When a shipment of heroin disappears between Italy and New York, a small-time pimp in Milan is framed for the theft. Two professional hitmen are dispatched from New York to find him, but ... See full summary »
When a shipment of heroin disappears between Italy and New York, a small-time pimp in Milan is framed for the theft. Two professional hitmen are dispatched from New York to find him, but the real thieves want to get rid of him before the New York killers get to him to eliminate any chance of them finding out he's the wrong man. When the pimp's wife and daughter are murdered in the course of the "manhunt", he swears revenge on everyone who had anything to do with it. Written by
Now released under the absurdly named Mack Video as the absurdly named BLACK KINGPIN, LA MALA ORDINA, once known as MANHUNT, shows the Italian seventies policier director Fernando DiLeo in peak form. The Italian cops-mob-and-corruption movies often had a neorealist tincture, not far from such British cousins as GET CARTER or THE LONG GOOD FRIDAY. (The best in this vein is the dark, harrowing VIOLENT NAPLES.) But some of them were as ripe and over-the-top as concurrent works of Italian horror; and this saga of a small-town pimp pursued, God knows why, by Mr. Big and two Vincent-and-Jules-looking U.S.-made button men, looks like the product of some torrid motel-room coitus between Sergio Leone and Don Siegel. The faces are sweaty, the beatings (to evoke Roger Ebert's memorable phrase) suggest the sound of ping-pong paddles smacking naugahyde sofas--the only thing that's missing is the groan of an Ennio Morricone score. An evening of Shane Black quips it ain't, but ninety minutes of top-shelf hardboiled groove it is.
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