HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Wind, The
Holly and the Ivy, The
Atlantique
Now, Voyager
Wolf's Call, The
Nostalghia
Nightingale, The
Eighth Grade
Irishman, The
Betrayed
Lords of Chaos
Operation Petticoat
Dead Don't Die, The
On the Waterfront
Last Faust, The
Moonlighting
Art of Self-Defense, The
Ironweed
Booksmart
Prisoners
Beach Bum, The
Kill Ben Lyk
Into the Mirror
Support the Girls
Werewolf
Little Monsters
Spider-Man: Far from Home
Horrible Histories: The Movie - Rotten Romans
Pentathlon
Anna
Moulin Rouge
Ray & Liz
African Queen, The
Helen Morgan Story, The
Golem, Der
Yentl
Finishing Line, The
Triple Threat
Mysterious Castle in the Carpathians, The
Driven
   
 
Newest Articles
Step Back in Time: The Amazing Mr. Blunden on Blu-ray
Crazy Cats and Kittens: What's New Pussycat on Blu-ray
No Place Like Home Guard: Dad's Army - The Lost Episodes on Blu-ray
A Real-Life Pixie: A Tribute to Michael J. Pollard in Four Roles
We're All In This Together: The Halfway House on Blu-ray
Please Yourselves: Frankie Howerd and The House in Nightmare Park on Blu-ray
Cleesed Off: Clockwise on Blu-ray
Sorry I Missed You: Les Demoiselles de Rochefort on Blu-ray
Silliest of the Silly: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 1 on Blu-ray
Protest Songs: Hair on Blu-ray
Peak 80s Schwarzenegger: The Running Man and Red Heat
Rock On: That'll Be the Day and Stardust on Blu-ray
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
70s Psycho-Thrillers! And Soon the Darkness and Fright on Blu-ray
Split: Stephen King and George A. Romero's The Dark Half on Blu-ray
Disney Post-Walt: Three Gamechangers
But Doctor, I Am Pagliacci: Tony Hancock's The Rebel and The Punch and Judy Man on Blu-ray
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood: Interview with Director Rene Perez
Shit-Eating Grim: Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom on Blu-ray
Stallone's 80s Action Alpha and Omega: Nighthawks and Lock Up
Python Prehistory: At Last the 1948 Show and Do Not Adjust Your Set on DVD
You Could Grow to Love This Place: Local Hero on Blu-ray
Anglo-American: Joseph Losey Blu-ray Double Bill - The Criminal and The Go-Between
Marvel's Least Loved and Most Loved: Fantastic 4 vs Avengers: Endgame
   
 
  Cynic, The Rat and the Fist, The Which is which?Buy this film here.
Year: 1977
Director: Umberto Lenzi
Stars: Maurizio Merli, Tomas Milian, John Saxon, Renzo Palmer, Gabriella Lepori, Robert Hundar, Bruno Corazzari, Marco Guglielmi, Gabriella Giorgelli, Guido Alberti, Gianni Musy, Massimo Bonetti, Riccardo Garrone
Genre: Action, Thriller
Rating:  5 (from 2 votes)
Review: Retired from the force, ex-cop Leonardo Tanzi (Maurizio Merli) now makes a living editing crime novels. That is until he is ambushed in his apartment by assassins sent by an old criminal adversary, Luigi Maietto (Tomas Milian) a.k.a. The Chinaman. Newspapers report Tanzi's death but it is all a ruse. Relocating to another town, he continues his one-man war on crime as a two-fisted vigilante. Between rousting robbers, pounding porn-peddlers to a pulp and bedding hooker-turned-informant Nadia (Gabriella Lepori), Tanzi unearths info about the Chinaman's shaky alliance with hotshot new American mob boss Frank Di Maggio (John Saxon). He sets out to lure both into a fatal trap.

While macho moustachioed Maurizio Merli clearly embodies the titular 'fist' it is less clear which of his fellow Euro-crime icons, John Saxon and Tomas Milian, is meant to be the cynic or the rat. Judging from the fine interviews featured on the Blu-Ray release from 88 Films, neither director Umberto Lenzi, co-star Milian nor genre expert Mike Malloy, director of solid documentary Eurocrime! The Italian Cop and Gangster Films That Ruled the 70s (2012), are any the wiser on that front. Il cinico, l'infame, il violento/The Cynic, the Rat and the Fist was the second in Lenzi's trilogy of poliziotteschi action-thrillers, hot on the heels of Rome Armed to the Teeth (1976) which also featured Maurizio Merli as badass cop Inspector Tanzi. A character all but indistinguishable from Inspector Betti, the other badass cop portrayed by Merli in Lenzi's Violent Naples (1976) which was book-ended by Marino Girolami's Violent Rome (1975) and A Special Cop in Action (1976). In this instance however the script, co-written by Lenzi along with Dardano Sacchetti and Ernesto Gastaldi (who between them seemingly penned every B-movie in Italian cinema!), shifts Tanzi away from a Clint Eastwood-Dirty Harry clone into a Charles Bronson style vigilante a la Death Wish.

Despite the usual rousing action sequences and polished direction by Umberto Lenzi that counters his later reputation as a talentless horror hack, The Cynic, the Rat and the Fist is over-familiar stuff. Talky, meandering and casually nonsensical, the plot interweaves Tanzi's cathartic vigilante antics with complex power-plays and counter-ploys between rival scum-bags Maietto and Di Maggio, keeping the chief antagonists apart largely because behind the scenes Merli and Milian were not exactly the best of friends. The story never really adds up but throws in the odd memorable action scene (a gunfight in a porn studio, an ambush on a subway train, a chase through a supermarket) en route to a shoot-'em-up climax that wraps things up yet proves distinctly unsatisfying. Along with his shift into blatant vigilantism, Tanzi exhibits an alarming callousness in common with his criminal quarry as he slaps Nadia around, steals a car from some poor innocent woman and teams up with a comical ex-con who "accidentally murdered his wife" (?!) for a laughable heist wherein red string stands-in for an infra-red security web.

The film features the usual tiresome misogyny and abuse of hapless, under-characterized female characters although Gabriella Lepori's makeup remains ridiculously impeccable even after getting slapped silly by sleazy criminals and righteous cop hero alike. While The Cynic, the Rat and the Fist takes vicarious pleasure in having the mighty Merli belt seven kinds of shit out of wayward delinquents and odious gangsters, paradoxically it also betrays a grudging admiration for the suave villainy of Tomas Milian. The film makes of point of mentioning Frank DiMaggio is American as a means of drawing a distinction between foreign corporate criminals and 'lovable' local scoundrels, the sort-of cop-out bullshit that renders Euro-crime thrillers, for all the enthusiasm of fans like Quentin Tarantino, far less effective than the more complex sociopolitical thrillers of Francesco Rosi. And yet few of Rosi's films are available on Blu-ray. Maurizio Merli and Umberto Lenzi would complete the trilogy with From Corleone to Brooklyn (1979).

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 1677 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Umberto Lenzi  (1931 - 2017)

Prolific, workmanlike Italian director and writer who dabbled in most genres throughout his 40 year career. Started work as a film critic before making his directing debut in 1961 with the sea-faring adventure flick Queen of the Seas. The two decades years saw Lenzi churn out westerns, historical dramas, Bond-esquespy yarns and giallo thrillers among others.

It was his 1972 proto-cannibal film Deep River Savages that led to the best known phase of his career, with notorious gore-epics Cannibal Ferox and Eaten Alive and zombie shlocker Nightmare City quickly becoming favourites amongst fans of spaghetti splatter. Continued to plug away in the horror genre before retiring in 1996.

 
Review Comments (2)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Enoch Sneed
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
  Rachel Franke
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: