Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan


(Italy, 1962)

Antonio is a Sicilian who left the island years ago and has made a life for himself in Milano, where he is happily married with two daughters. But he feels the pull of Sicily, and returns with them to visit his family. He’s sort of an Italian Clark Griswold, he overdoes anything he attempts, so he assures the wife that it’s not what she’s heard it is, crawling with Mafia thugs, in fact, it’s paradise! You’ll love my family, and they’ll love you! They don’t, of course (though the family learns to like her later, in a well-done scene), and the place is terribly rural for these city folks, with chickens scratching under the bed, stuff like that. Antonio had done some work for the local boss, a deceptively gentlemanly piece of shit called Don Vincenzo, when he was a boy, and after calling to pay his obsequious respects to the Mafia turd, he finds out just how terrible they can be. I won’t reveal any more, but suffice it to say he finally sees the real Mafia, who do things that would gag a maggot in the name of honor and loyalty. Monsters, every last one of them. Don’t believe that Godfather crap. The movie shifts from a light comedy to scary events so subtly you hardly notice it happening, and then you’re on the edge of your seat. Highly recommended.