Don Vincenzo is a well respected boss from Naples, but he protects people from other criminals, like gypsies, loan sharks and Don Bufalo...but as they say in Naples, a Mammasantissima either ends in jail or inside a grave.
The Poliziotteschi genre is mostly populated by maverick cops and sadistic criminals; so The New Godfathers is something of an original addition to the genre. As the Italian title suggests; this film focuses on contraband - which a popular focus for this genre, but rather than focus on one side of the war; the film is instead bolstered by a working relationship between a customs officer and a top criminal as they work together for mutual gain. It has to be said that the film has some problems in terms of plot pacing and it's not exactly a thrill a minute; but some good characters and interesting plot development at least ensures that the film remains decent for the running time. The New Godfathers begins with a heroin shipment in Iran being halted by a revolution. Naturally there's people intent on getting this heroin to the USA; and so decide to run it through a small group of smugglers in Italy. However, Italian customs get wind of what is going on and seek to strike a bargain with the local criminals.
The most interesting parts of the film focus on Naples' smuggler community and thankfully director Alfonso Brescia (who previously directed the disappointing Giallo Naked Girl Killed in the Park) spends a lot of time on this element. There's also a subplot involving two young kids in love that works better than it really had any right to. This genre is usually bolstered by high speed car chases and gunfights; although this one doesn't feature as much of that as other genres, which is disappointing; although it made up for by some superior characters and acting. The cast is lead by the pairing of Mario Merola and Antonio Sabato, who will both be familiar to Eurocrime fans; having starred in a number of these films between them. The second half of the film is more action packed than the first and the move towards the story's conclusion is carried off with style and verve; although the final sequences could have been better edited. Overall, I wouldn't exactly say that this film is at the pinnacle of its genre; but it's a more than decent watch and Eurocrime fans should give it a look.
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