HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
American Fiction
Poor Things
Thunderclap
Zeiram
Legend of the Bat
Party Line
Night Fright
Pacha, Le
Kimi
Assemble Insert
Venus Tear Diamond, The
Promare
Beauty's Evil Roses, The
Free Guy
Huck and Tom's Mississippi Adventure
Rejuvenator, The
Who Fears the Devil?
Guignolo, Le
Batman, The
Land of Many Perfumes
Cat vs. Rat
Tom & Jerry: The Movie
Naked Violence
Joyeuses Pacques
Strangeness, The
How I Became a Superhero
Golden Nun
Incident at Phantom Hill
Winterhawk
Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City
Maigret Sets a Trap
B.N.A.
Hell's Wind Staff, The
Topo Gigio and the Missile War
Battant, Le
Penguin Highway
Cazadore de Demonios
Snatchers
Imperial Swordsman
Foxtrap
   
 
Newest Articles
3 From Arrow Player: Sweet Sugar, Girls Nite Out and Manhattan Baby
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
   
 
  Syndicate Sadists Where Did You Get That Hat?
Year: 1975
Director: Umberto Lenzi
Stars: Tomas Milian, Joseph Cotten, Maria Fiore, Mario Piave, Luciano Catenacci, Guido Alberti, Femi Benussi, Silvano Tranquilli, Shirley Corrigan, Antonio Casale, Rosario Borelli, Luciano Pigozzi, Mario Novelli, Bruno Di Luia, Giuseppe Castellano
Genre: Action, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Rambo (Tomas Milian) is something of a rogue who makes his way through life skirting close to the line of lawlessness, but is capable enough to pull off his schemes. His brother, however, is firmly on the side of the police, and when Rambo visits him and his family one day he makes him an offer: there is so much crime on the streets of Italy these days that the authorities are crying out for cops to help them out with all those murders, kidnappings and robberies. He is sceptical that this is his sort of deal, but goes along to see the training for the recruits and is fairly impressed, though they are more impressed by Rambo as his hand to hand combat skills and marksmanship show them all up. Will he join up?

Well, he does and he doesn't in another collaboration between director Umberto Lenzi and star Tomas Milian where they took the Italian crime movie scene by storm. Sometimes it can be difficult to discern precisely what was working out in this genre thanks to the sheer bulk of the product that was created from the late nineteen-sixties into the seventies, but the public were most appreciative of this duo when it was at its most popular, though Syndicate Sadists was regarded as a lesser entry in their canon, and tends to be to this day. Not to say there was nothing to enjoy, as Lenzi knew what his leading man was able to carry off and played to his strengths; here he was a cross between Dirty Harry and Serpico.

Not only that, but a heavy dose of Clint Eastwood in A Fistful of Dollars into the bargain, thanks to a plot that recycled Dashiell Hammett's "play both sides against each other" classic novel Red Harvest, seen from Akira Kurosawa's Yojimbo to Walter Hill's Last Man Standing. Nevertheless, there was enough of a spin put on what was growing somewhat hackneyed to make it watchable in its element, and seeing the obvious maverick Rambo, and wondering if he is in fact a reprobate rather than a hero, was always going to be entertaining, an ideal role for Milian who even saw his movie characters on the side of the good guys come across as a little bit dodgy thanks to the actor's bad boy charisma.

About that name, he was called Rambo because Milian was a fan of David Morrell's novel First Blood, and even wanted to arrange a film adaptation of it with himself as the star, a most intriguing prospect that came to nothing, but so attached was he to the material that Lenzi allowed him to name the protagonist here after its lead. Sylvester Stallone famously went ahead and made his own version of it, and the rest was Vietnam veteran fiction history. There was really no more connection than that, for Milian's Rambo was tailored to his persona, so he was more like a serious Terence Hill in one of his Westerns in that he looked grubby and came across as lazy, but would use this to deceive his enemies when he was actually far more adept than they took him for; Rambo meets setbacks, sure, but we are confident he can succeed.

Succeed in foiling a gang of kidnappers, that was, who had grabbed a young boy and were demanding a huge ransom for his return. Rambo's brother has tried to go out on his own and retrieve the child, but early on in the plot is murdered by the baddies for his attempt, necessitating a revenge scheme as much as a plan to get the boy, and leading to Milian in humanising scenes where he looks after the widow and his nephew, but also muscular sequences with the requisite car chases and gun battles that were de rigueur in these thrillers. Joseph Cotten showed up as a man of influence who Rambo pits himself against, bringing out the sense of humour in the character for a film that could have been as hard-edged and glum as many of its peers, though mostly it was him squaring off against a selection of Italian tough guy actors with faces like a welder's bench, flinging them around and gunning them down when the opportunity arose. The best joke was when regular exploitation performer Luciano Pigozzi asked Rambo that age old question, "Hey, don't I know you from somewhere?" and was told by him it was probably at a holiday resort for homosexuals (!). Music by Franco Micalizzi.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 3317 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 (0)


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 probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Enoch Sneed
Darren Jones
  Louise Hackett
Mark Le Surf-hall
Andrew Pragasam
Mary Sibley
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: