Occasionally, there’s nothing quite like sitting back with a cold drink in hand, a bowl of popcorn beside you (or a partner, depending on your tastes), and taking in the thrills and often cheesy chills of a good Italian-made mafia flick. Now, I don’t mean Italian-American mafia flicks like THE GODFATHER -- no siree, I mean the real deal, like VIOLENT NAPLES or MISTER SCARFACE! Several years before any of the aforementioned films hit screens, Italy produced a low-key mob movie entitled E VENNE IL GIORNO DEI LIMONI NERI. It’s probably safe to say that this film came out long before the reemergence of the mobster movie genre in the early 1970s. However, I doubt anyone noticed this upon its release in the States (if it was released in the States). If someone did in fact see it, they probably forgot it in a heartbeat, because it’s far from being a memorable motion picture.
Our main character is a lad named Rosario (Antonio Sabato). Seriously, it’s a manly name in Europe. Rosario was a contractor who made the mistake of joining the mob a few years back. Shortly thereafter, the poor clod was sent to prison for a crime he didn’t commit. Worse still, while he was in the big house, his old friends killed his wife (they also tried to kill him). Released by the system, Rosario is determined to pick up where he left off by bringing his old business back to life. The mafia has other plans, of course, and Rosario spurns them enough times that they murder another acquaintance of his. Long story short, our hero declares a private war on the mob. He’s determined to figure out the who and why behind the death of his wife. It’s a war that can’t be won, but Rosario figures “Ah, what the hell.” Cult actress Florinda Bolkan (A WOMAN IN A LIZARD'S SKIN) also stars.
Translated into English, E VENNE IL GIORNO DEI LIMONI NERI reads AND THE DAY OF THE BLACK LEMONS CAME. When released onto the English-language market, it bore the shortened title, BLACK LEMONS. Either way, the name doesn’t scream “Mobsters” to anyone, and so Mya Communications has issued the film under another alias, MAFIA CONNECTION. The movie itself isn’t a great one to begin with, but the video presentation here is pretty sub par (there is a disclaimer stating this before the start of the film). The film is shown in a non-anamorphic 1.85:1 widescreen ratio, and the source material looks as if it were culled from an old video transfer. The English mono sound fares slightly better than the image, and the original Italian mono audio is also included. As with many other recent Mya titles, an English subtitle track is not included (but maybe that’s something they can improve on, eh?).
The only extra here are the English-language opening credits -- which, combined with the English dubbed audio track, means that the movie was definitely prepped for a Statewide theatrical release. But again, I doubt anyone saw it. For diehard mob movie lovers only. (Adam Becvar aka Luigi Bastardo - firstname.lastname@example.org)
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