The Big Racket: Intense Railyard Shootout

The Big Racket is a fantastic crime/action film with a great story, solid performances and several very exciting gun battles. Over the past few years director Enzo G. Castellari has slowly become one of my favorite Italian cult filmmakers. He’s worked in nearly every genre I hold dear, swinging from the western to thrillers to post-apocalyptic Mad Max rip-offs without missing a beat. Here he starts the action off in high gear and then manages to ramp things up with only the briefest of pauses along the way for strategy. The story moves smoothly from point to point with little wasted effort and consistently shows a great deal of style. Even if by 1976 the (over) use of slow motion in action scenes was getting to be old hat, Castellari employs the technique brilliantly. It never feels forced or gratuitous but enhances the tension and shock as bullets strike flesh or glass flies. The best use of slo-mo here has to be the amazing scene in which we watch as Testi is tumbled down a hillside in a car. My jaw dropped open as I realized that those glass fragments and bits of debris flying around the car were real. It’s moments like this one that keep the audience off balance. The movie throws in unexpected twists that smartly draw us in and keep us guessing. Having civilian marksman Giovanni impulsively join the action during the failed police ambush puts a further edge on the proceedings. Seeing this regular guy do the right thing, pay a horrible price and become a vengeful outlaw is well played with Guerrini more than capable in the role. Even the score by Guido and Maurizio De Angelis is amazing sounding, as if the best 70s era hard rock jam band you never heard of recorded it.

Category: Cult Movie Previews


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