Christina Fisher arrives in Sardinia to spend a holiday with her university friend, Francesco. As they are touring the island, they are trapped by mountain terrorists. Francesco is ... See full summary »
Christina Fisher arrives in Sardinia to spend a holiday with her university friend, Francesco. As they are touring the island, they are trapped by mountain terrorists. Francesco is kidnapped, but Christina is permitted to leave. She is determined to contact the police, but is persuaded not to by Francesco's best friend, Gambino. Together they try to find the kidnappers, but she becomes suspicious of everyone including Gambino. Confused and paranoid, she sets out alone to contact the police. Written by
The only other Mingozzi movie I had watched was the notorious if atypical Nunsploitationer FLAVIA, THE HERETIC (1974); this is a similarly serious effort to treat the kidnapping racket that was apparently rife in Sardinia at the time in this respect, it is only borderline "Euro-Cult", still, the opportunity to be controversial was not shunned (as can be seen from the very first scene in which a car gratuitously smashes into a herd of sheep, mowing down one and crippling another!). The film starts with the abduction of the son of an eminent member of society while he is taking a country-side trip in his car (accompanied by a foreign student, played by Charlotte Rampling); the odd way it all happens, with almost a business-like symbiosis between criminals (hidden away in the mountains) and victim, perplexes the girl (who is left behind). Of course, she tries to dig into the matter but finds nothing but opposition from authorities, locals and even the man's own family and best friend Franco Nero! Eventually, it transpires that the whole was an elaborate land-grabbing scheme with the strings being pulled by one of their own (i.e. the landowners); even so, when he gets too big for his boots since the man starts eying not just land ripe for grazing (which he used to sell for peanuts to the bandits) but seaside property for the raising of hotels and such, his own collaborators turn on him!; the latter had actually been alerted to this fact by Nero, who arranges for himself to be kidnapped in order to rout the guilty party though, when embarking on this mission, he was unaware that his pal had innocently fallen in a skirmish between kidnappers and Police. The finale, then, sees the villain literally being 'taken for a ride' by Nero and the dead boy's family with Rampling once again stranded unable to comprehend a way of life still so primitive and obviously different to her own (which is the true raison d'etre of the film apart from the human/political drama being depicted, with its expected cinematic interpolations of suspense, action and even a little romance).
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