Action, Crime

Massacre Mafia Style (1974)

Comments Off on Massacre Mafia Style (1974) 01 April 2015

Massacre Mafia blu ray

Studio: Grindhouse Releasing

Theatrical Release: December 19, 1974

Blu Ray Release: March 10, 2015

Director: Duke Mitchell


Review by James Klein

Grindhouse Releasing has done it once again. They have not only released a film that many film buffs have been craving to see for years but Grindhouse presented this hard to find gem with a fully loaded blu ray / DVD combo pack that is filled to the brim with special features. And was Massacre Mafia Style worth the wait? You betcha.

Written, produced and directed by Duke Mitchell (who even did some of the music) Massacre Mafia Style may have one of my favorite openings in any movie I have ever seen. Mimi and Jolly (Mitchell and Vic Caesar) walk into an office and confront a man in a wheelchair who owes them money. Without giving the guy much of a chance to plead his case, they take him to a bathroom, sticking his foot in the urinal to electrocute him. Then they walk around and start blasting everyone in sight. Even innocent bystanders walking by minding their own business are shot. All this happens while this happy, boisterous Italian song plays over the violent images. This, my friends, is pure cinematic gold. To be describe what you are in for, think Massacre Mafia Style as if The Godfather was written and directed by a 14 year old kid.

Massacre Mafia StyleAfter the opening bloodbath, the movie takes a moment to set up the basic plot: Mimi is an Italian gangster whose wife has recently passed away. He asks his father, a former mafia boss who now resides it Italy, to watch his son while he goes to L.A. and start his own empire. His goal is to keep the bookies and pimps in line while stirring up some trouble for the other crime bosses who have already established themselves. Mimi believes these gangsters are weak, that going legit is the cause of the mafia downfall. Its up to him and his second lieutenant Jolly to keep everyone in line and change this new direction that the mob is headed in.

The executionerMimi also hooks up with the pretty and voluptuous Liz (Cara Salerno) who Mimi coolly seduces at a wedding. When one asks Mimi, “Where are you staying?” Mimi responds to him, “With her.” while not even looking at his new hookup. Liz doesn’t hesitate, jumping in the sack with Mimi. And for those of you who like gigantic areolas that cover almost the entire tit, you are going to love Liz’s nude scenes. That’s right, SCENES! Plural.

Duke MitchellMimi’s take over of the pimps, book keepers, and other bosses soon quickly gets out of hand and turns into an all out war. Mimi even starts to cut in on the film industry and starts producing his own adult films. As Mimi’s reign continues to rise, it doesn’t take long for him to fall.

Massacre Mafia Style is an amature, low budget, roller coaster ride. Filled with over the top profanity and racial slurs, an abundance of bad 70’s blood squibs that look like paint, plenty of natural floppy boobies for those who miss their women with real curves, Massacre Mafia Style is a grindhouse classic. Yet, Duke Mitchell’s little mob film doesn’t romanticize “the life” but allows viewers to see what a dark and brutal life that these gangsters live. Following on the tails of the two Godfather films, Massacre Mafia Style is very much different. Instead of being true to ones family, everyone in Mimi’s world is out for themselves. There is no honor and the films stunning conclusion reinforces this belief.

Like Father, Like SonDuke Mitchell’s mob flick is not for everyone. I’m not talking about the bloodshed or nudity or even the harsh language, I’m talking the production values. Shot on weekends and using a cast made up of friends and family members, Massacre Mafia Style is a B picture all the way. That is not a diss, I love this kind of film making. However in the world of celebrity obsession, CGI effects, comic books adaptations, remakes, and overblown production budgets, I feel that modern film goers may turn their stuck up nose on this little masterpiece.

Duke Mitchell's Massacre Mafia StyleMassacre Mafia Style had only been released on VHS many, many years ago (if one happened to have seen it, it may have been under the title The Executioner). The tapes had shown their wear and tear and while the film source isn’t in the best condition, this restoration is pretty damn amazing. The colors are bright, the film grain is still present, the clarity is wonderful. Even the mono soundtrack is crystal clear and quite loud, especially during the music ques.

cast of Massacre Mafia StyleWhat else does one get with this package? There is a brand new documentary on the making of the film as well as a retrospective on Duke Mitchell, who died in 1981 at the age of 55. Being a good friend with Sinatra and several real life gangsters, Duke’s personality didn’t seem too far off from his role as Mimi. There is almost an hour worth of home movies that Mitchell would play during his shows as a lounge singer, a lost recording of one of his concerts in 1960, a 1977 TV special that never aired of Mitchell doing an impression of Jimmy Durante in a bizarre tribute to the comedian, and maybe my favorite special feature, Duke Mitchell and Sammy Petrillo in the feature film Bela Lugosi Meets the Brooklyn Gorilla. If you thought Plan 9 From Outer Space was Lugosi’s biggest embarrassment, you need to see some goddamn Brooklyn Gorilla! This Martin & Lewis rip off about two lounge singers stuck on an island with a mad doctor is so annoying, so cheap, so dull, it needs to be seen to be believed. Even the trailer for Brooklyn Gorilla is included. Mama Mia!

eyeball death Movie and Blu Ray Rating: ★★★★★




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