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José Luis López Vázquez,
Pietro De Vico,
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Cigarette smugglers in Naples run into problems with cocaine operations being set up by a rival smuggler. Full of violence, including a women's face being burned off with a blow torch and a graphic rape scene. Written by
Although no highlight of the Italian Crime genre, Lucio Fulci's "Luca Il Contrabbandiere" aka "Contraband" is a rough, tough-minded and ultra-violent Gangster flick that certainly delivers, especially for a Fulci fan. Lucio Fulci is widely renowned as the 'Godfather Of Gore', and "Contraband" is a movie that is certainly not going to deprive him of this well-deserved reputation. Although the plot may not be as original as it was the case with many other of the (generally violent) Italian Crime Thrillers of the 70s and early 80s, "Contraband" scores in means of roughness, intransigence and gruesome, gory violence.
Luca Di Angelo (Fabio Testi) and many of his friends make a living as cigarette smugglers in Naples. After their refusal to deal with drugs instead of cigarettes, ruthless drug dealers, amongst them a sadistic gangster from Marseille start to target the cigarette smugglers' families. Luca, however, is not the kind of man who gives in to threats...
Fabio Testi, who had already worked with Lucio Fulci in "Four Of The Apocalypse" in 1975 (aside Tomas Milian and Lynne Frederick), delivers a good leading performance as Luca, and Marcel Bozzuffi is wonderfully evil in his role of the villain. I also found several of the supporting actors, such as Guido Alberti (who only has a very small role) very good. Some other supporting cast members deliver rather bad performances. The violence is pretty brutal and includes several very nasty scenes of torture and sexual violence. There are some scenes that don't really fit in, such as some cheesy looking and kitschy slow-mo sequences of horses at a racecourse, and the music is sometimes out of place, but all in all, the movie's qualities come up for its flaws. "Contraband" is certainly no highlight of Italian crime cinema, but a brutal and uncompromising flick that highly entertains. Fans of Lucio Fulci and Crime thrillers of the rough kind should be pleased.
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