21st Century released Hit the Dutchman the same year as this movie, which concentrated on Dutch Schultz. This Greydon Clark and Ken Stein-directed film is about his nemesis, Vincent Coll, who started off as a street fighter and works his way up to becoming a crime boss.
Coll was called Mad Dog by the press after a five-year-old was caught in the crossfire in a gun battle. This movie claims that he was innocent of that and it was someone else who did the crime. It also presents Vincent (Christopher Bradley) and Peter (Jeff Griggs) as being sick of the low wages they received from Schultz (Bruce Nozick) and striking out on their own, which starts off the gang war.
Both this film and Hit the Dutchman were made by 21st Century in Russia, so the entire film has a very soundstage feel that also feels very Cannon, so you know that I loved it. It looks way better than it should, thanks to Janusz Kaminski, whose career would go way upward after working in the world of low budget films.
Released in the U.S. as Killer Instinct — to cash in on Basic Instinct but having nothing to do with that movie, God bless Menahem — this was intended to be part of a trilogy that only got two parts. Regardless, I love that Golan saw that more gangster movies were getting made, so he went to Russia to show America in the 1920s.