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La Via della Droga

The Heroin Busters

Italy 1977
produced by
Galliano Juso for Cinemaster
directed by Enzo G. Castellari
starring Fabio Testi, David Hemmings, Sherry Buchanan, John Loffredo (= Jushua Sinclair), Wofango Soldati, Romano Puppo, Salvatore Billa, Angelo Ragusa, Massimo Vanni, Sergio Ruggeri, Patrizia Webley, Leon Lenoir (= Leonardo Scavino), Giacomo Orlando, Guido Cerniglia, Andonella Della Porta, Annabella Franchetti, Robert Hill, Margherita Horowitz, Fulvio Mingozzi, Ettore Pigliapoco, Ferdinando Poggi, Franco Ukmar, Clemente Ukmar, Franco Fantasia, Emilio Messina
written by Massimo De Rita, Galliano Juso, music by Goblin

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Fabio (Fabio Testi) is caught at the airport, carrying a large quantity of heroin, and is thrown into a cell in the secret prison of the drug squad. When he refuses to talk, a heroin addict, Girro (Wolfango Soldati) is thrown into the cell with him, to make life in the cell hell for Fabio ... and indeed Girro is soon on cold turkey - but Fabio didn't come unprepared and has hidden a shot of heroin in the heel of his boot which he now lets Girro have ... and before you know it, Fabio and Girro escape, and out of gratitude, Girro not only hides Fabio, he also helps him get into contact with all the big drug kingpins of town - and soon enough, Fabio starts gaining the local drugring's trust ....

Fabio of course is not really a drugpusher but an undercover cop working together with Interpol agent Hamilton (David Hemmings) to bust the local drugring once and for all. But to really rise in the ranks within the ring, Fabio pulls a truly daring stunt: he and a few associates steal heroin from right under the noses of the police, from their storeroom for confiscated drugs ...

However, the whole affair does not go quite as planned when Fabio's partners want to steal the heroin from him, then, upon realizing the package also contains a homing device, want to get rid of him.

A shoot-out and a chase on foot, by car, motorbike and airplane ensue, at the end of which Fabio has gotten rid of pretty much the whole drugring.

 

From a story point of view, Heroin Busters is rather uninteresting, an overly clichéd and modestly convincing crime drama that is little more than a framing device for the films action scenes. The action scenes however are great (as much could be expected from Enzo G.Castellari), which makes this film a breathtaking succession of setpieces which are sometimes even inventive and put together with much care, love and conviction that by and large seem to be missing from action flicks nowadays.

In all, Heroin Busters is certainly not Enzo G.Castellari's best film, but nevertheless, it's a fun (if brainless) ride.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Tales to Chill
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On the same day
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produced by and starring
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directed by
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written by
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starring
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out now on DVD