Having gathered a cult following after pastiches of lurid European giallos in their first two features, in their 2017 film Let the Corpses Tan, Belgian duo Helene Cattet and Bruno Forzani pay tribute to the violent European crime thrillers of the 1970s. Cattet and Forzani make it clear from the outset that this is a splatter film – in the opening scene, in an array of disorienting closeups – imperious, cigar-smoking, ‘artist’ Luce (Elina Löwensohn) insists on her acolytes firing a series of bullets into a canvas she has splashed with messy splodges of colour.
Before Umberto Lenzi’s 1981 exploitation film Cannibal Ferox (aka Make Them Die Slowly) was “banned in 31 countries”, Almost Human had a reputation as a particularly nasty Italian crime thriller.
The late, great Tomas Milian (The Designated Victim) stars as the sadistic, criminal low life Giulio Sacchi, a man capable of rape, torture and murder.
“CAUTION: This picture may shock you, but it’s an experience in psychosadism you’ll never forget!”
Umberto Lenzi’s Almost Human is an unrelenting, uncompromising and mean-spirited poliziotteschi that succeeds on every possible level. This ultra-violent, ultra-stylish Italian crime film stars Tomás Milián as the sadistic Giulio Sacchi, a low life criminal sick of the social class disorder in Milan after a bank robbery turns sour leaving him desperate for cash. His luck however is about to change… Almost Human is a wildly violent, depraved and entertaining poliziotteschi that has easily become Lenzi’s greatest achievement in Italian crime cinema.