42nd Street Cinema

The Big Racket (1976)

Eurocrime time. Enzo G. Castellari's Il Grande Racket. An outrageously violent and unsympathetic tale of corruption and revenge. The plot involves Inspector Nico Palmieri (Fabio Testi - Massimo Dallamano's What Have You Done To Solange? (1972)) who is the toughest cop on the force. He's on the trail of a gang of organized criminals running a protection racket. Tensions rise when events become more violent and desperate as the gang builds a bigger repertoire and strength. Nico begins to feel the pressure on the force and no-one in town is talking as they are too frightened. Desperate times call for desperate measures and Nico is forced to use all his resources.
Eventually after too many 'slip ups' Nico loses his position as a police man and is out for revenge. So he goes to town and starts to round up people who've been personally targeted by the gang. Together they form a band of misfits who're all ready to take down this 'Big Racket'.

The finale culminates in a cacophony of gunfire, ricochets, explosions, slow-mo squences and brilliantly bloody squib effects. In my opinion one of the films most memorable sequences involves Nico trapped in his car while it's smashed to shit by members of the gang, right before being rolled down a hill, with him still inside. It not only conveys a message of the gang's power, but also the seemingly uselessness and frailty of the Police when pitted against them. The film's upbeat and funky soundtrack perfectly accompanies the slick visuals.

The extras on this release are minimal however the commentary by Enzo reveals an intriguing insight into his film. View it.

DVD: Blue Underground
Run Time: 106 Mins
Extras: Audio Commentary with Director Enzo G. Castellari and Theatrical Trailer.


Anonymous said...

Liked this one a lot. Much better than Heroin Busters, the Castellari/Testi film that came after. I like how the end scene is pretty much the same as Street Law, in the big factory. Wouldn't surprise me if they filmed it in the same place. Great review.

Nigel M said...

Agree with Starmummy- Heroin Busters is a bit of second tier effort. Also possibly right about the re-used locations. I am sure I have noticed a number of derelict factory reused locations in Castellari's films- I am sure some of the interior locations from Bronx Warriors were re used in a Castelari crime film too- but can't for the minute think where I noticed them

Oh an James- got to agree about those squib effects. It is a while since I seen this one so I think you spurred me into rewatching this.

Matt-suzaka said...

Love the Big Racket and the car roll over scene is quite amazingly shot...especially considering that Testi is in that car as it's rolling over. Great film.

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