The John Gardner novel A Complete State of Death became this bloody crime flick that united frequent action genre collaborators Charles Bronson and director Michael Winner. Bronson stars as Detective Lieutenant Lou Torry, a grizzled undercover New York City cop who ruins his career when he is caught going violently overboard while apprehending a ghetto punk.
As punishment, Torry is banished all the way to the L.A. Police Department, where he begins investigating a mysterious chain of events involving ex-soldiers that seem to be Mob related. It turns out that Don Alberto Vescari (Martin Balsam), an aging Mafia chieftain, is planning the use of mentally disturbed Vietnam vets as assassins in a campaign of murder.
With one broad, gory stroke, Vescari schemes to wipe out his underworld enemies, retaliating for a massacre that wiped out a generation of Sicilian mobsters 40 years earlier.