Junesploitation 2021: The Cynic, the Rat and the Fist (1977)

June 29: Junesploitation’s topic of the day — as suggested by F This Movie— is gangsters.

In Italy, they call this movie Il cinico, l’infame, il violento, which means The Cynic, the Infamous, the Violent. This poliziotteschi is a sequel to another Umberto Lenzi film, 1976’s The Tough Ones, with Maurizio Merli playing the role of Inspector Leonardo Tanzi in both movies.

Luigi “The Chinaman” Maietto (Tomas Milan, The Big Gundown, Django Kill… If You Live, Shoot!) escapes from prison and sends two of his men to kill the man who put him away — Tanzi. He’s left for dead and even the newspapers print that he’s dead, but he’s just biding his time, waiting to get revenge.

Tanzi just wanted to stay retired — it looks like he’s become a giallo author — but now he’s a vigilante who comes up against Maietto and American syndicate boss Frank Di Maggio (John Saxon).

This movie boasts three writers whose work pretty much hits every side of the Italian exploitation experience. There’s Lenzi himself, who made everything from Eurospy films (Super Seven Calling CairoThe Spy Who Loved Flowers008: Operation Exterminate), Westerns (A Pistol for a Hundred Coffins), giallo (OrgasmoA Quiet Place to KIllOasis of FearSo Sweet…So PerverseSeven Bloodstained Orchids, SpasmoEyeball), cannibal movies (Man from Deep RiverCannibal Ferox), peplum (IronmasterSamson and the Slave Queen), horror (Nightmare BeachGhosthouseDemons 3Hitcher in the Dark) and so much more. Then you have Ernesto Gastaldi, who wrote so many films that I love, including The Whip and the BodyThe PossessedThe Sweet Body of DeborahDay of AngerAll the Colors of the DarkTorsoMy Name is Nobody and tons of other great films. And then there’s Dardano Sacchetti, who wrote just about any Italian genre film worth watching.

Man, somehow Junesploitation has led me to many Italian crime films. For this I am very excited!

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