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12 customer reviews

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(Jul 27, 2004)
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Editorial Reviews

Guido Alberti, Marcel Bozzuffi. An underworld cigarette smuggler is enraged when a rival gang kills his brother and kidnaps his wife. A brain-splattering Mob war ensues, which goes far beyond simple payback. 1980/color/96 min/NR/widescreen.

Special Features

  • Theatrical trailer
  • Talent bios

Product Details

  • Actors: Guido Alberti, Salvatore Billa, Marcel Bozzuffi, Virgilio Daddi, Daniele Dublino
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Blue Underground
  • DVD Release Date: July 27, 2004
  • Run Time: 97 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0002C9DJK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #51,472 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Contraband" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By OverTheMoon on January 6, 2004
Format: DVD
One question that should be asked is - Why are there hardly any mafia films based in Italy? Sure we have the Godfather series with its flashbacks of Sicily, but what about Italy? There are not many and certainly even the best of movie lovers will have trouble trying to list one or two if any at all! So here you have one... and its good!... in its own very odd strange way.
Contraband is a lost classic that has now been restored here on this DVD. What happens when the world's foremost gore director decides to make a crime caper? Answer - more blood than Al Pacino can shoot up in all his gangster flicks put together. Although the plot is mostly non-existent and certainly there is little here in terms of brains, there is plenty of action and horror to boot.
Basically the plot revolves around several smuggler gang families from Naples all snubbing each other out in the worst possible way imaginable... and that is all there is it to it really.
Everything on display here is pretty pointless but it is not done badly at all and the acting is a little better than what you would expect. There are several gore scenes that stand out - a woman getting her face torched to full melt, a gangster having his head machine gunned to pieces, a mob leader having his throat blown off, plenty backs of the heads flying across the room, cops arresting nuns, horses burning up, mobsters getting boiled alive, gangster shot up in church, a vicious rape sequence, intestines being shot out and lots of screaming - all done to the tune of a funky eighties disco beat that is more apt for a No Sir, you will not find this one playing on television any time soon.
If gangsters, guns and gore is your thing then you'll love it, but don't get this expecting the cinematic flair of what Hollywood has done with this genre.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 20, 2003
Format: DVD
One of Fulci's most under-rated movies, CONTRABAND (aka - THE SMUGGLER) also holds the honour of being his most mean-spirited and bloodthirsty movie besides NEW YORK RIPPER. The standard plot takes on Mafia bootleggers vs. a perfumed French drug racketeer (THE FRENCH CONNECTION's Marcel Bozzuffi at his most villainous).
With its' fight/chase scenes, brilliantly catchy cheesy disco score, foul-mouthed dialogue, and hundreds of spent bullet casings, the movie rides on the coat-tails of the then-popular Eurocrime genre. It's how vicious the film gets that really sets it apart - someone is boiled in an acid pool, another guy's head is machine-gunned to pieces, a pusher's face is blowtorched into a molten mess, and there's a nearly unwatchable sodomy scene that precedes RIPPER's infamous razor torture scene.
The only real drawback is that the first half-hour is a bit of a drag, but once it starts to get moving (with the well-staged assassination of Testi's brother), it doesn't let up from there.
Well acted and assured, Fulci demonstrates a confident hand in the action scenes and it's a shame he didn't delve more into this genre.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Trevor Willsmer TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 30, 2012
Format: DVD
Contraband aka The Smuggler aka The Naples Connection sees Lucio Fulci just phoning it in with a dreary looking and unexciting gangster flick that sees the honourable cigarette smugglers of Naples being picked off by a badly dubbed Marcel Bozzuffi's sadistic Marsigliese, who, along with his hunchbacked chemist who's dubbed by a Peter Lorre impersonator, wants to take over their organisation to run his drugs. It's not helped by the casting of Fabio Testi, as reliably boring and non-dimensional as ever in the lead but also, thanks to age starting to take the edge off the good looks he relied on, starting to look like a bizarre hybrid of Treat Williams, Michael Jayston and William H. Macy. Production values generally aren't that much higher than 70s continental porn - fake blood, obvious dummies, insipid photography and barely rehearsed action scenes are the norm for the first half of the film. Occasionally the prospect of an interesting scene is raised, such as a fight on a tilted ship at low tide, only to be lazily thrown away. There is one good action scene in the film, but unfortunately that's a spaghetti western a bored Mafia don is watching on TV while the younger cast members unenthusiastically go through the motions.

Clearly aware of just how dull the first half of the film is, the gore goes into overdrive just about the time you're tempted to give up on it and see if there's anything decent on TV instead. It's a mixture of the same ridiculous effects that mar the earlier scenes and some not particularly convincing but rather better executed ones as heads get blown off, duplicitous female drug dealers get Bunsen burner facials and our hero's wife gets raped.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Stanley Runk VINE VOICE on July 31, 2004
Format: DVD
3:00AM, early this morning-Lucio Fulci night at the Runk house. Basically Fulci night is any time the wife and kid are sleeping coz they don't care much for these kinds of films. I viewed Fulci's Contraband. The saints at Blue Underground re-released it this week. Why they released it last year, stopped and released it again this year is anyone's guess. Anyhow, with Contraband Fulci decided to see what would happen if he took his trademark gore and violence and stick them in a mafioso/crime/action flick. The results? Not too bad actually. Since Fulci's not working in the horror genre this time, the film plays it pretty straightforward-none of the eye closeups or weird, dreamy phantasmagoric horror stuff. In fact, if it weren't for the gore and the Fulci cameo, you'd have no idea he made the film. For a plot we have Fabio Testi as a cigarette smuggler with connections to the mob. His wife's always nagging him to get out of the mob life, but do you think he listens? Some new mafioso comes in and basically tries to wipe out all the competetion and make way for drug smuggling. That's about it. One thing that rubbed me the wrong way about this film is Fabio. He's a decent actor and looks like a butt-kicking Bronson type, but throughout the entire movie he's.....well, basically a wuss. You expect him to snap into high gear and take on the mob, all guns blazing, but he's actually a big wimp. In one particularly disturbing scene he just sits expressionless as he listens to his wife get raped over the phone. The rape is the most unsettling thing in the film-not because it's terribly graphic, but because the actress does such a freakin' convincing job! The gore is not as extreme as you're led to believe. For the casual viewer, yes it is.Read more ›
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