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
   
 
  Big Racket, The All guns blazing
Year: 1976
Director: Enzo G. Castellari
Stars: Fabio Testi, Vincent Gardenia, Renzo Palmer, Orso Maria Guerrini, Glauco Onorato, Marcella Michelangeli, Romano Puppo, Antonio Marsina, Sal Borgese, Joshua Sinclair, Daniele Dublino, Anna Zinnemann, Edy Biagetti, Salvatore Billa, Giovanni Bonadonna
Genre: Drama, Action, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Tough cop Nico Palmieri (Fabio Testi) faces an uphill struggle investigating an extortion racket inflicted upon a sleepy Italian village, where the inhabitants are too terrified to speak out against a mob of violent criminals. When Palmieri finally convinces mild-mannered restaurateur Luigi Giulti (Renzo Palmer) to testify, the mobsters brutally rape his young daughter (Marcella Michelangeli). Then when Olympic skeet-shooting champion Gianni Rossetti (Orso Maria Guerrini) comes to the policeman’s aid during a mob ambush, the thugs invade his home, rape his wife (Anna Zinneman) then burn her alive. Suspecting the crooks have a man on the inside, Palmieri’s unorthodox solution is to recruit wily old rogue Pepe (Vincent Gardenia) who commits a string of non-violent bank robberies alongside his young nephew, in a bid to ferret out the rival gang lord. Unfortunately the scheme backfires resulting in a lynching and Palmieri’s dismissal from the police force. With nothing left to lose, Palmieri forms a vigilante force including the vengeful Luigi, Gianni and Pepe, alongside a similar grudge-bearing mafia don Pierro Mazzarelli (Glauco Onorato) and a mob hitman, for a final bloody showdown with the mobsters.

1976 was a vintage year for Italian action auteur Enzo G. Castellari. Alongside his spaghetti western masterpiece Keoma, the costume romp The Loves and Times of Scaramouche and the spoof western Cry Onion!, Castellari delivered this nihilistic crime thriller that many rate as a political commentary on the corruption and terrorism plaguing Italy during the Seventies. Although Castellari certainly delivers the dynamic action, extraordinary stunts and ingenious camerawork for which he is rightly famed (notably an inside view of a car rolling downhill as Palmieri tumbles amidst flying shards of glass), as a political statement The Big Racket is rather muddled.

Structure-wise, the plot runs much the same as Street Law (1974): a series of grim atrocities escalating ever higher until a brutal warehouse finale. Whilst breaking taboos regarding the depiction of sex and violence (e.g. a pair of sickening sexual assaults often truncated in most UK prints), Castellari actually upholds a conservative viewpoint. The wisecracking hoodlums embody every middle-aged bourgeoisie’s idea of youth gone awry, while the brains behind the gang is unmasked as a sharp-dressed, smooth-talking Englishman named Rudy (Joshua Sinclair). The film’s anti-crime and corruption message treads perilously close to an anti-liberal subtext as the crooks hide their homicidal impulses behind political indignation, there are the usual arguments about the law protecting criminals rather than citizens while the chief instigators of crime in this small Italian town are largely foreigners. By contrast, Palmieri turns a blind eye to Pepe and his nephew who regularly rob tourists at gunpoint. Thus the film implies established local criminals are decent sorts compared to these young thugs from overseas. Tourists are fair game, but the foreign hoodlums pick on local businessmen, thus jeopardising the Italian economy.

Palmieri’s righteous indignation combines with Castellari’s love of action and fails to note the irony in combating organised crime by turning mild-mannered citizens into homicidal maniacs. Nevertheless The Big Racket does not make a convincing argument for taking a proactive stance against crime, given none of the principals walk away from the climactic carnage and implies the lone survivor has been driven completely insane. However, charismatic matinee idol Fabio Testi makes a compelling hero and Castellari fans will relish every blood squib and slow-motion stunt staged amidst a typically pulsating Guido and Maurizio De Angelis score.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 4350 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
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: