Directed by Umberto Lenzi and starring Tomas Milian, Ray Lovelock, Henry Silva an Anita Strindberg, Almost Human is an Italian film with one of the craziest yet interesting plots from the 70s.
It is about a police persecution after a maniac who kidnaps and tortures the daughter of a rich businessman, and whose only purpose is to make people suffer. The maniac, played by Tomas Milian is one of the most iconic Italian characters of the decade, and by not mistake.
The Kidnappers Plan – Almost Human Movie
The movie starts with a group of robbers kidnapping a boy from the arms of his mother. They kidnap the boy in order to get away from a robbery they just made. This makes them get persecuted by the police in a really action-packed scenery with lots of boxes flying away, cars getting stumble upon, and a slim getaway thanks to a train that saves the kidnappers from getting caught as the train blocked the police’s trail. Here they dump the kid and keep going.
But their plan didn’t go as they wished. This makes the leader of their gang beat them up and threatening about a castration. This makes the main character played by Tomas Milian to go back to his home all mad, getting into a burst of bad energies and raping his girlfriend.
He then leaves home and goes to buy some cigarettes, but as he doesn’t have any money, he decides to take the cigarettes and not paying anything for it, and in a fast and very violent way, he kills the policeman who catches him robbing the cigarette with a knife. After this killing, a detective (Henry Silva) is set out to follow the trail of the man who killed the cop with a knife, and little by little he starts getting closer.
In the naivety of the maniac, he keeps going with his bad deeds, yet he now is looking for his girlfriend at work and here’s where he also sees the daughter of his girlfriend boss. After taking a look at the girl, he decides he wants to kidnap her, and thanks to a conversation about the fortune of her boss, the girlfriend gives him a plan. Now, he has to look for someone to help him, his friends. He starts planning the kidnapping and then goes to buy the guns they are going to use for their deed.
In this scene we see all the evil of these people, where the maniac, having a long-lasting relationship with their gun vendor, he knows he needs to make a deposit before getting the guns – but they decide they don’t want to make the deposit and end up killing the guy and everyone who works for him. This way the left no clue behind and rob all the guns they can. A simply maniac mind doing maniac killings more for fun than necessity – a glimpse of what this movie is about.
The Class Kidnapping
Their plan is simply to catch the daughter of a millionaire while she’s having a good time with her boyfriend, in his car in the forest. While they try to catch the girl, they end up killing her boyfriend and the girl manages to get away and hides in a bungalow far away from where she was before thanks to a family.
But shortly after, the kidnappers find out where she is and then go behind her. Here we can see how the director, by seemingly showing a kidnapping scene about maniac robbers and a daughter of a millionaire, also present the lives of a family which lives in the woods, a carnival of the social levels of different people and their struggles through life.
Yet, the kidnappers find the girl, kill the man who was protecting her and humiliate everyone in the house – taking the girl with them and fleeing the scene. After some time they take the girl to a ship yard, dispose her car and drowns her for not being cooperative. But before he drowns her, he makes her write a note he sends to the police in which the girl writes “Not to Interfere” with their plans.
The police don’t care and find out about the plan of the gang, and all the assassinations and killing being part of their plan. They also find out that the girlfriend of the maniac was part of the plan as well, so they set up a visit to her apartment.
A Maniac Treason
Here, the maniac finds out the police is going to make a visit to where his girlfriend livesand scared by what they could find, he calls the gang leader who beat him up before in order to make a treat, a deal about the girl they just kidnapped.
And after making this deal, he goes to the police and acts as he’s totally innocent, making the assertion that the gang leader is the one behind all that’s been happening.
The police, trusting him, goes to the gang leader with him, in search of finding out what has happened and to get the guy behind all the killings. But everything goes well for the real kidnapper, as a shoot-out starts happening and he manages to get away.
Yet, it wasn’t long until the detective finds him again, makes sure he knows all the truth and ends up the persecution with a shot in the head.
As you see, the movie is more than unconventional, even for its time. IT delivers pretty good scenes, good shootings, and an almost non-human behavior from every one of the kidnappers, giving a feeling of uneasiness most of the time.
The movie is a jewel that wasn’t that famous, yet it is not a movie everyone will like. It’s a recommended movie nonetheless.