Cigarette smugglers get fucked up when a rival crime boss starts pushing drugs on their turf.
The film centers on one of the mafia Capos, Luca (Fabio Testi; What Have You Done to Solange?, Four of the Apocalypse), who has made a comfortable life for himself smuggling cigarettes in speedboats across the canal or whatever the fuck they have in Naples. He does this despite the mewling of his horrible shrew of a wife, who appreciates nothing and constantly laments his involvement in criminal activities yet is quite happy to spend the money from his plunders. Coupled with a functionally retarded son who’s just BARELY less annoying than that Bob kid that Fulci was so fond of casting in his films, it’s a mystery as to how Luca has managed to resist the urge to smother them both in their sleep. When Luca’s brother is gunned down for being Italian or some shit, Luca is hell-bent on finding out who is behind the killing, naturally. Unfortunately, Luca sucks ass at being a hardened tough guy and gets his ass handed to him with disappointing (but amusing) regularity.
Let’s face it; nobody gives a flying fuck about any of that mafia bullshit. This guy hates that guy, this guy is in control of the North, what the fuck ever. If I want to revel in Italian organized crime intrigue I’ll throw on The Godfather
and jack off to the car bombing scene. No, what we want to see is some of the old ultraviolence, shit blowing up and sluts shaking their titties and shutting the fuck up. Contraband
will sate many of these desires, and Fulci certainly wasn’t known for his restraint. You’ll rub one out to motherfuckers getting blasted in a symphony of gunfire, violent beatings, some stupid twat getting her face burned off with one of those torches you used to play with in high school science class, an awesomely nasty anal rape scene, a dude getting his fucking brains blown out of the back of his head, and all kinds of exploding shit. It’s all very satisfying; even though some (but not all) of the effects look like absolute garbage, it’s the celebration of brutality that shines here.
As for the titty shaking, there’s a modest helping of T&A courtesy of a couple whores under the tutelage of one of the crime bosses. Interestingly, Fulci chose to include none other than Jess Franco regular Ajita Wilson (Sadomania, Escape From Hell
) whom the more astute of you reading this should be aware was a post-op transsexual who made her rounds briefly though the Eurosleaze and porn circuits before dying tragically in a car accident. Buzzkill aside, Wilson and her blonde cohort have plenty of opportunity to shake their money makers at camera plenty here for your guilty pleasure. Whatever your preference may be, you’ll find something to blast one off to (you know you’re going to).
As many fans are aware, Fulci was fond of appearing in microscopic roles in many of his films. Here he appears in a cameo as one of the old school mob bosses spraying motherfuckers with a machine gun later in the film; it’s truly a sight to behold (whether that be a good or bad one I leave up to individual interpretation).
Notably, Contraband isn’t just about violence and Italian criminal superiority; Fulci also manages to slide in a backhanded message about respecting tradition/your elders or some such nonsense. It’s heavy-handed, ironic, and about as subtle as the steel toed boot of oppression pinning your face to the pavement. The message I took away from it was: wealthy old men can only get the upper hand on the younger generation if the latter are outgunned and not paying attention.
If you enjoy violent Eurotrash (and what the fuck are you doing reading this if you don’t?), you’ll definitely get your rocks off to Contraband. It’s actually one of Fulci’s best films, in my opinion.
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Duane co-founded The Church of Splatter-Day Saints in 2005. When not immersed in film he's enjoying good whiskey, smoking meat in the backyard or thinking about sluts. He makes a damn fine habanero fire sauce.