Battle of the Godfathers / Zinksärge für die Goldjungen (1973)

4.0 out of 5

Even though what is a battle of territory between two mob bosses feels a little like an ongoing family feud or a tit-for-tat along the lines of the lines of the 1987 Barry Levinson comedy Tin Men this should not be allowed to trouble the viewer. Nor should the Romeo And Juliette inspired subplot be too much of a distraction from what is the type of cinematic exploitation gold that would occasionally crop up on the big screen from time to time during the seventies.

With the inspired casting of Henry Silva as a mafia pretender to the lucrative Hamburg crime syndicate this West German and Italian co-production is one that knows what buttons to press. Not only are there fist fights, shameless nork exposure and gun battles but explosions, an extended speedboat chase and that old favourite; the carchase down the steps manoeuvre. If that wasn't enough a band of kung fu fighters seemingly bolt themselves onto the script for a quick five minute slice of Enter The Dragon-sploitation.

Locations are suitably grimy with junkyards and docks being featured and while the film opens with what appears to be the production values of loveable grindhouse trash such as Day Of The Wolves or Gatorbait it becomes clear that the budget was put to good use in terms of smashing things and blowing things up. A real post pub bloke movie that would appeal to those who love actioner films with the quick pace of something like Eye Of The Tiger.

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