Despite what has to be one of the silliest English re-titlings of a EuroCrime film, Blazing Flowers, or Milano…Difendersi O Morire is a fair little action film without being remarkable in any way. The film stars Marc Porel as Pino Scalise as a crim who is trying to go straight and start a new life. Porel is from the Luc Merrenda and Fabio Testi school of pretty boy acting – but he is perfectly adequate in the role. Providing the old school muscle, and sporting a moustache that would make Maurizio Merli proud, is George Hilton, as the hard as nails Police Commissioner Morani.
The film opens with Scalise being released from prison early because of good behaviour, after a six-year stint for armed robbery. Free, he is given every opportunity to go straight. His uncle, who lives in Milan, has lined up a job for him as a truck driver for a firm that makes artificial flowers. His uncle, who lives with his youngest daughter, also allows Scalise to stay at his home, while he gets set up.
On his first night in town, Scalise heads out looking for a bit of action, in an effort to relieve six years of sexual tension. As he checks out the local talent in a park, he is recognised by an old buddy from prison, Nosey. Nosey knows the best whorehouse in town and takes Scalise to be serviced by Milano’s best ladies of the night.
What Scalise doesn’t realise is that the girl he has chosen is actually his uncle’s other older daughter, Marina (Anna Marina Rizzoli). Once Scalise realises that she is his cousin, he tries to free her from the shackles of prostitution. To do this, he enters into a ‘one time’ business arrangement with the head of the local crime syndicate, Don Ciccio (Guido Leontini). But Ciccio reneges on the arrangement and has Marina kidnapped and brought to hi mansion where he keeps her under lock and key, and strung out on smack. Now Scalise is forced into a permanent working relationship with the crooked Don. This involves smuggling heroin in the artificial flowers that he delivers.
Blazing Flowers is not a top tier EuroCrime thriller, but it is serviceable. It has the pre-requisite quotient of sleaze that you’d expect from this type of film, but it is a little light on for action and the ending lacks punch. This one is for EuroCrime completists only.