Brothers Till We Die is the last poliziotteschi collaboration between Umberto Lenzi and Tomas Milian, and here the duo really change up the status quo from the previous films they’ve worked on. The film finds Milian in not one but two roles, playing twin brothers with very distintive character traits – Sergio’s the lazy laborer with a bad wig of curly afro-style hair, and Vincenzo’s the hunchbacked crook with a bad wig of shaggy shoulder-length locks. The film follows Vince as he gets back into the heist business with a group of other Italian mafiosi, except after they attempt to murder him during the act he vows to get revenge on all of them, and try to stick it to the rich hoi polloi who mock his disability in the process.
Compared to the other poliotteschi in Lenzi and Milian’s ouvre, Brothers Till We Die is a bit tepid. It attempts to combine a lot of varying elements into its plotting, with a much more comedic approach. Unfortunately, the comedy ends up being a little too goofy for the hardboiled criminal subplot, and while Milian brings a lot of energy and bombast to both characters, it’s a little too over-the-top in this outing. With that said, Lenzi’s direction feels a bit too languid here too; it’s clear he’s attempting to flesh out these characters, but ultimately it doesn’t amount to much, and the film’s muddled themes about aristocracy and criminality don’t come together as well as they should despite a pre-Scarface-esque monologue from Vince in a nightclub.
With that said, the film does have its moments of fun, surprising brutality. There’s a great implied death with a drill in a dentist’s chair, Lenzi’s penchant for excellent chase sequences, and creative setups for Vince’s vengeance. But Brothers Till We Die runs a little too long, and it trades the poliziotteschi formula of hardboiled detective work for too much jokey humor. While this is the worst of the Lenzi/Milian collaborations, it’s still worth watching for Milian’s nearly unhinged performance(s).
Full uncompressed screenshots from this Blu-ray.
Brothers Till We Die is the final film in Severin Films’ Violent Streets boxset, and its video quality is very consistent with the other releases in the collection. This also gets a new 2K scan from the original camera negative, which features very minimal damage. Details are strong and the color grading is consistent with the other films in the boxset. Looking at comparison shots from UK releases of the movie, this transfer looks to be slightly stronger than the previous offerings.
Audio includes both a DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 mono English and Italian track. Again, both are strong and have slight audible hiss but otherwise don’t suffer from noticeable issues. English subtitles are included for both the English version as well as translated English for the Italian track.
For extras, Severin Films includes a number of new interviews. Umberto Lenzi provides an interview (apparently cut from a number of different ones, since he changes dress frequently) where he discusses the art of shooting two Milians and his fallout with the actor. Edito Eugenio Alabiso discusses his work with Lenzi and the art of editing and how that has changed from then until now. Composer Franco Micalizzi describes his inspiration for the film’s score along with appreciation of few choice tracks. Finally, a new interview with composer Antonello Venditti, singer of a few of the songs featured in the film, reviews his two iconic tracks and his Roman heritage. An English trailer is also included on the disc.
NEW scanned in 2K from the original camera negative
NEW Tomas And Tomas – Interview With Director Umberto Lenzi (1080p; 12:05)
NEW He Called Me ‘The Tamer’ – Interview With Editor Eugenio Alabiso (1080p; 19:28)
NEW Music And Bullets – Interview With Composer Franco Micalizzi (1080p; 19:32)
NEW Heart Of Rome – Interview With Composer Antonello Venditti (1080p; 18:51)
Trailer (1080p; 3:50)
NEW CD soundtrack
Brothers Till We Die is probably the least successful Lenzi/Milian collaboration in the Violent Streets boxset, but it still gets aristocratic treatment with a great transfer and about an hour of new extra features.
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