Heroin Busters, The / La via della droga (1977)

3.0 out of 5

As a whole, the movie lacks consistent pace and engaging characters, but does feature an extraordinary Goblin score. There's graphic scenes of heroin abuse, including one addict having his drug spoon slapped away, only to lick the spilt remains off the rim of a public restroom toilet.

Fabio Testi wears an inexplicable outfit of clothes that deserves mention: knee high boots, a Levi jacket with "Matt" crudely scribbled across the back, and an American astronaut's cap(?). The film opens with some rapid foreign locales, and also offers a gratuitous, yet not unnecessary, buck-naked lesbian montage.

Testi does almost as much running onscreen as both Mario Adorf in La Mala Ordina and Gene Hackman in French Connection II combined. The sound design is packed full of loud gunfire to accompany the pulsing Goblin tracks, and plenty of action. There is a remarkable escalator stunt and numerous ancient ruins are desecrated by motorcycles, bullets, flying bodies, crashing planes onto freeways, and lots of innocent tourists are shot. Attention must be paid to the fact that, muddled storyline aside, viewers can enjoy all the mayhem just fine without knowing a word of Italian.

Maurizio Merli header graphic courtesy of Paddy O'Neill of Foxyfide Graphics