4.9/10
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6 user 5 critic

Fuoco incrociato (1988)

General Romero, leader of a small Latin American country, is showing the UN how he's taking care of his country's drug problems by publicly burning crops of marijuana. As soon as the ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Richard Randall ...
William
Brigitte Porsche ...
Helen (as Brigitte Porsh)
Peter Hintz ...
David
Maurice Poli ...
General Romero
...
Myra (as Ana Silvia Grullon)
Jacobo Vasquez
...
Astaroth
John L. Rock
Carlos Santos
Victor Checo
Flora Maria Castillo
Francisco Julius
Lisandra Ventura
Danilo Javier
Lucas Abreu
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Storyline

General Romero, leader of a small Latin American country, is showing the UN how he's taking care of his country's drug problems by publicly burning crops of marijuana. As soon as the inspectors leave, however, Romero quickly returns to business, producing and shipping the illegal crop. When his right-hand man is convinced by a crusading reporter to turn away from his life of crime and help bring his boss to justice, Romero vows to stop at nothing to prevent this traitor from talking. Written by Jean-Marc Rocher <rocher@fiberbit.net>

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4 July 1988 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

Cross Mission  »

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User Reviews

 
A Working Study In Bad Cinema
20 March 2007 | by (New York, USA) – See all my reviews

First off, I like this movie but not for the movie. It's an Alfonse Brescia movie, you see. Al Brady -- as he is perhaps more commonly known as to English speaking audiences -- was one of the least respected but most well-journeyed directors of the Italian genre school of B grade filmmakers from the 1960s and 1970s who sadly passed away in 1999. Bresia's most often seen movies as far as American audiences go would either be his Barbarian Women epics from the early 1970s (ATTACK OF THE BARBARIAN WOMEN and RETURN OF THE BARBARIAN WOMEN) or the STAR WARS inspired series of science fiction Spaghetti potboilers made back to back in 1977 & 1978 (WAR OF THE ROBOTS and STAR ODYSSEY being the most common of the five, all of which are equally threadbare & endearingly awful).

This was one of his forays into the RAMBO ripoff idiom of Fillipino financed and Italian produced Jungal Trash potboilers made in the mid 1980s, though this one is supposedly set in South America during Nancy Reagan's "War on Drugs". Instead of smashing commie POW camps, this Rambo is going after a drug lord. The common elements of the Bannana Boater Rambo Ripoff Formula are all present: The beefy macho hero (Richard Randall, looking like Fabio's younger brother), the sultry professional female love interest, the slimy duplicitous misplaced James Bond villain, the cartoonish paramilitary forces aligned against each other and of course the superimposed social message in the form of a people's popular uprising against some kind of social dictator who is also the slimy villain. Saves on cast budgeting and dialog to compress the two elements into one, and Bescia was a pro at keeping all associated costs with his productions at a bare minimum.

While it may not result in a particularly memorable genre film it's over quickly and is mercifully entertaining enough to not be annoying or engender much resentment over the 90 minutes it mages to kill. None of what happens is original or particularly well staged, so like a Spaghetti Western (which Brescia made about six of) what distinguishes the end result is the fact that it's an Alfonse Brescia movie with music by Stelvio Cipriani that just happened to have been produced by genre movie legend Walter Brandi, and features RATMAN's Anna Silvia Grullon in an eye candy role. The specifics of the story or kinematics employed are actually a secondary consideration, which makes this a perfect project for Alfonse Brescia to have directed.

Which isn't meant to be a put-down of his skillz as a filmmaker but more to acknowledge that once you get down to brass tacks it could have been made by anyone and the story could be about anything. I like what one commenter said about there being lots of people driving around in open air vehicles frenetically firing automatic weapons while things explode, which are a vital part of the formula of what these Italian Rambo Ripoffs ultimately end up looking like. You can also bank on scenes with helicopters, the heroine being trained in martial arts, a big mass attack battle scene at the end instigated by a bunch of lady revolutionaries pretending to be hookers, and a scene where the villain offers the hero a fortune if allowed to escape.

In many ways this one reminds me of a Timothy Dalton era James Bond film: There are scenes in casinos, elegant drinks in expensive settings, fistfights with the hero dressed in a suit, a gorgeous femme fatale in a Versacci dress and a villain who only aspires to be a rich scummy drug lord rather than destroying the world. That this movie pre-dates LICENSE TO KILL by 2 years may be more telling than anything else, since quite often the derivative action films of Italy, the Phillipines and Hong Kong usually ended up being themselves re-cycled by Hollywood, creating a kind of chain of causality between that which came first and that which rips it off. So here is another chicken inside of an egg laid by Alfonse Brescia. It's a terrible movie for sure but an interesting object lesson in cultural ephemera. Nobody ever really asked for a legion of RAMBO ripoffs but they served their purpose well enough, which once you think about it is usually the very definition of an Alfonse Brescia movie. And that's why I like it, even if it isn't really all that good.

3/10: Look for an extremely rare Japan made VHS release featuring an uncensored widescreen print, it's about as good as it will ever get for this movie anytime soon.


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