The Last Round/Review
From The Grindhouse Cinema Database
For The Last Round aka "Il Conto Di Chiuso", Director Stelvio Massi brought in Screenwriter Piero Regnoli (I Vampiri) to write an updated version of Kurosawa's 1961 samurai film Yojimbo (which was soon after remade as the hit Spaghetti Western "Fistful Of Dollars" by Sergio Leone in 1964). In this film, the classic tale was moved to a factory town somewhere in Italy. As the film begins, we meet Marco Russo (World Class Middleweight Boxing Champ, Carlos Monzon) who is hitchhiking from the South to find a job somewhere in the North. When he arrives he interrupts a group of men kicking out some workers from their jobs. Marco quickly finds himself caught up in a brawl with the men and after doing a good job of kicking some butt, he gets knocked out, thrown in a truck and dumped on the outskirts of the town. When he wakes up, a young girl named Nina appears and he finds out she is blind. He is invited back to her home, an old trailer and he meets "Wisdom" (or "Sucker" if you're watching with the subtitles) her adopted father. Wisdom tells Marco that if Nina brought him home, he must be okay since she has a great sensing if someone is bad or not. Marco explains he is looking for work in the area and that the fight he got into. Wisdom tells Marco that there is two families in town: the Manzettis and The Belmondos and they are both trying to rule, but are also killing each other off in their attempts to be the biggest strongest family. Marco plans on getting into one of the families because he has some mysterious unfinished business.
Meanwhile, we meet Rico Manzetti (Luc Merenda) the head of the family, who happens to be an expert marksman. When he gets word of Marco's fighting with his men, he gets curious and decides to take a closer look at him to see who he is. His men tell Marco that Rico wants to see him, and Marco is all set to go. When he arrives he and Rico talk about business and Rico tries to show off his gun skills to Marco, but Marco's not impressed. He then throws a knife at Rico's target, hitting in right in the head. After seeing Marco is not scared of him, Rico decides to see if Marco is on the job. He invites Marco to come along with him on a job the next day. When Marco gets there he finds out that Rico is going to be hitting Judge Grimaldi, the main man who is ruining any chance of taking over the town. Marco goes with Rico and get rid of the men they are after. Rico then shows his incredibly precise shooting skill before the job is finished.
Marco's next plan of action is to pit the Belmondo family against the Manzettis by spilling the beans on a plan Rico has to frame Belmondo (Fistful Of Dollar's Mario Brega). He pays a visit to a strip club to see Belmondo to warn him. There is a comical sequence involving a circus like game of removing a stripper's clothing. One of my favorite sequences in the film is where the Manzetti and Belmondo's are at a meeting and as Rico makes his speech about wanting the families to come together and work out their differences, his men are at Belmondo's warehouse trying to ambush Belmondo's men. As he talks, we see Belmondo's men shooting them all. Soon after, one of Belmondo's aides tells him what has happened and in front of the entire party of people he explains the goings on. What is funny is that he doesn't realize Rico sent them, he thinks they were from an independent faction, so he ends up still accepting Rico's offer of a truce. You definitely don't see that in many crime genre films!
The Last Round pretty much follows the same Yojimbo/Fistful of Dollars storyline (mixed with a bit of Leone's For A Few Dollars More revenge subplot). While I enjoyed the film, I wasn't particularly impressed by it, seeing there isn't much to it in terms of making a better, more engaging story than the originals. The acting is well done by Luc Merenda who is great at playing evil villains and Star Carlos Monzon definitely has a young Charles Bronson thing going in the film. Even some of Stelvio Massi's sequences are reminiscent of Sergio Leones "Once Upon A Time In the West". Watch as the camera circles around Monzon as he confronts Rico's men at the gates of the Import/Export business. Actor Mario Brega also co stars in this film and you may remember him from several of Sergio Leone's Spaghetti Westerns.
NOTE: In 1988, Star Carlos Monzon killed his wife by throwing her from the balcony of their apartment. In 1995, after returning to jail from a work furlough earned from good behavior in prison, he was killed in a car accident. A very tragic ending for the hero of this film.
Peter Roberts is the co-founder/editor-in-chief of the Grindhouse Cinema Database (GCDb) and contributor to the GCDb's sister site Furious Cinema. A Massachusetts native, he is an avid film fan that has been immersed in the world of entertainment and pop culture his entire life. He is currently majoring in Communications and Interactive Media Design.