Written by: Michael Den Boer on August 26th, 2009
Theatrical Release Date: Italy, 1970
Director: Camillo Bazzoni
Writers: Giovanni Addessi, Franco Barbaresi, Camillo Bazzoni, Yvette Louis, Nicola Manzari, Fabio Piccioni
Cast: Antonio Sabato, Florinda Bolkan, Peter Carsten, Silvano Tranquilli, Pier Paolo Capponi, Don Backy, Guido Lollobrigida, Raffaele Sparanero, María Luisa Sala, Frank Latimore, Massimo Farinelli, Didi Perego, Stefano Satta Flores, Loris Bazzocchi, Sergio Scarchilli, Cesare D’Arpa, Bruno Boschetti
DVD released: September 29th, 2009
Approximate running time: 99 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Letterboxed Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital English, Dolby Digital Mono Italian
DVD Release: Mya Communication
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $24.95
Mafia Connection was directed by Camillo Bazzoni whose limited filmography includes films like A Long Ride from Hell, Suicide Commandos and Shadows Unseen. The cinematographer on Mafia Connection was Sandro Mancori, whose other notable films as a cinematographer includes Kill and Pray, Five into Hell, Sabata, Adios Sabata, Web of the Spider, Return of Sabata, Ark of the Sun God and Django Strikes Again. The score for Mafia Connection was composed by Carlo Rustichelli whose other notable scores include The Whip and the Body, Blood and Black Lace, The Maniacs, The Long Hair of Death, Kill Baby, Kill, A Minute to Pray, a Second to Die, Ace High, Boot Hill and Gang War in Milan. The Italian language title for Mafia Connection is E venne il giorno dei limoni neri which roughly translates into “And the Day the Black Lemons Came”. Another alternative title that Mafia Connection is also known under is Black Lemons.
The plot moves along slowly at first and doesn’t really pick up any momentum until the final act. The opening act and middle section of the film is all about setting up the showdown between Rosario and the mafia. Outside of the film’s finale, action is kept in the background with only a handful of violent moments. The film’s most violent moment is a scene where a former girlfriend of mafia henchmen is beaten for information about his whereabouts. While the mafia play an important part in the plot of this film. It is the evolution of the Rosario character who goes from a man trying to go straight after being released from prisoner, who then shifts into a vigilante who is out for blood after learning the truth about his wife’s death where the film resonates the most. Another area where this film excels is the performances from Antonio Sabato (Beyond the Law) in the role of this film’s protagonist Rosario and Florinda Bolkan (Lizard in a Woman’s Skin) in the role of Rossana, the widow of a mafia henchman who was a friend of Rosario’s. Ultimately Mafia Connection an average revenge themed film that takes too long to establish where it wants to go.
Mafia Connection is presented in a 1.85:1 letterboxed widescreen. The image never looks cramped. This transfer has been flagged for progressive playback. Before the film begins there is a disclaimer that explains the audio /video that was available for this DVD release is not in that good of shape. This transfer looks like it was sourced from a VHS as details look overly soft and colors look flat.
This release comes with two audio options a Dolby Digital mono mix in English and a Dolby Digital mono mix in Italian (no English subtitles have been provided with this release). The English audio mix has some noticeable distortion and background noise. The Italian audio mixes fare slightly better of the two audio mixes as the distortion and background noise is not as pronounced.
Extras for this release include English language opening and closing credits (3 minutes 34 seconds – 4:3 Full Frame). Overall Mafia Connection gets a lackluster audio/ video presentation.