Fernando DiLeo wrote and directed some of the best works in the poliziotteschi genre. Films like Milano Calibro 9, La Mala Ordina, Mr. Scarface and Il Boss gave viewers a very clear look into the mafia life in Italy in the 1970s. The big difference between the Italian mafia films and the Hollywood mafia films were that the Italians didn't glorify the gangsters, instead they showed them for the true treacherous, traitorous lowlifes they really were.
Lanzetta (Henry Silva) works for the big boss Don Corrasco (Richard Conte) and his associate Don Giuseppe Danielo (Claudio Nicastro) the man who raised him like a son. Like a good soldier, Lanzetta takes out a rival family at the start of the film (this is one of the most badass violent pre-credit sequences ever!). When a family associate Cocchi (Pier Paolo Capponi) sees the bloody burnt mess of the hit, he is enraged and plans on getting revenge on Don Giuseppe. He figures out a way to hit him the hardest: kidnap his daughter! The only thing Cocchi didn't predict was that Rina Daniello would be a complete sex crazed nymphomaniac. When Cocchi and his men get Rina back to their hideout, they begin to tell her how much she's going to be used like a ragdoll. Instead of being afraid, she asks "Got a drink? I'm thirsty". Cocchi's men give her the Italian cinema drink of choice, J&B Scotch and Rina gets liquored up and ready to play.
Meanwhile, Don Giuseppe is in anguish over his daughter being taken. Don Corrasco explains that Rina will probably die because the family will not cooperate with Cocchi no matter what. This would humiliate them and make them look weak. Lanzetta gets an idea to pretend that they will give a big ransom for Rina, but this is just a ploy to give him enough time to find out where she is. Lanzetta plans on bringing the money to Cocchi's men with Don Giuseppe and another friend of the family. Don Giuseppe proceeds to thank Lanzetta for all his help, then BANG! Lanzetta kills Giuseppe and his friend. Lanzetta's contact Pignatro (Marino Mase) is waiting and they take the bodies and throw them in a furnace. Lanzetta then grabs the money and meets with one of Cocchi's men and gets the whereabouts of Rina.
Lanzetta sneaks into Cocchi's hideout while the men and Rina are having an orgy (what else would they be doing?). He then shoots the two men and brings her back to his hideout. The scenes between Henry Silva and Antonia Santilli are really hilarious. He slaps her around and calls her a "dirty fucking slut" one minute, then the next they're kissing tenderly like it's a love story. Rina is a foul mouthed wiseass and she continuously instigates Lanzetta into smacking her and telling her to get lost. With Cocchi and his men buzzing like angry Italian hornets looking for blood, Lanzetta has to stay put until he gets word from Don Corrasco for his next move...
The thing I love about DiLeo's films is that EVERYONE is corrupt. Noone is safe from being knocked off at any time for any reason. If someone raised you and took care of you, but you see a better place to be, BINGO, you get rid of them. If someone is your boss and you have "loyalty" to them, it doesn't mean jack. Noone really has any honor and noone can be trusted in the Mafia which is really what DiLeo was trying to get across with his crime films.
One of the films main highlights is the great Gianni Garko (The Psychic, Five For Hell) as Police Comissario Torri. Instead of being the tough hero representing the police force, hes just another one of Don Corrasco's stoolies. He has some great lines in the film and really makes the most of his screen time.
Reviewed by Popeye Pete - 6/13/07