Wednesday, April 09, 2014


In this late-seventies smash up Bud Spencer proves that what he can do as well with Terrence Hill he can do just as well all by himself! Spencer plays a Naples (Italy, not Florida) cop named Rizzo who's on the trail of a South African-based drug smuggling cartel that is somehow tied in to the nation's diamond industry (Rizzo himself getting the few clews to work on from the lips of a dying South African agent). From there its straight to Johannesburg where Spencer not only meets up with a now-retired fellow cop named Caputo who's mostly in this film for comic relief, but a whole slew of high society swingers and other lily white types who I get the feeling have no place in the new South Africa now that it is being ethnically cleansed via murder and emigration!

At the risk of looking more like Lunchbox Larry and less like Pauline Kael I found this one pretty sock-pow action-packed myself, with loads of great violent fight scenes, comedic torture routines conducted by Spencer on various doofs out to get his hide, and its all with a good balance between action and har-hars even if some of the latter don't quite work out right (such as the scene where Caputo dons blackface and curtains to disguise himself as an African woman). Overall I'd say this is one of the better action/comedy films of the late-seventies that I've seen which didn't devolve into a grade-z cartoon like some of those auto chase films of the same strata more or less did.

One thing about the film that's bound to get more'n a few people's stomachs all gurgled up, besides the fact that this took place in apartheid-era South Africa, is the appearance of a young local named Bodo (played by Baldwin Dakile), the son of the murdered  agent who surprisingly enough takes to Rizzo as if he were Bodo's very own dad! Bizarre to say the least, though since this film was made before such ideas as young black kids looking up to big white men (non queerly, that is) was considered one big ethnic boo-boo I guess that at least Europeon film makers, being so far away from a lot of the Amerigan turmoil of the late-sixties, could get away with it. But nowadays with all of the racial strife going on such an idea wouldn't make it into a screenwriter's mind let alone a first draft. In some ways it kinda makes me long for the late-seventies when many of us thought all of that tribalism was long behind us, for in many ways it was.

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