Four criminals escape from a maximum security prison. They are led by the "Mad Dog Murderer" Nanni Vitali (Helmut Berger). The thugs have taken a guard hostage while making their escape and as they drive along, the sadistic Nanni pistol whips and smacks the guard repeatedly. Then he throws him out onto the side of the road. Inspector Santini (Richard Harrison) and his partner who are trailing the thugs pick the guard up but they lose Nanni and his cohorts in the process. Nanni stops on the road and hails down another car which contains a young couple, he yanks them out and steals it, he also takes the keys to the first getaway car, just to be even a bit more cruel, leaving them stranded. The car needs gas so they have to make a stop. The gas station attendant fills the tank and when he asks for his money he gets answered with a beatdown! His son who works there also gets kicked like an old tire. Nanni's gang rob the joint and take off with the gas station attendant still holding onto the car. I guess he really wanted that money!
Nanni isn't out to hide, he's out to get some revenge and his main target is Barbaresci, the fatcat who sent him up for his prison bid. Nanni and the gang kidnap Barbaresci and his girlfriend Giuliana who happens to be played by the beautiful Marisa Mell (Danger: Diabolik). They take them to a large quarry and this is where we see just how ruthless and cold blooded Nanni can be. He beats Barbaresci up and bit, then takes Giuliana into the brush and rapes her. Then he puts on some brass knuckles and beats Barbaresci up more until he's just a bloody pulp lying face down in some muddy water. Then, his men dig a shallow grave, throw Barbaresci in and pour quick lime on him as he screams. Then they place some large rocks over his body and leave him to die.
Inspector Santini gets word of Barbarescis dissapearance and he tracks Giuliana down and questions her, but she explains that she and Barbaresci split up awhile back and she has no knowlege of where he is. Santini is satisfied and leaves, but then ol' Nanni emerges from a side room and we know that he's still holding Giuliana hostage in his own twisted way. He then starts to rape her again. Nanni's big plan is to rob a bank and take off to Venezuela with Giuliana in tow as his personal slave. The real question is, will he be able to keep this cycle of sadistic madness going without losing his life before he makes it there?
The violence in Mad Dog Killer is grade A terrorist inspired stuff. To give another example of Nanni's style: In one scene he robs a bank and is confronted by Inspector Santini and his police force. Nanni taunts Santini with his uzi aimed at him, but he doesn't shoot, he just runs out the door and guns down a frightened old lady instead. For fans of 70s poliziotteschi, this is certainly a film you won't want to miss. Helmut Berger is a force to be reckoned with. His extreme, no holds barred performance is certainly one of the most memorable in the entire genre.
Reviewed by Popeye Pete - 4/3/08