Written by: Michael Den Boer on March 28th, 2006
Theatrical Release Date: Italy, 1977
Director: Enzo G. Castellari
Writers: Massimo De Rita, Galliano Juso
Cast: Fabio Testi, David Hemmings, Wolfango Soldati, Romano Puppo
DVD released: April 25th, 2006
Approximate running time: 93 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono English
DVD Release: Blue Underground
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $19.95
Synopsis: Fabio (Fabio Testi) is an undercover Interpol agent who is posing a drug dealer. Mike Hamilton (David Hemmings) helps Fabio conceal his identity after he is busted by airport police for drug trafficking. Together the two of them concoct a plan to trap the master mind behind a drug smuggling ring that extends it reach from Rome to as far as Hong Kong.
Enzo G. Castellari takes a very basic story with The Heroin Busters and he opens things up by shooting at various locations like Hong Kong, Rome, Amsterdam and New York. The action is full tilt from the get to and anything less then this would be an Enzo G. Castellari movie. The film is filled with many memorable actions set pieces like a motorcycle chase through a subway underground and airplane chase climax.
The film also has a few odd moments where humor is injected and many cases it doesn’t work. Enzo G. Castellari approaches the subject of drugs without ever sugarcoating them. His realistic and often harsh depiction of drugs and the addicts who use them is some of the films most disturbing moments. Frequent Argento collaborators Goblin provide a supersonic progressive rock score that is reminiscent of some of their better work as a band. The film starts off slowly and the final act of the film is essentially one prolonged chase which is the most interesting part of the film.
David Hemmings plays a ruff around the edge cop who is willing to do just about anything to catch his man. Hemmings role feels more like a cameo as his character just seems to pop up form time to time. Fabio Testi plays an undercover agent named ironically Fabio. I guess all the good names had already been taken. Fabio Testi is very good during action sequences and as usual his wooden acting slows things down during more dramatic scenes. There are few secondary roles most notably actor Joshua Sinclair who pops up as a heavy in many of Enzo G. Castellari’s films. His performance as Gianni is by far and away the most compelling in The Heroin Busters. Overall The Heroin Buster despite its flaws in the end proves to be an entertaining film mostly due to its amazing stunt work and action set pieces.
Blue Underground presents The Heroin Busters in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the films original 1.85:1 aspect ratio. This DVD is flagged for progressive scan and grain is more noticeable for this release then it is on Blue Underground’s Street Law release. Colors are vivid and nicely saturated. Black Levels are solid as they exhibit an exceptional amount of detail in every frame. The source martial used for this release is free on any major print damage and it looks nearly flawless.
This release comes with only one audio option an English language track which is presented in a Dolby Digital mono. Dialog is crystal clear and the music and effects blend evenly with each other. There are no problems with hiss or distortion.
The extras for this release include the films original theatrical trailer. The extras for this release are not as extensive as they were on Blue Underground’s Street Law release and the main extra for this release is an audio commentary with Enzo C. Castellari, Andrea Castellari and moderated by David Gregory. Enzo has plenty to say about The Heroin Busters and David Gregory keeps things moving with many interesting questions. Overall Blue Underground gives The Heroin Busters an impressive DVD release that comes with a solid audio/video presentation that is accompanied by a few enticing extras.