Good obscure gangster film
Henry Hill | Somewhere in the U.S. | 08/27/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I stumbled upon this film at a local video store. Aside from Joe Pesci and Frank Vincent, most of the actors are pretty much unknown. The plot of the story is solid and believable, but the picture quality is very poor (and this is the DVD version!) and the soundtrack and the time-to-time nudity makes it seem like a cheesy porno flick. Joe Pesci's character, Joey is simalar to the phsyco character he portrayed in "Goodfellas". Another unique aspect is that the main hitman is African-American (Keith Davis), pretty rare for a Mafia movie. Based in New Jersey it's pretty much a 90 minute episode of "The Sopranos" before the series was even thought of! This would make a great remake. If you can survive the poor picture quality, you'll probably enjoy this film.
Great early groundbreaker
R. Elmore | Northport, Al United States | 03/27/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This movie is also called "Family Enforcer", but "death Collector"is the original title. Re-released after Joe Pesci's rise to fame a'la "Goodfellas" et al, this movie set the stage for all those to follow, including that film. Pesci's character is a minor role in this film. It follows the career of an italian guy "in the know" (not pesci) as he becomes, by steps, a mob collector, and believe me he enjoys his work. As the film progresses, he seeks to collect a debt from a deadbeat "made guy", and he makes no exception. This of course leads to feuds and an eventual contract on his head, which is enforced. In a way (thought I don't want to spoil it) the film starts at the end. This movie has a great shoot out at the end also. Great vintage 70's imagery. Truly a lost gem. I would recommend it as "homework" if you like goodfellas, casino, heat, et al. You will recognize more than just Pesci, by the way. Stands on it's own as a very good film, and a slice of another era, the fab 70's. I particularly love when they "whack" the guy on the toilet!"
Gangster film buffs should see it
Aggie Angst | Deep Dark South | 04/08/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Family EnforcerThis low budget film had very little point to the plot. Scenes and events were depicted with little or no judgement by the director; he acted as a silent narrator to tell a story. The thing is, I liked this little movie quite a bit. Even though it looked like an 8-mm home movie, there were moments of surprisingly good acting and scene tension. I was really interested to see what happened next. Basically, this guy, played by Cortese, needs money so he gets a job collecting for a small time don who likes Cortese for some unknown reason. Cortese is not particularly appealing, and he's a loose cannon who refuses to give respect to the families when he feels that respect is unearned. This doesn't make him a hero. It just makes him stupid considering with whom he deals. Cortese has zero screen charisma. He's not that attractive, which wouldn't matter if there were something about his character that was even remotely compelling, but it just ain't there. The funny thing is, the other characters in the movie treat this mediocre meat puppet as if he's something special. Mainly he just pisses off the wrong people and causes problems for everybody around him. What's not to love?Joe Pesci doesn't look that different in 1971 as he does in 2001 except he's got a lot more hair. He ain't pretty, but he lights up the screen in every scene in which he appears. He is the master of understatement, making what he says count for so much. Pesci mixes drama, comedy, and violence into a perfect blend for his character. As usual, Pesci holds an audience in the palm of his hand, because whatever his character says, Pesci will make interesting. I don't understand why people don't worship this guy as god.The film is typical seventies machismo and there are no three dimensional female characters. The appearance of women in the film is incidental and then only for full frontal nudity and to tell Mr. Tortellini he has a phone call. There is a girlfriend, but mainly her job is simpering around the main character. The movie doesn't really care what she has to say; it's just that a real man needs a woman around.I suspect even in all its crudity, Family Enforcer is more of a real slice of lower echelon Family machinations than anything presented thus far on the screen. I feel as if Little Guido ran around with his home movie cam and did A Day in the Life on his Uncle Vinnie and I got to watch. I can find a hundred flaws in this film. I also liked it. I'd watch it again. I give it 3 1\2 Gats."
Tough to explain - joe pesci's first film.
Michael Cellio | rochester, new hampshire USA | 05/07/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This is the Thing, this is pesci's first film,and he's a wiseguy, he takes down scores, he has this idea for one,and gets his friends involved,after the friend is coaxed by doing a favor for the local mob boss, the film is very 70's, but it ain't so bad really, if you've got the time,and three bucks, i'd rent it, perhaps buy it, I got the DVD version, very hard to find, obscure, but this isn't a bad performance at all,and it paved the way for tommy's charactor, pesci played in goodfellas, one of my favorite films of all time, if you haven't seen either, what ya waitin for? go and see them both, pesci is one of the best actors out there, he's both funny,and intense at the same time,and I recomend this viewing, you won't be disapointed, just don't expect a big budget film, respect it for what it is, support joe."