Napoli...La Camorra Sfida, La Citta' Risponde (Alfonso Brescia, 1979) **
This is surely one of the least poliziotteschi I've come across, but it's still watchable enough. It lacks the typical rugged hero substituting him instead with burly Mario Merola who was known to carry a Neapolitan tune! The slick yet one-note villain, then, is played by Antonio Sabato (usually seen as a good guy, albeit as wooden as ever) who's about the only member of the cast (or face) known to me!
Coming at the tail-end of the genre, the film injects a good deal of bawdy humor into the hard-boiled/violent proceedings especially with respect to a stocky bar owner who's intimidated by the protection racket offered by Sabato and his cohorts. Still, he's so dumb that, when threatened that it might get very hot unless he collaborates, he quips: "What the f*** do I care? I'll switch on the air-conditioning"! Later on, a bomb goes off in the bar just as he's about to use the toilet; at the climax, his scruffy-haired father is revealed to be no less inept as, choosing a bazooka with which to confront the villains, the one shot he's able to take only serves to blow up their own car!!
Anyway, Merola is a self-made industrialist who, with a number of other self-employed business owners, is forced to take protection from the mob or else; when the former refuse, the latter takes drastic action (as already mentioned). However, the Police can't get anything out of the 'victims' which may identify the culprits until Merola's photography enthusiast son takes snapshots of Sabato picking up the payment due at each of their establishments/offices. Foolishly, the Inspector not only has the criminals in the police line-up facing their would-be accusers but he even brings out the boy, whose tirade does lead the men to sign the requisite police statement which lands Sabato & Co. in jail.
Merola's son, who had already been beaten up and watched his girlfriend get raped, is sent off to Rome with the latter's family however, the "Camorra" is soon to know of his whereabouts (though we're never told how, just like the revenge-seeking owners are made to ambush Sabato's gang at an out-of-the-way restaurant cheerfully depicted in the most clichéd view of Italians singing, eating and drinking to their heart's content): they kidnap and turn him onto drugs so hard that he's reduced to a raving, foaming-at-the-mouth lunatic! The latter scene really throws the film into overdrive (though, prior to this, director Brescia had intermittently inserted stylized yet pointless images of the various owners getting shot presumably to emphasize the point that they've all become marked men) and, in fact, the climactic action bout is filled with over-the-top violence none more so than when Sabato, cornered by Merola in an ossuary, is impaled by the latter with a massive wooden cross!!
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