Tough Guys Film Details
Overview: An ex-convict priest and a framed former policeman hunt a machine-gun killer behind a bank robbery.
Tagline: The Black Moses, The Hammer, and The Preacher Man. They’ve got their own kind of mean game.
Review: It’s probably due to the cheap and clumsy transfer to the Grindhouse Collection DVD, but the picture quality and lighting of this film are absolutely awful! I know this is supposed to be some type of “Blaxploitation” movie, but if I’m not mistaken, this term doesn’t mean staring at a black screen the whole time! Several sequences, especially during the first half hour, you have completely no idea what to make of because you only see darkness and vague shadows moving around. And now that we’re pointing out the abnormalities anyway, there’s something seriously wrong with the title of “THREE Tough Guys”. Three? Somebody bring on an abacus, because the correct title ought to be TWO tough guys. At least the soulful theme song got it right. It’s not hard to guess why the producers opted to put the number three in the title, though. Fred Williamson receives top billing even though he barely has any screen time and he’s also referred to as another one of the tough guys in spite of the fact he’s not so tough (he beats women and shoots people in the back) and operating on the wrong side of the law. Williamson’s name obviously just served to attract more viewers, as he just scored big Blaxploitation hits with “Black Caesar” and “Hammer”, whereas the real tough black dude – Isaac Hayes – would only become a huge star shortly after the release of “Three Tough Guys”, namely with his very own testosterone-packed blockbuster “Truck Turner”. Say what you want about these Italian filmmakers, but they are great marketers! Anyway, onwards with the story, this opens with the cowardly murder of an insurance agent outside a nightclub. Apparently he was single-handedly investigating a million dollar bank heist and came a little too close to the truth. His closest friend a tough ex-veteran turned priest swears to catch whoever killed him and starts a nightly private investigation via sleazy bars and dark alleys filled with heavily armed thugs on his bike, nonetheless! Father Charlie soon receives back-up from a former cop who has a score of his own to settle. It’s no real secret that all traces eventually lead to Williamson, the über-villain for a change! “Three Tough Guys” is a neat hybrid between Italian exploitation and Baadassssssss Cinema, although not highly memorable and badly suffering from the lamentable production values. There are slightly too many tedious sequences to struggle through, but the on screen chemistry between Isaac Hayes and Lino Ventura feels surprisingly authentic and the script contains several funny parts. The amount of brutal violence and sleaze is quite a letdown, but Hayes’ own soundtrack is very catchy and Duccio Tessari’s (“The Bloodstained Butterfly”, “Death Occurred Last Night”) direction is fairly solid. So far, the Grindhouse Collection box-set is the only way to get your dirty little hands on this film, but I do hope a fully restored version will appear on DVD in the near future, as it deserves to be slightly more known.
Country: Italy, France
Duration: 92 min
Genre: Action, Crime
Also known as: Zwei Fäuste des Himmels,Three Tough Guys,Tough Guys,Pater Charlie und seine Fäuste des Himmels,Uomini duri,Üç öfkeli adam,Kaksi kovanaamaa,Les durs,Três Tipos Duros,Zwei wilde Draufgänger,Hombres duros,Zwei unschlagbare Draufgänger,Három kemény fickó,Δύο σκληροί άνδρες,El policía, el gángster y el violento,To hårde drenge,Τρεις σκληροί άνδρες,Kovanaamat,O Preço da Ousadia,Hårdingarna