HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Dead
Death at Broadcasting House
Huracan
Ghost Strata
Call to Spy, A
Tailgate
Other Lamb, The
Every Time I Die
Lynn + Lucy
Topsy-Turvy
Honest Thief
Blood and Money
Rose: A Love Story
Antrum: The Deadliest Film Ever Made
Om Dar-B-Dar
Silencing, The
J.R. 'Bob' Dobbs and the Church of SubGenius
Dick Johnson is Dead
Two/One
Cognition
Legacy of Lies
I Am Woman
Alien Addiction
Dare, The
South Terminal
Little Monsters
Yield to the Night
My Zoe
Young Playthings
End of Summer
Times of Harvey Milk, The
Buddies
Threshold
Perfectly Normal Family, A
Ravage
Honeymoon Phase, The
One Summer
Bird Island
Variety
Devil to Pay, The
   
 
Newest Articles
Down to the Welles: Orson Welles Great Mysteries Volume 2 on DVD
Herding Cats: Sleepwalkers on Blu-ray
Confessions of a Porn Star: Adult Material on DVD
They're Still Not Sure It is a Baby: Eraserhead on Blu-ray
Werewolves are Real: Dog Soldiers on Digital
Rose: A Love Story - Producers April Kelley and Sara Huxley Interview
Phone Phreak: 976-EVIL on Blu-ray
Living the Nightmare: Dementia on Blu-ray
Becky and The Devil to Pay: Ruckus and Lane Skye Interview
Big Top Bloodbath: Circus of Horrors on Blu-ray
A Knock on the Door at 4 O'clock in the Morning: The Strangers on Blu-ray
Wives of the Skies: Honey Lauren Interview
To Catch a Thief: After the Fox on Blu-ray
Tackling the Football Film: The Arsenal Stadium Mystery on Blu-ray
Film Noir's Golden Couple: This Gun for Hire on Blu-ray
The Doctor Who Connection: Invasion on Blu-ray
Hill's Angles: Benny Hill and Who Done It? on Blu-ray
Big Willie Style: Keep It Up Downstairs on Blu-ray
Walt's Vault: 5 Cult Movies on Disney+
Paradise Lost: Walkabout on Blu-ray
Buster Makes Us Feel Good: Buster Keaton - 3 Films (Volume 3) on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 3 - Don't Go Away - I Could Do with a Bit of Cheer Now!
What Use is Grief to a Horse? Equus on Blu-ray
For God's Sake Strap Yourselves Down: Flash Gordon on 4K UHD Collector's Edition
Party Hard: Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure on Blu-ray
   
 
  Syndicate Sadists Where Did You Get That Hat?
Year: 1975
Director: Umberto Lenzi
Stars: Tomas Milian, Joseph Cotten, Maria Fiore, Mario Piave, Luciano Catenacci, Guido Alberti, Femi Benussi, Silvano Tranquilli, Shirley Corrigan, Antonio Casale, Rosario Borelli, Luciano Pigozzi, Mario Novelli, Bruno Di Luia, Giuseppe Castellano
Genre: Action, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Rambo (Tomas Milian) is something of a rogue who makes his way through life skirting close to the line of lawlessness, but is capable enough to pull off his schemes. His brother, however, is firmly on the side of the police, and when Rambo visits him and his family one day he makes him an offer: there is so much crime on the streets of Italy these days that the authorities are crying out for cops to help them out with all those murders, kidnappings and robberies. He is sceptical that this is his sort of deal, but goes along to see the training for the recruits and is fairly impressed, though they are more impressed by Rambo as his hand to hand combat skills and marksmanship show them all up. Will he join up?

Well, he does and he doesn't in another collaboration between director Umberto Lenzi and star Tomas Milian where they took the Italian crime movie scene by storm. Sometimes it can be difficult to discern precisely what was working out in this genre thanks to the sheer bulk of the product that was created from the late nineteen-sixties into the seventies, but the public were most appreciative of this duo when it was at its most popular, though Syndicate Sadists was regarded as a lesser entry in their canon, and tends to be to this day. Not to say there was nothing to enjoy, as Lenzi knew what his leading man was able to carry off and played to his strengths; here he was a cross between Dirty Harry and Serpico.

Not only that, but a heavy dose of Clint Eastwood in A Fistful of Dollars into the bargain, thanks to a plot that recycled Dashiell Hammett's "play both sides against each other" classic novel Red Harvest, seen from Akira Kurosawa's Yojimbo to Walter Hill's Last Man Standing. Nevertheless, there was enough of a spin put on what was growing somewhat hackneyed to make it watchable in its element, and seeing the obvious maverick Rambo, and wondering if he is in fact a reprobate rather than a hero, was always going to be entertaining, an ideal role for Milian who even saw his movie characters on the side of the good guys come across as a little bit dodgy thanks to the actor's bad boy charisma.

About that name, he was called Rambo because Milian was a fan of David Morrell's novel First Blood, and even wanted to arrange a film adaptation of it with himself as the star, a most intriguing prospect that came to nothing, but so attached was he to the material that Lenzi allowed him to name the protagonist here after its lead. Sylvester Stallone famously went ahead and made his own version of it, and the rest was Vietnam veteran fiction history. There was really no more connection than that, for Milian's Rambo was tailored to his persona, so he was more like a serious Terence Hill in one of his Westerns in that he looked grubby and came across as lazy, but would use this to deceive his enemies when he was actually far more adept than they took him for; Rambo meets setbacks, sure, but we are confident he can succeed.

Succeed in foiling a gang of kidnappers, that was, who had grabbed a young boy and were demanding a huge ransom for his return. Rambo's brother has tried to go out on his own and retrieve the child, but early on in the plot is murdered by the baddies for his attempt, necessitating a revenge scheme as much as a plan to get the boy, and leading to Milian in humanising scenes where he looks after the widow and his nephew, but also muscular sequences with the requisite car chases and gun battles that were de rigueur in these thrillers. Joseph Cotten showed up as a man of influence who Rambo pits himself against, bringing out the sense of humour in the character for a film that could have been as hard-edged and glum as many of its peers, though mostly it was him squaring off against a selection of Italian tough guy actors with faces like a welder's bench, flinging them around and gunning them down when the opportunity arose. The best joke was when regular exploitation performer Luciano Pigozzi asked Rambo that age old question, "Hey, don't I know you from somewhere?" and was told by him it was probably at a holiday resort for homosexuals (!). Music by Franco Micalizzi.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1422 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Umberto Lenzi  (1931 - 2017)

Prolific, workmanlike Italian director and writer who dabbled in most genres throughout his 40 year career. Started work as a film critic before making his directing debut in 1961 with the sea-faring adventure flick Queen of the Seas. The two decades years saw Lenzi churn out westerns, historical dramas, Bond-esquespy yarns and giallo thrillers among others.

It was his 1972 proto-cannibal film Deep River Savages that led to the best known phase of his career, with notorious gore-epics Cannibal Ferox and Eaten Alive and zombie shlocker Nightmare City quickly becoming favourites amongst fans of spaghetti splatter. Continued to plug away in the horror genre before retiring in 1996.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Paul Smith
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
  Lee Fiveash
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
   

 

Last Updated: