Miami cop Andy Blake (Christopher Atkins) is on a routine patrol when he accidentally hits a homeless guy with his squad car leading him to a trashed house with the bloody corpse of a young girl. As if that wasn't bad enough, (presumably) the killer has written "stop me" in blood on the wall. This is all too much for Officer Blake and he starts to lose it after unloading his sidearm on a black car that is speeding from the scene. Fortunately for him, ex-cop and super-slueth Costello shows up after the entire police force has cordoned off the area. Says the police chief "the scene is not complete unless Extralarge is on the job". Damn right. Only Costello can solve the case because apparently in these simple times, this sort of thing is unheard of. How do I know? Because the police files on the case are marked "Miami Killer" as if there were only one.
|This must have been a late edition. Very late.|
At one point Dumas interrogates their best witness: a six year old girl named Elsie. Elsie is a fountain of information in spite of the fact that Dumas has clearly as much talent in playing "good cop" as he is drawing cartoons. Trying to sweet-talk the witness, Dumas says "you dance so good, you could be the next Shirley Temple." Elsie giggles because a) that was seriously creepy and b) because she's six and has no freakin' idea who the hell Shirley Temple is!
While surprisingly atmospheric in the final reel, it is also surprisingly free of action. No big car chases or punch-outs here. Castellari was definitely going more for a murder-thriller, coaxing a most entertainingly sweaty, bulging-eyed performance that you could possibly ask for out of Atkins. Though it's not really apparent if we are supposed to feel that Officer Blake is just overly concerned or is a possible suspect. Also, Spencer takes more of a back seat in this one, which kind of makes it a bit weak as a Bud Spencer vehicle. Even so, Castellari is almost incapable of turning in a boring outing on film or TV and even without the expected action fodder, it still keeps your attention with some well executed camera work and a plot that zips along at a pace faster than Spencer's stunt double can fall off of a truck.
|And why do black people get pissed off at white filmmakers?|