Convoy Busters (Blu-ray Review)

REVIEW OVERVIEW

The Film
The Video
The Audio
The Supplements
Overall

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

A classic poliziotteschi (police crime thrillers, such as Blood and Diamonds) film from 1978, Convoy Busters (Un poliziotto scomodo) stars on-screen tough guy Maurizio Merli as a cop in a small coastal town who takes on institutional corruption and gun smugglers.

When Inspector Olmi (Merli) crosses the line using brutal tactics to find the killer of a teenage girl, he runs into trouble over his methods and with the corrupt government officials that the trail leads him to. Sent to an out-of-the-way coastal town as a demotion and to get him out of the way, Olmi nonetheless finds trouble. He uncovers a group of gun smugglers and decides he must take them on, using his same violent methods.

Directed by Stelvio Massi (known for giallo film Five Women for the Killer among others), Convoy Busters is a standard offering from this Italian genre. Its strengths lie in the exposition being kept to a minimum and highlighting the outrageous action sequences. One of the standout scenes is Olmi chasing down suspects from a helicopter and hanging out the side to do some target practice, in what is one of the most memorable cinematic gunfights.

Merli’s Olmi is gritty, intense, and macho, all the characteristics that defined his career, blond-dyed hair or not. The screenplay can get a bit convoluted, and I always find this style of soundtracks that use a barely synced dub even for their “original language” distracting, but that is the nature of Italian (and Hong Kong) cinema from the era. Overcoming this latter obstacle is the fine visual cinematography from Sergio Rubini and the relentlessly quick pace of the film.

  • Convoy Busters (1978)
  • Maurizio Merli in Convoy Busters (1978)
  • Maurizio Merli in Convoy Busters (1978)
  • Maurizio Merli in Convoy Busters (1978)
  • Convoy Busters Blu-ray (Cauldron Films)

The Video

Convoy Busters arrives on Blu-ray from a 2K restoration from the original negative. The film is encoded in AVC 1080p with a 1.85:1 aspect ratio. This is a film with a lot of grain that tends to look quite coarse. It is not always the greatest reference for film on Blu-ray, but there is nothing in the transfer itself that is an issue. No anomalies can be spotted and there is no problem with source damage. The thickets of grain look natural and there is more than enough detail and nuance in the image.

The Audio

Both Italian and English mono dubs are included in DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0. The original audio is not the best quality but there is sufficient intelligibility and midrange punch.

The Supplements

The interviews and exposés on the actors and director bring a lot of insight to the film. The audio commentary is also A+.

  • Reversible Sleeve
  • Audio Commentary by Mike Malloy & Mike Martinez
  • My Father, the Cop: Interview with Maurizio Matteo Merli (1080p; 00:20:22)
  • The Massi Touch: Interview with Danilo Massi (1080p; 00:24:19)
  • Stelvio Massi Video Tribute by Danilo Massi (1080p; 00:08:24)
  • Maurizio Merli: A Lethal Hunter of Subtle Variation with Tough-Guy Film Expert Mike Malloy (1080p; 00:29:00)
  • Stelvio Massi Image Gallery (1080p; 00:05:41)
  • Archival Extras:
    • A conversation with journalist Eolo Capacci (SD; 00:16:02)
    • A conversation with director Ruggero Deodato (SD; 00:06:27)
    • A conversation with director Enzo G. Castellari (SD; 00:22:20)
    • A conversation with Maurizio Matteo Merli (SD; 00:20:26)
    • A conversation with actor Enio Girolami (SD; 00:15:54)
    • Alternate English opening credit sequence (1080p; 00:00:59)
    • Trailer – English (1080p; 00:04:01)
    • Trailer – Italian (00:03:50)
  • Image Gallery (SD; 00:02:42)

The Final Assessment

An excellent release from Cauldron Films of an enjoyable genre film. Convoy Busters is gritty and action-filled from the beginning, and it is good to see a label like Cauldron releasing this in a high-quality disc filled with bonus features.


Convoy Busters is out on Blu-ray May 16, 2023, from Cauldron Films.


  • Rating Certificate: Not Rated
  • Studios & Distributors: Atlas | Rewind Film | Cauldron Films
  • Director: Stelvio Massi
  • Written By: Danilo Massi | Gino Capone | Teodoro Corrà
  • Run Time: 100 Mins.
  • Street Date: 16 May 2023
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Video Format: AVC 1080p
  • Primary Audio: Italian DTS-HD MA 2.0 Mono
  • Secondary Audio: English DTS-HD MA 2.0 Mono
  • Subtitles: English | English SDH
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Estimated reading time: 5 minutes A classic poliziotteschi (police crime thrillers, such as Blood and Diamonds) film from 1978, Convoy Busters (Un poliziotto scomodo) stars on-screen tough guy Maurizio Merli as a cop in a small coastal town who takes on institutional corruption and...Convoy Busters (Blu-ray Review)