|The Big Racket (1976)|
|Director:||Enzo G. Castellari|
|Writers:||Enzo G. Castellari, Massimo De Rita and Arduino Maiuri|
|Starring:||Fabio Testi, Vincent Gardenia and Joshua Sinclair|
|The Plot: Nico (Fabio Testi) is a plain-clothed detective along who is placed on a dangerous assignment to help bust up a young gang of criminals who are extorting all of the local business owners. Nico tracks them down to a meeting with their boss, a foreign mastermind named Rudy (Joshua Sinclair), but this only leads him to a great amount of pain as the group pushes his car off of a mountainside. Nico survives the ordeal, but now the fight has become personal for him. As he wrangles up these punks one by one, he finds that they are protected by the political system that he attempts to uphold. Their lawyers quickly help these punks come up with various stories that inevitably lead them right back to the streets. Rudy, their Englishman leader, is independently wealthy and Nico intends to see him put behind bars. Along the way, he will have to team up with all of the honest people who have been run over by these psychotic punks. You would be safe to assume that a violent showdown is soon to come.|
Very similar to Castellari’s earlier film Street Law, The Big Racket finds him once again covering the vigilante genre. This film, when paired with the earlier High Crime and Street Law, could be seen as a progressive trilogy studying the world of vigilantism. High Crime is obviously the weakest film of the three. It is a movie that focuses on a police officer who takes his vendetta very serious, but he actually continues to work within the confines of the law for the most part. Street Law ramps things up and shows an everyday man fighting back against the horrors of criminal violence. This character is a figure who lives outside of the legal system, and shows the direction that this “trilogy” would be heading in. The Big Racket, though, may be the bleakest of the group as it inevitably focuses on a group of men who are all left distraught due to the actions performed by a gang of psychotic young people. The violence that is unleashed throughout The Big Racket becomes unsettling as the movie rolls along. A harsh look at the criminal element itself, Fabio Testi’s group of vigilante superheros that are compiled during the final thirty minutes of the movie makes this one a sort of Rogues Gallery study on the subject. While I won’t argue that this is the best of the bunch, it certainly packs a punch that the previous films did not.