Thomas Milian stars as Rambo (yes, that’s his name, believe it or not), a tough biker and probable Vietnam vet who arrives in Milan smack in the middle of a gang war between rival crime families. Rambo wages a war of his own when his brother, a member of a kidnap investigation, is maliciously murdered. Rambo plays a dangerous game, pitting the two families against each other, backfiring with the brutal murder of his girlfriend. Consumed by anger and rabid with revenge Rambo sets ut to viciously take the families out one by one.
I have to say that I was very disappointed by this film. I was expecting a badass crime film by Umberto Lenzi, the violent master of cinema responsible for classics like Cannibal Ferox and Nightmare City, but I wasn’t really given something as exploitive as those. This film is very much like a straight action film. There are things to recommend, though. I really loved the cast. Thomas Milian has always been good at playing a badass, especially in his more classic spaghetti westerns like Django Kill, Companeros and Four Horsemen For The Apocalypse. He’s gruffy and takes no shit from people, but I guess I was wishing him to be more like the Stallone Rambo, more of a tough psychopath. Hell, I think Milian would have been great in the John Rambo role. I was also pleased to see Joseph Cotten, one of my favorite actors from the 1940’s, although to be honest, his role is kind of wasted in this film.
There are a couple of action sequences but none of them are really memorable, and the villains are all forgettable for the most part, none of them standing out of the pack. I’m sure a lot of people will have an appreciation for this film, but other than the great acting of Thomas Milian, Syndicate Sadists was, sadly, not sadistic enough.