Mr. Mean/Review

From The Grindhouse Cinema Database

< Mr. Mean

A former police officer turned hit man travels to Rome to fulfill an assignment: kill a corrupt mob associate and get back home alive!

Fred Williamson, who produced, directed and stars in this film, is Mr. Mean—yes that’s his real name in the picture, he even introduces himself as such. Tall, attractive and seemingly without morals “If the price is right the job is right,” Mean is a bad cat: a hit man who’s also, of course, a hit with the ladies--especially main squeeze Carla (Rita Silva).


But can he deliver on the assignment that has brought him to Italy? Mean’s job is to assassinate Huberto (Lou Castell), an unsavory but powerful gangster who’s become an embarrassment to the big bosses throughout the crime syndicate. Mean's a skilled investigator and killer, who moves seamlessly though international environs, but problems arise: the biggest of which is the fact that Huberto discovers the plan to kill him and hires notorious hit man Rommell (Raymond Hermstorf) to kill Mean first!

Filled with street-corner camera setups (with passers-by looking on curiously in the background), accompanied by a tinny ambient soundtrack by the great Ohio Players (what happened?!), and populated with phonetic English-speaking Italian actors who say their lines like they’re in language class, there’s still something to admire about this slipshod, meandering, thoroughly underwhelming effort.


Beautiful Italian locations, an international flair, a few carefully choreographed fight sequences, and a surprise ending—involving a gifted gold medallion, stand out. A film for the Fred Williamson completist.


Josiah Howard is the author of four books including Blaxploitation Cinema: The Essential Reference Guide (now in a fourth printing). His writing credits include articles for the American Library of Congress, The New York Times and Readers Digest. A veteran of more than one hundred radio broadcasts, Howard also lectures on cinema and is a frequent guest on entertainment news television. Visit his Official Website.

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