Plot: Joe Fortunado (Tony Page) is a police officer on the mean streets of New York, a loyal and dedicated public servant. He is a man of honor, but now he faces a situation where his honor is pulled between two sides. His father was gunned down by members of the mafia, but as a cop he is powerless to bring those responsible to justice. But his family pushes him to seek vengeance not as an agent of the law, but as a man out to settle the score. Joe resists and is torn about the situation, but after seven years, he decides to take action. As soon as he starts to shake down mafia goons for information, he winds up hauled in and has his badge taken. Now with nothing to lose and knowing the score, Tony is committed to avenging his father’s death. Soon a one man assault on the mob is kicked off, as Tony does whatever it takes to shake up the crooks. But can one man stand up to an entire mafia family?
Entertainment Value: A lot of movies are often described as gritty, but few live up to that adjective like Family Honor. This is a rough, down and dirty crime movie that almost has a documentary feel at times. The credit for that comes from the kinetic, in the moment camera work and a cast of believable actors. No one here seems out of place in their roles and the performances are raw, which bolsters that sense of realism. Tony Page has the lead and brings all the anger and conflict you could want, while Vera Visconti plays on the Italian mom stereotype and dials up the volume by about ten thousand notches. As I said, everyone here seems natural and performs in a stark, authentic fashion. The story is simple, with a man who struggles between his family and his sense of justice, but it works and the cast elevates the material. Family Honor also refuses to just follow the typical revenge/crime saga narrative, throwing in ample monkey wrenches throughout. If you’re a fan of crime movies, gritty 70s cinema, or vigilante justice flicks, check this one out.
In one scene, Joe bathes a drug addicted whore he went to high school with, but none of the goodies are visible. But its still an odd and fun scene, with this hard ass giving a bath to one of his friends. Otherwise, no nakedness. The movie has a great, grounded shoot out toward the finale, but even then, blood is minimal. This isn’t an exploitation style crime picture, more of a performace driven piece. But the gun play is believable and effective, with moderate splashes of the red stuff. Just don’t expect a Death Wish style bloodbath. I found the dialogue here to be well written, but it doesn’t yield a lot of memorable lines or quotable exchanges. Vera Visconti as the wailing mother does have some humorous moments, but for the most part, the writing is serious in tone. As far as craziness, the movie opts for an authentic texture, rather than an over the top vigilante rampage style. So not much wackiness or insanity here.
Overall Insanity: 1/10