A low-rent gloss on the mobster genre, “Mad Dog Coll” plays like a solid ’50s programmer in color. Quick playoff in undiscriminating markets will be followed by an equally quick trip to vid shelves.
Central characters this time round are the Coll brothers, “Mad Dog” Vincent (Christopher Bradley) and Peter (Jeff Griggs). Starting out as muscle for N.Y.’s Irish gangs, the teen siblings soon switch allegiances to old pal Dutch Schultz (Bruce Novick), running liquor during Prohibition. When Dutch won’t let them start their own operation, the Colls take him head-on.
The script doesn’t get much farther than lines like “Bring on the cement.” But the action clips along at a merry pace that should keep genre fans amused, and Gothamites will have fun seeing Russian locations doubling for late ’20s N.Y. Almost all of the pic’s exteriors are nocturnal; interior sets are cheesy. Violence and language are restrained by current standards.
Bradley makes a fair stab at the title role, but he’s wiped off the screen by Novick as the bumptious Schultz. Other perfs are standard, and Rachel York has her moments as Bradley’s chantoosie wife. A final voiceover stresses the youthfulness of the period’s mobsters, and in that respect at least the pic is accurate. Tech credits are OK, with a helpful symphonic score by Terry Plumeri.