Friday, February 27, 2009


Reviewed by Nathaniel Poggiali

Smooth-talking Joe Esposito (Antonio Sabato) is parachuting in Hong Kong as part of an advertisement campaign for Chinese spaghetti. His best friend Scotty McCoy (muscleman Brad Harris, credited as 'Robin McDavid') is a hustler who busts heads on a shipping dock when he gets caught with loaded dice. Joe and Scotty live in a boat and need money to live their dream of opening a distillery. They agree to deliver packages for a shady businessman, Girogiakis (Gianni Rizzo), while protecting his interests from a rival, Mr. Wang (George Wang).

Joe falls for the Greek's mistress (Karin Schubert) and Scotty for beautiful 'Little Junk' (Ling Ping), a shy young woman who drags her five little brothers around searching for a husband. Despite these romantic diversions, our moronic heroes live together, slap each other’s backsides and have to be pushed into relationships with women; in one scene Harris is thrown into Sabato’s lap and delivers a few lines to the man’s crotch! Amidst subtle gay panic, it is revealed that Joe and Scotty have been hired to deliver $3 million in narcotics, and that Giorgiakis and Wang are faking the dispute and plan to kill the Greek's knucklehead delivery boys.

Director ‘Frank Kramer’ (Gianfranco Parolini) built a career out of campy westerns (the SABATA trilogy) and spy adventures (the KOMMISSAR X series, also starring Harris), but this broadly comic turn is a weak cousin to the Terence Hill/Bud Spencer vehicles. Sabato was always a wooden leading man and his character is slimy when he should be lovable. It is also worth noting that the actor dubbing him is difficult to take, particularly when he's ogling Schubert in voice-over ("That's it, honey, take care of it -- take good care of it.") Harris' character is basically a bully cheating innocent people and beating up thugs half his size, and there are the expected jokes about dog meat and Chinese restaurants (yawn, snore). I might have cracked a smile once or twice but can't recall even a chuckle, and the film drags on for 105 minutes -- a ridiculous running time for such nonsense, particularly when the “jokes” are lazily executed and the story nowhere to be found. Some eye-catching Hong Kong locations and a somewhat amusing twist ending, but that’s about it.


Booksteve said...

I've been really into the Hill/Spencer pics lately and I knew they were amazingly popular the world over (except here in the US) but it never occurred to me that other studios would be ripping them off like this! Wow. If I didn't still have 6 Hill/Spencers to watch, I might want to see THIS spite of your review! Thanks!

Temple of Schlock said...

There are a few Hill/Spencer imitators, from MR. HERCULES AGAINST KARATE and WHISKEY AND GHOSTS starring "Tom Scott" and "Fred Harris" to several featuring Paul L. Smith and Michael Coby (one of which, CONVOY BUDDIES, was released in the U.S. with the stars' names changed to "Bob Spencer" and "Terrance Hall"). Another one, BLONDE IN BLACK LEATHER, was written by a frequent Hill/Spencer screenwriter and featured Monica Vitti and Claudia Cardinale.

Booksteve said...

I used to think Paul Smith WAS Bud Spencer!Then I saw a pic of them together (might have been a composite) and they really don't look that much alike except for the general build.