Now, I’m not one to normally watch a mafia movie. It’s not because I don’t like a bit of crime every once and a while, but I usually find most mafia movies to be rather boring. In fact, I have never sat down and watched any of The Godfather movies. I know, I know, for shame! I’m sure they are great films, but I just think you need to be the right mood to watch them, and I’m usually never in that type of mood. However, give me a mafia movie that is considered to be one of the most violent, cheesiest low-budget affairs, I’ll be all over it like a hooker on blow. Massacre Mafia Style is exactly that type of movie. Directed, written and starring Duke Mitchell, who you may know better as a musician, and after seeing this movie, you’ll still know him better as a musician, is a mafia movie that certainly feels gritty and realistic, but my goodness does the story jump all over the place worse than a monkey on crack. I could barely follow what the hell was going on, as you have sudden time jumps of several years, which is only explained by having Duke Mitchell’s hair turn gray. It’s a mess of a film, but you know what, it has a certain low budget charm that sticks with you long after the credits roll. In fact, the charm you will stick with you that much longer if you buy the Grindhouse Releasing Blu-ray, as the disc is a love letter to Duke Mitchell, with plenty of other surprises I’ll get into the features in the features section below. For now, though, let’s talk a bit about the movie…
DISCS: 2 (1 Blu-ray, 1 DVD)
RUN-TIME: 82 min
ASPECT RATIO: 1.85:1
AUDIO: DTS-HD Master Audio Mono, Dolby Digital Mono
PRODUCTION DATE: 1974
RELEASE DATE: Mar 10, 2015
YOU’RE IN, OR YOU’RE IN THE WAY!
Italian-American actor and nightclub singer Duke Mitchell wrote, produced, directed and starred in this homemade answer to THE GODFATHER, self-financed with earnings from his career as the self-proclaimed “Mr. Palm Springs.” Previously known for his Martin and Lewis act with Sammy Petrillo as seen in BELA LUGOSI MEETS A BROOKLYN GORILLA, Duke plays the ruthless son of a Mafia kingpin who blasts his way through Hollywood on a bloody crime spree. Promising “more guts, more action, more dynamite” than the Mario Puzo gangster classic, MASSACRE MAFIA STYLE delivers an onslaught of low-budget mayhem unlike anything you’ve ever seen. Grindhouse Releasing proudly presents the definitive release of the most violent movie ever made!
As previously mentioned, Duke Mitchell stars in his directorial début as Mimi Miceli, the son of Mafia Kingpin, Don Mimi. Don was exiled out of the US and his son, Mimi (Mitchell) wants to go back to Hollywood and take over the mafia scene, but in order to do so, he has to leave his father and young son back in Sicily. Without hesitation, Mimi leaves for the sunny land of fake personalities and quickly gets connected with the head of the mafia, Chucky Tripoli. The way he does it is pretty interesting, although, rather excessive if you ask me. Without spoiling it, an appendage is removed and after a couple shakes of hands and a few fake smiles later, he is in the good graces of the mafia group. From there the film jumps ahead several years, without telling you, and interjects a bunch of random scenes involving singing, shooting random people and filming pornography, cause you know, a man has to go the straight and narrow after killing so many people. After Mimi becomes bored with the porno scene, he finds out that the people he trusted is trying to kill him and he goes on a rampage, resulting in some amazing scenes of carnage and epic monologues about crime, mafia families, the Italians, and a bunch of racist material.
Massacre Mafia Style doesn’t make a lick of sense and by golly, I love it for just that reason. It’s like Duke Mitchell just took a bunch of different things he saw as a child growing up and put them in the movie, hoping it would congeal together. It doesn’t, but that’s what makes this movie so much fun. It’s certainly bad, but the charm of terrible acting, a wacky incoherent story and an ending that comes out of left field, makes it one movie that is worth checking out with friends.
The Blu-ray from Grindhouse Releasing is quite the wonder to behold. A lot of work went into improving the video and audio of Massacre Mafia Style and a big bravo needs to be given. The film is looking absolutely fantastic, especially when you compare it to the included trailer, which shows a film full of dirt and scratches. There is still a bit of dirt here and there, but nothing that detracts from your enjoyment of this cheeseball. The audio fares just as well, packing a nice punch and delivering that wonderfully inappropriate soundtrack through your speakers.
Special Features for Massacre Mafia Style are a boatload, although not much is actually about the movie you just watched. The features mostly focus on Duke Mitchell and his personal and professional life. I would have loved to have learned more about the movie, but for anyone that wants to know anything about Duke, you’ll be in heaven here. You have a very long special (roughly 43 minutes) that interviews Duke’s son, Jeffrey Mitchell, and goes deep into Duke’s life. You also have a bunch of home videos, a short interview (10 minutes) with producer Matt Cimber and Jim Lobianco, which is probably the only feature on here that goes into any sort of detail about the making and marketing of the movie; numerous still galleries, trailers, radio spots, filmographies and lots more. It’s quite a list of stuff included, which you can see below, however, there is one feature I need to point out. Cara Salerno, who stars in the movie and bares her “talents”, has a filmography included as a feature and inside you have the option to view a nude photo gallery of her. It’s a sight to behold and probably the best damn feature I’ve ever seen. Also included in her filmography is a trailer for a movie she starred in, in the 60’s, titled Space Thing and it’s 4 minutes of glorious 60’s boobs and bush. I still haven’t stopped smiling.
BLU-RAY SPECIAL FEATURES
- 2 disc combo pack – Blu-ray + DVD
- Incredible new hi-definition digital restoration of the original director’s cut
- Stunning digital restoration of the original mono soundtrack
- Interviews with Jeffrey Mitchell, Frankie Ray, George Jacobs, Jim LoBianco, and exploitation legend Matt Cimber
- Almost one full hour of never-before-seen Duke Mitchell home movies
- Lost audio recording – Duke Mitchell Live in Concert, June 9, 1960
- Bonus TV special – AN IMPRESSIONISTIC TRIBUTE TO JIMMY DURANTE
- Extensive still galleries, radio spots, and theatrical trailer
- Duke Mitchell Filmography
- Cara Salerno Filmography and nude gallery!!!
- Glossy booklet containing liner notes by veteran cult movie journalist David Szulkin
- Spectacular new cover painting by renowned Los Angeles cult artist Dave Lebow
- “Bela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn Gorilla” (74 minutes) – Feature length movie starring Duke Mitchell and Bela Lugosi
- Other Grindhouse Releasing Trailers (14 trailers)
- BD-ROM Content – Scripts and high-res photo scans
As you can see, the Blu-ray of Massacre Mafia Style from Grindhouse Releasing is jammed full, almost bursting out of its Blu-ray case. The movie itself is certainly a cheesy mafia affair, but one that is fun just because it’s so completely insane. Duke Mitchell should be proud of what he produced and if he was alive today, he would be amazed at the fantastic job Grindhouse Releasing did on this Blu-ray. A perfect pickup for anyone interested in having a great time.