Tuesday, April 14

Black Lemons (1970)

A.K.A. E venne il giorno dei limoni neri
Directed by Camillo Bazzoni
93 Minutes / Unicorn Video / Cropped from 2.35:1 to full screen

Rosario (Antonio Sabato) is finding it difficult to wash himself of his mafia past after recently being released from prison doing time on a frame job. He just wishes to get back into his family's trucking business, but soon soft intimidation leads to murder of a friend by the hands of his former associates. Rosario finds kinship in a fellow man (Don Backy) also horribly wronged by the mob and both form a partnership to discover who framed Rosario and killed his wife years prior.

Through beating on a prostitute, they obtain information leading to a man in hiding that spills all the beans, but the man is gunned down before Rosario can take him in as a witness for a court case. Rosario finds out a powerful business associate is actually a capo whose responsible for it all. The partners in revenge devise and successfully executed a plan to kidnap the capo's son and hold him until the boss gives a public confession. But can Rosario hold it all together with a hot-headed partner, a detective breathing down his neck, and ever-escalating odds against finding justice?

An "okay while it's on", obscure Italian crime film that's painfully lite on action. Sabato is a decent lead, but entirely lacks the fierce charisma of other Italian crime leads such as Franco Nero or Tomas Milan. Don Backy (one of the scumbags in Bava's Rabid Dogs) tries to take up the slack, but it's all rather bland. The exotically beautiful Florinda Bolkan is throughout the film as Sabato's love interest. The conclusion is a bit of a bust as well. It's a skip, but Euro crime fanatics should track it down since it mostly snaps neatly into the subgenre (or if only for the completely kick ass VHS cover art).

Film: 4.5/10
VHS Picture: 4/10
VHS Sound: 5/10

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