Review: Rogue Cops and Racketeers
Blu-ray: Rogue Cops and Racketeers – Two Crime Thrillers from Enzo G. Castellari
Fabio Testi stars as inspector Nico Palmieri in Enzo G. Castellari’s (Keoma, Inglorious Bastards) 1976 Italian crime Poliziotteschi drama The Big Racket.
Sent to small Italian town, Palmieri and his partner take on a gang of criminals who have a racket demanding ‘safety’ money off all the local businesses not to smash up their shop. The gang rampage thorough the town and when Palmieri follows them to a meeting with their boss, he’s seen and they roll his car down a hill injuring him.
The only way Palmieri can stop the gang is to get one of the victims to testify against them, but no one will as they are all terrified, until the café owner agrees after the gang threaten to attack his daughter…which they carry out when they find out he has reported them.
As with most poliziotteschi films the plot is labyrinthine with various good and bad guys that interweave the story.
Losing his job in the police after the death of his partner by the gang, Palmieri concocts a payback by gathering his own group of ex-criminals and victims of the gang to finally put an end to their racket.
I think Italian crime films in general are ‘different’ and fill me with a sense of unease, this one in particular as the violence in this film, particularly against women, rings true. Rape as a punishment and weapon of control, and the camera doesn’t flinch from this.
The Heroin Busters stars most of the actors from The Big Racket, including the lovely Fabio Testi. Beginning with a whirlwind journey of drug traffickers across the world, the story kicks off from a slow start to the usual violence, drug taking, car chases and fighting. No rape in this one, just a long lesbian scene, where luckily the actors long hair hide all the ‘action’.
David Hemmings is great as a shouty Interpol officer on the track of a network of drug dealers. There is some incredible stunt work (including a chase involving 2 light aircraft), imaginative action sequences, and all accompanied by some cracking music from Goblin.
2-Disc Limited Edition Contents:
- Brand new 2K restorations of both films from the original 35mm camera negatives by Arrow Films
- High Definition Blu-ray™ (1080p) presentations
- Original Italian and English front and end titles
- Restored original lossless mono Italian and English soundtracks
- Newly translated English subtitles for the Italian soundtracks
- Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing for the English soundtracks
- New audio commentaries on both films by critics Adrian J. Smith and David Flint
- Illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the films by Roberto Curti and Barry Forshaw
- Limited edition packaging with reversible sleeves featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Colin Murdoch
- Twelve double-sided, postcard-sized lobby card reproduction artcards
Disc One – The Big Racket:
- The Years of Racketeering, a new video interview with co-writer/director Enzo G. Castellari
- Violent Times, a new video interview with actor Fabio Testi
- Angel Face for a Tough Guy, a new video interview with actor Massimo Vanni
- King of Movieola, a new video interview with editor Gianfranco Amicucci
- The Great Racket, a new appreciation and career retrospective of composers Guido and Maurizio De Angelis by musician and disc collector Lovely Jon
- Theatrical trailer
- Image gallery
Disc Two – The Heroin Busters:
- Endless Pursuit, a new video interview with co-writer/director Enzo G. Castellari
- Drug Squad, a new video interview with actor Fabio Testi
- The Drug Dealer, a new video interview with actor Massimo Vanni
- How They Killed Italian Cinema, a new video interview with editor Gianfranco Amicucci
- A Cop on the Set, a new video interview with retired poliziotto and criminologist Nicola Longo
- The Eardrum Busters, a new appreciation and career retrospective of composers Goblin by musician and disc collector Lovely Jon
- Theatrical trailer
- Image gallery
Review by Tina from discs kindly supplied by Arrow Films via Fetch Publicity.