
Region Coding: Region A
Retail Price: $34.95
"When the police drop the case and the suspects remain free, Carlo is pushed beyond his breaking point. Now one man will launch an all-out war against the criminal scum who plague our cities, where justice has its own rules, vengeance needs no badge and the only thing that matters is Street Law." - synopsis provided by the distributor
Here’s the information provided about this release's transfer, "Brand New 2018 HD Scan."
Street Law comes on a 50 GB dual layer Blu-ray.
Disc Size: 43.7 GB
Feature: 21.7 GB (1.85:1 aspect ratio), 8.8 GB (1.66:1 aspect ratio), 11 GB (U.S. Theatrical Version)
The source used for this transfer is in great shape and any source-related debris is minimal. Colors are nicely saturated, details look crisp, black levels fare well, and any compression-related issues are minimal.
This release comes with one audio option, a DTS-HD mono mix in English. The audio is 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.
Extras for this release include English language trailer for Street Law (29 seconds, Dolby Digital mono English, no subtitles), an interview with actor Franco Nero titled Franco’s Law (28 minutes 19 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English, no subtitles) and an audio commentary with film historian Troy Howarth.
Other extras include an alternate U.S. theatrical version of Street Law (76 minutes 20 seconds, Dolby Digital mono English, no subtitles) and an option to watch the 102-minute version of Street Law in a 1.66:1 aspect ratio under the alternate title Anonymous Avenger.
When one thinks of action cinema in Italy, the name Enzo G. Castellari instantly springs to mind because of his operas of violence that 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 action in this scene is beautifully captured by using slow motion photography that culminates with a shot of Carlo swinging a shovel through the windshield and hitting his purser dead in the face.
Enzo G. Castellari approaches the Italian crime genre the same way he approaches the western genre. With the law versus the outlaws now 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. With Street Law’s most memorable action set piece being saved for a shootout that takes place in a warehouse.
Franco Nero goes against type and portrays a character that is the polar opposite of the character she 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.
Street Law features a solid supporting cast of Euro-cult regulars like Barbara Bach (Black Belly of the Tarantula, Short Night of Glass Dolls) in the role of Carlo’s girlfriend and 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.
After the success of films like Dirty Harry, there was an influx of similar vigilante justice-themed films. And though it is easy content-wise to draw comparisons between Street Law and Death Wish, Street Law had already begun production before Death Wish was released in Italy. So, any similarities seem to be coincidental. With that being said, it’s 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 a first-rate release from Code Red that comes with a solid audio/video presentation and a pair of insightful extras, recommended.
Written by Michael Den Boer