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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Luca il contrabbandiere" or "The Naples Connection" or "The Smuggler" or "Contraband" or "Luca the Smuggler")

 

Directed by Lucio Fulci
Italy 1980

 

Naples, Italy: An idealistic cigarette smuggler, Luca, runs into problems when a sadistic drug dealing gangster from France decides to muscle his way into operations. As he tries to wipe out the competition, all hell breaks loose and the bodies start piling up ! Luca joins forces with rival smugglers and the local mafia to counteract the power play, which only increases the body count until the explosive gun powder and gut bursting conclusion ! Directed by Lucio Fulci (The Beyond), Contraband stars Fabio Testi (The Big Racket), Marcel Bozzuffi (The French Connection), Ivana Monti (Five Days in Milan), and Saverio Marconi (Padre Padrone). Featuring gruesome practical special effects by Germano Natali (Deep Red) and Roberto Pace (Body Count), with music by legendary composer Fabio Frizzi, Contraband is a hard hitting mafia story filmed through the eye of an unrelenting horror master - you have been warned ! Contraband makes it's worldwide Blu-ray debut via Cauldron Films, restored from a 4K scan of the negative. WARNING: Contraband contains scenes of graphic violence. It is Lucio Fulci... UNFILTERED.

***

The flick opens with a botched smuggling operation which leads to a boat chase between Luka's smuggling cronies and a somewhat disinterested police force. Using the old "Exploding Boat Filled with Rubber Dummies" gag, Luka escapes to smuggle another day.

But all is not well in the smuggling underworld. Sure, cigarettes are great, but why not smuggle something with a little more street value? Why risk it all for some packs of smokes? That seems to be the message from The Margliese (Marcel Bozzuffi), a shadowy underworld figure applying pressure to the heads of the various crime families.

When "pressure" fails, The Margliese starts offing the various crime family heads (and some family members) in graphic fashion, which is where Fulci shines - and the flick perks up. For violence buffs there's an uncomfortable sequence where a chick gets her head set on fire for trying to pass bad drugs, which is right up there with the GATES OF HELL drill-to-the-skull scene on the Itchy-Skitchy Meter.

It's up to the principled smugglers to strike back once the villainous drug pushers kidnap Luka's wife. The body count rises, double crosses ensue, surprise revelations are, um, revealed and Fulci paints the screen red and juicy in the gory finale.

Occasionally confusing and fairly entertaining, CONTRABAND is a decent thriller with enough action and gore from the master to keep viewers interested.

Excerpt from Exploitation Retrospect review located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: August 8h, 1980

Reviews                                                                                                       More Reviews                                                                                       DVD Reviews

 

Review: Cauldron Films - Region FREE - Blu-ray

Big thanks to Ole Kofoed for the DVD Screen Caps!

Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

  

Bonus Captures:

Distribution Cauldron Films - Region FREE - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:36:39.166        
Video

1.85:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 40,494,346,079 bytes

Feature: 31,308,220,416 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.78 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate Blu-ray:

Audio

LPCM Audio Italian 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit

DUB:

LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit

Commentary:

LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit

Subtitles English (SDH), English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio:
Cauldron Films

 

1.85:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 40,494,346,079 bytes

Feature: 31,308,220,416 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.78 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

Audio commentary with Troy Howarth, Nathaniel Thomson, and Bruce Holecheck
Interview with writer Giorgio Mariuzzo (9:38)
Interview with actress Ivana Monti (21:55)
Interview with actor Saverio Marconi (19:50)
Interview with cinematographer Sergio Salvati Archival (17:47)
Interview with actor Fabrizio Jovine Archival (5:34)
Interview with actor Venantino Venantini Archival (5:11)
Interview with cinematographer Sergio Salvati Archival (5:42)
Interview with composer Fabio Frizzi (2:07)
Trailers (English 4:21 Italian - 4:12)
Image Gallery (4:22)


Blu-ray Release Date:
November 9th, 2022
Transparent Blu-ray Case

Chapters 12

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Cauldron Films Blu-ray (November 2022): Cauldron Films have transferred Lucio Fulci's Contraband to Blu-ray. It is on a dual-layered disc with a max'ed out bitrate said to be "restored from a 4K scan of the negative". The source seems a shade faded and the image has rough textures. It has some green hue'd scenes and I have no idea if that is accurate to the production. Regardless it is flat, not crisp or glossy and far from dynamic. I suspect it is a competent representation of the source. 

NOTE: We have added 46 more large resolution Blu-ray captures (in lossless PNG format) for DVDBeaver Patrons HERE

On their Blu-ray, Cauldron Films use linear PCM dual-mono tracks (24-bit) in the original Italian with a, less effectual, English language DUB option. Contraband has many aggressive sequences from graphic gunfire + torture, speed boats etc. that come through with flat depth and a score by Fabio Frizzi, composer for Fulci's The Beyond, Zombie, (1979), The Psychic, A Cat in the Brain, and City of the Living Dead (1980) plus Sergio Martino's The Scorpion with Two Tails (1982) etc. sounding supportive and occasionally unique - clean and consistent in the lossless transfer. Cauldron Films offer optional English (SDH), and a translation, subtitles on their Region FREE Blu-ray.

The Cauldron Films Blu-ray offers a new commentary by a Euro-Cult premium trifecta with Troy Howarth (author of Splintered Visions: Lucio Fulci and His Films), Nathaniel Thomson (author of The International Guide to Weird and Wonderful Films series) and Bruce Holecheck. They discuss Contraband as a Poliziotteschi - Fulcio's only entry in that genre, the transsexual black actor Ajita Wilson, how the films has the worst English DUB for a Lucio Fulci film - the voice characterization participants of the DUBs, the locations, Fulci's cameo, the release history, plenty on the director and more. They work very well together. It's great! Then there is a mass of interviews, with writer Giorgio Mariuzzo, actress Ivana Monti, actor Saverio Marconi, cinematographer Sergio Salvati, and archival video interviews with actor Fabrizio Jovine, actor Venantino Venantini , cinematographer Salvati (again), composer Fabio Frizzi as well as English and Italian trailers and an image gallery.

Lucio Fulci's Contraband has some extreme torture and sadism. Wowzer. It's in the latter part of the Poliziotteschi genre. As Troy Howarth states in the commentary: on the second week of a ten-week shooting schedule, the production exhausted its budget and received funding from real life smugglers in Naples. It's quite a film - well realized by Fulci. I am very happy to own the Cauldron Films Blu-ray with the great commentary and extensive interview extras. Fulci fans will definitely want this one.

Gary Tooze

 


Menus / Extras

 


CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

English (SDH) and English translation subtitle samples

 

 


1) Blue Underground - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Italian Shock - Region 0 - PAL MIDDLE

3) Cauldron Films - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


Examples of NSFW (Not Safe For Work) CAPTURES  (Mouse Over to see- CLICK to Enlarge)
 

 


 

More full resolution (1920 X 1080) Blu-ray Captures for DVDBeaver Patreon Supporters HERE

 

 

 
Box Cover

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Bonus Captures:

Distribution Cauldron Films - Region FREE - Blu-ray


 


 

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