Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Heroin Busters (1977)

"...I'm going to put a bullet in your asshole and that could be very messy."

Fabio is an undercover Italian police officer who has teamed up with an INTERPOL agent to break up an international drug ring specializing in the distribution of heroin. Fabio has to do the dirtiest dirt and dealer or junkie would do to obtain information and contacts for his partner who he commonly has to fight with in order to keep his cover. As Fabio rises through the ranks of the Rome drug ring things get messier and more violent for him and his partner until the entire city is in the line of fire and even the skies aren't safe during the finale.

The plot of THE HEROIN BUSTERS is a simple one but director Enzo G. Castellari handles the story written by frequent Castellari collaborators Massimo De Rita and Galliano Juso with such care that it comes out great. The slow start, which is some uncharacteristic for a Euro-Crime film such as this, is never boring thanks to the great performances from Fabio Testi (Four Of The Apocalypse) and David Hemmings (Deep Red). The two leads completely own their performances and fully embody their characters of the undercover cop and INTERPOL agent respectively. The action does pickup throughout the film and there is no shortage of violence or exciting chases, whether they be on foot through the city and on rooftops or in cars and motorcycles or in airplanes (look for Testi to do all of his own piloting during the airplane scene). The music is handled by Goblin so it goes without saying that the soundtrack is great.

THE HEROIN BUSTERS suffers from being rather monotone throughout. The only time the mood really changes is during a few brief surreal scenes when someone is tripping balls after shooting up. Outside of those sequences the feeling the viewer gets is the same throughout, even during the climax, which was fun to watch but that sense of excitement and nervous anticipation for something big to happen really wasn't there. This is by far my biggest problem with an otherwise entertaining and well put together Italian crime film. It may not be among my favorite films of the genre but I wouldn't doubt it is probably one of the better films on the technical side and it is, despite it's flaws, a very entertaining movie.


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