Saturday, August 15, 2009

Film Review: THE HEROIN BUSTERS (1977, Enzo G. Castellari)

Stars: 4 of 5.
Running Time: 132 minutes.
Notable Cast or Crew: Music by Goblin. Starring Fabio Testi, David Hemmings, Joshua Sinclair.
Tag-lines: "FABIO TESTI."
Best one-liner: See review.

"I'm gonna put a bullet in your assshole!" Yeah, you are. Enzo Castellari strikes again with bad dubbing; idioms that don't exist in English ("It's like having fleas- but these fleas BITE!"); head-scratching plot twists; and tight, TIGHT jeans. You know, I've not yet seen a Castellari film that I was disappointed with. Each time I go in with the expectation of purely ironic thrills (which I certainly get), but end up leaving with a mostly sincere appreciation of what I've just seen. He may use a laughable amount of reaction shots, have unexplained lesbian dream sequences, and frame a lot of shots with asscrack in the foreground, but damned if he isn't a good filmmaker. His action scenes have a certain 'poor man's Peckinpah' intensity to them, and he manages to capture the 'Howard Hawks via John Carpenter' dynamic of buddy-bonding (usually peppered with spit-take inducing homoerotic undertones).

But anyway, on to THE HEROIN BUSTERS: we have the awesome David Hemmings (BLOW-UP, DEEP RED) as a likable, baby-faced Interpol agent who is always smacking the shit out of people and swearing,

Hemmings shows Testi who's the boss. Note the map in the background: "Ah yes there are drugs in these cities. And if you connect them with yarn, it looks something like THIS."

Fabio Testi (the 1970's Italian Hugh Jackman) wearing a tight denim outfit tucked into boots and held together by a red cloth which I guess is a belt, fantastic stuntwork, and a 'Battle of the Cessnas' finale.

Fabio Testi walks into a room and people just start getting intimidated.

"Next time bring your daddies." Note the makeshift belt.

This movie is epic. There's a montage of the drug trade in 5 international cities in just 5 minutes.

Hi-tech crime-busting equipment of incredible sophistication.

And it's all set to the rockin' "Italo Disco meets Led Zeppelin" riffs of GOBLIN. And when this movie's in doubt, it shows one of two things: thugs punching or junkies shooting up. Somebody does some smack. Who is this person? It doesn't matter, cause six dudes just busted in and are whaling on him.

Who are they? It doesn't matter, cause now we're in a different city where the same thing is happening, but to a new guitar riff. Yeah. That's what this movie is all about. Four stars. Keep 'em in that secret boot-heel panel where you hide all your best H.

-Sean Gill


GuyR said...

Just saw this one. Great stuff!
The opening montage is so awesome I need to watch it every 5 hours.

Also, I asked myself the same question as when watching the Bronx Warriors : how do those people manage to MOVE in those jeans dammit?

Sean Gill said...

Heh, that opening montage surely sets the proper chaotic tone, doesn't it? And Castellari really deserves some kind of award for lifetime achievement with tight pants or something.