The Curator of Schlock #186: Kidnap Syndicate

The Curator of Schlock #186 by Jeff Shuster

Kidnap Syndicate

And I thought last week’s movie was depressing. 

I am in a bad way this week. When you start bashing your head into the bathroom mirror and actually grin as the blood trickles from the cuts on your forehead, it may be time to give up on the film genre known as poliziottesco. Still, I’ve got another Friday left in June so I might as well round it out with one more movie from this genre, 1975’s Kidnap Syndicate from director Fernando Di Leo. Hey, he directed last week’s movie, the one that made me really depressed. 


The American poster for this movie reads, “$15,000,000 or we will kill your kids!”

This is no joke.

That’s the basic plot of this movie.


There is a crime syndicate in Italy that kidnaps children for money. This particular crime syndicate, we’ll call them the “Kidnap Syndicate,” decides to kidnap the son of wealthy real estate tycoon named Engineer Filippini as played by James Mason.


James Mason is in this movie?


And he’s in top form! The man is Hollywood royalty as far as I’m concerned. He was Brutus opposite Brando’s Mark Antony in Julius Caesar!

Brutus Caesar

He was Captain Nemo in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and Phillip Vandamm in North by Northwest

Sorry. I got a little star struck there. Yeah, the Kidnap Syndicate sends some goons to Engineer’s son’s school. They kidnap him along with another boy, the son of a man named Mario Colella (Luc Merenda), the struggling owner of an auto garage. Mario isn’t rich, but would sell his business and everything he owns to get his son back. Engineer wants to negotiate. The Kidnap Syndicate wants fifteen million dollars in exchange for the two boys. Engineer offers them nothing at first in an attempt to renegotiate the terms. The Kidnap Syndicate still wants fifteen million dollars. Engineer offers them five million. Nope. The Kidnap Syndicate still wants fifteen million. Engineer offers them six million. The Kidnap Syndicate shoots and kills the Mario’s kid (the poor one), dumping his body in a public place as a warning to Engineer that his son with be next if he doesn’t pay the fifteen million. Engineer relents and pays the full amount. His son is returned to him. 


Well, that got resolved smoother than I expected ,except for the fact that they killed one of the boys! And it was the working class boy with the working class dad! I guess poor boys are just a means to an end. Is that right, Kidnap Syndicate! What you didn’t count was that boy’s dad used to be a criminal himself with an expertise in motor cross. Maybe you should have done your research before murdering his son, an innocent child! Yes, I’m angry. And if you’re wondering where the Italian police were in all of this, well they were just helpless. 


Mario manages to track down the goons and the money. He kills the goons and keeps the money, and don’t you think for one hot second that I give a damn about those goons! He finds the executioner of his son, tells the guy that he’ll return the money to the Kidnap Syndicate if they give him half. In a boardroom meeting, the Kidnap Syndicate debates splitting the money with Mario. Some members argue that should just kill Mario and take the fifteen million dollar loss. The head of the Kidnap Syndicate figures they can give him two million dollars and that will satisfy the father of the dead boy. They ask Mario where he hid the money. He tells board he burned the money and then lights up the room with a machine gun! Hahahahahahaha! And then he chases after his son’s executioner and shoots him to death in a local amusement park. Hahahahahahahahahahahaha!


The world is a hell and I’m fine with it! Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

Jeffrey Shuster 1
Photo by Leslie Salas

Jeffrey Shuster (episode 47episode 102episode 124, and episode 131) is an MFA graduate from the University of Central Florida.

2 responses to “The Curator of Schlock #186: Kidnap Syndicate”

  1. Jeff, I’m concerned for you. Stay away from guns and sharp objects until you switch genres. Maybe Disney?

  2. […] correct pronunciation. Today, I’ve decided to revisit director Fernando Di Leo, the man behind Kidnap Syndicate. We’ll see if he can scar me this time […]

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