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Spike of Bensonhurst (1988)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  11 November 1988 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.9/10 from 306 users  
Reviews: 26 user | 6 critic

Spike Fumo is an Italian kid apsiring to be a boxer. He falls in love with a rich girl, who turns out to be the daughter of a Mafia boss. Spike is threatened to leave Bensonhurst by the mob... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Spike Fumo
Baldo Cacetti
Sylvia Cacetti
Helen Fumo
Antonia Rey ...
Bandanas Mother
Karen Shallo ...
Christopher Anthony Young ...
Mario Todisco ...
Rodney Harvey ...
Frank Adonis ...
Frank Gio ...
Pete Fumo


Spike Fumo is an Italian kid apsiring to be a boxer. He falls in love with a rich girl, who turns out to be the daughter of a Mafia boss. Spike is threatened to leave Bensonhurst by the mob, and then goes to a poverty-stricken Puerto Rican part of Brooklyn. Written by Philip Brubaker <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


One kid's fight for the respect of the neighborhood. See more »


Comedy | Drama


R | See all certifications »




Release Date:

11 November 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Throw Back!  »

Box Office


$623,112 (USA)

Company Credits

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User Reviews

Never judge a video by it's cover!
18 June 2004 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

In life, just as in boxing there are rules that one must abide by. Despite knowing these rules, Spike Fumo chooses to march to the beat of his own drum. Unfortunately, at times the beat is out of synch with the tune of reality.

Sasha Mitchell plays Spike Fumo; a native Bensonhurst Brooklynite whose grasp out seeds his reach. His father is serving a prison term for a crime he took the fall on to protect a local mob boss. His mother has taken up with another woman in her husbands absence and moved her lover into the house. Despite tall this, Spike has aspirations of becoming a boxing champion/mobster and thinks his Italian heritage is enough to carry him on the road to both. And such begins Spike of Bensonhurst. Paul Morrissy of the Andy Warhol fame directs this picture but try not to hold that against the movie. To his credit, during filming; Sasha Mitchell almost broke his back trying to carry the entire project on his shoulders with little to no avail. But, if you pause step back and look at the story line as a whole; the plot is amazing.

Spike is a club fighter who tries to impress local mob boss Baldo Cacetti by throwing fights. When he sees that is getting him nowhere fast, he quickly decides to get Baldo's daughter Angel pregnant and carve out a niche for himself. As a result, Spike gets him exiled from Bensonhurst. He is forced to move to Red Hook with Bandana (a fellow boxer) and his Puerto Rican family. Things then really start to spiral out of control when Spike falls for Bandana's sister, India and gets her pregnant as well. He finds himself between a rock and a hard place with a pregnant girl on each side pushing both in on him. If William Shakespeare were a filmmaker, this is the type of film he'd be making! It has everything: familial drama, sly comedy, prearranged marriages, unrequited love, crime, and a refreshingly flawed lead character who for once does not have all the answers and is free to make his own mistakes. (But trust me, The Bard would have done a far better job than some washed-up reject from Andy Warhol's factory.)

I believe that this film went wrong in 2 places. First off, there wasn't enough of an on-screen relationship developed between Spike and India. In fact, it seemed that Spike's furlough into Red Hook as a whole was more delegated to comic relief status when it could have been very revealing to Spike's character as a whole. I never felt I knew if Spike was involved with India because he just wanted a piece or if he actually found comfort in her arms. In one scene, Spike stared at India from bar of the club they were at while she was dancing with another man, and you knew that Spike felt a sense of guilt but you never know why.

Secondly, this film without a doubt possesses the worst soundtrack of all time. I'd rather listen to a tape an endless tape of Gilbert Godfried reading the phone book than to pop the soundtrack to this bad boy in my CD player. Trust me, mere language cannot convey how bad the music is. All in all, Spike of Bensonhurst is a film that deserves viewing. It's a film that is a dying breed. Part Anti-Rocky and part Shakespearean tragedy that is largely uneven and possess lots of the drawbacks of both. What it does possess, are enough genuine moments throughout to make you realize that his could have been so much more. Don't listen to any of the negative reviews on this for this film that other people have written. As a matter of fact, you can pretty much throw the positive ones out the window also and make up your own mind.

5 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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