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Posts Tagged ‘GRINDHOUSE’

Duke Mitchell’s ‘Gone With The Pope’

In Crime and noir fiction, Exploitation, Grindhouse, Movies on February 11, 2010 at 6:19 pm

Press Release

Grindhouse Releasing Presents Duke Mitchell’s GONE WITH THE POPE

World Premiere March 12 at Hollywood’s Egyptian Theatre

LOS ANGELES – Grindhouse Releasing and the American Cinematheque will present the late, great Duke Mitchell’s never-before-seen masterpiece GONE WITH THE POPE on Friday, March 12 at 7:30 p.m., at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood.

Duke Mitchell was an Italian Rudy Ray Moore, a popular nightclub performer, singer, actor, and self-proclaimed “Mr. Palm Springs” whose long-running Martin & Lewis-style comedy act with partner Sammy Petrillo was featured in BELA LUGOSI MEETS A BROOKLYN GORILLA. Mitchell went on to use his talents and show business connections to produce two of the most entertaining films of the Seventies, which he wrote, directed, produced, scored and starred in.

GONE WITH THE POPE stars Duke Mitchell as Paul, a gangster with an unholy scheme: to kidnap the pope and charge “a dollar from every Catholic in the world” as the ransom. Shot in 1975 as KISS THE RING, GONE WITH THE POPE was unfinished at the time of Duke Mitchell’s death in 1981.

Sage Stallone and Bob Murawski of Grindhouse Releasing rediscovered GONE WITH THE POPE in 1995 and vowed to save it from obscurity. Academy Award-winning film editor Murawski (THE HURT LOCKER, SPIDER-MAN 1,2 & 3) spent 15 years completing GONE WITH THE POPE from the surviving film elements.

“Of all the films I have been involved with, the one that I am most proud of is GONE WITH THE POPE,” Murawski said. “Duke Mitchell didn’t live to see this masterpiece finished. I am honored to be the person to finish it for him. Completing this movie was a 15-year labor of love. No expense or effort was spared in rescuing this classic from cinematic oblivion and finishing it with the utmost quality. Our beautiful new 35mm print stands as a testament to Duke Mitchell’s unique and explosively entertaining vision.”

Duke Mitchell’s 1974 ultra-violent crime saga MASSACRE MAFIA STYLE will screen on the same program. Also known as LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON and THE EXECUTIONER, MASSACRE MAFIA STYLE is a homemade answer to THE GODFATHER promising “more guts, more action, more dynamite!”. Starting with Duke and his sidekick slaughtering an entire building full of enemies, the movie is nonstop, mind-blowing entertainment that has become a favorite among cult movie fans.

Grindhouse Releasing is known for its lavish restorations and roadshow-style theatrical exhibition of such notorious exploitation-horror films as CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST, CANNIBAL FEROX (a.k.a. MAKE THEM DIE SLOWLY), Lucio Fulci’s THE BEYOND and CAT IN THE BRAIN, PIECES, and I DRINK YOUR BLOOD. Grindhouse partnered with Quentin Tarantino’s Rolling Thunder to release THE BEYOND in theaters and in 2010 launched a nationwide re-release of Sam Raimi’s EVIL DEAD.

The address of the Egyptian Theatre is 6712 Hollywood Boulevard, between Las Palmas and McCadden, just east of Highland Avenue in Hollywood.

This exclusive screening will include an in-person Q& A with the cast and crew of GONE WITH THE POPE. The movie will move on to screenings in New York, Chicago, New Orleans, Seattle, and other U.S. cities.

For more information, visit and For stills and press, e-mail David Szulkin at

See the amazing GONE WITH THE POPE trailer at

GONE WITH THE POPE Poster by Stephen Romano

Grindhouse Movie Poster: ‘Massacre at Central High’

In Exploitation, Grindhouse, Horror, Movies on October 29, 2009 at 7:05 am


Since readers asked for more grindhouse movie posters, here’s a slick ad mat for my favorite ’70s teensploitation murder movie: MASSACRE AT CENTRAL HIGH. I wrote a long piece on this film for the genius formerly known as Selwyn Harris; I’ll resurrect the rant for his new site soon.

My psycho-noir novel THE CREEPS is taking shape, burning through its first draft. I’ll post more info when it’s done.

I’m tremendously excited about working on the re-release of THE EVIL DEAD – response to the news has been instant and overwhelming.

And CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST has extended its Halloween engagement in Detroit at the new Burton Theatre. Don’t miss it!

Thanks for checking out the site!

David Szulkin

Scum of the Earth

In Exploitation, Grindhouse, Horror, Movies on September 1, 2009 at 4:32 am


I’ve been strangely obsessed with the horror films of producer/director S.F. “Brownie” Brownrigg since I first saw his 1973 insane asylum classic Don’t Look in the Basement. Back in the ’80s, I called Brownie at his Dallas headquarters and interviewed him about his career for Fangoria magazine. Years later, I began working on a book about Brownie and the roots of independent film-making in Texas.

During that research, I acquired the rights to Brownie’s follow-up to Basement: Scum of the Earth (a.k.a. Poor White Trash Part II). I’m happy to report that Scum of the Earth will be available on DVD and Blu-ray disc soon, with new bonus features. Here’s an advance press release with more information:


Box Office Spectaculars is preparing a special edition DVD release of SCUM OF THE EARTH, director S.F. Brownrigg’s follow-up to his cult-horror classic DON’T LOOK IN THE BASEMENT. Noted for his ability to create creepy ambience on a low budget, Brownrigg has been called “one of the great forgotten men of exploitation cinema.”

Filmed in 1973 in East Texas, SCUM OF THE EARTH stars Gene Ross, Norma Moore, Ann Stafford, Camilla Carr and Charlie Dell. Moore stars as Helen Fraser, a young bride whose idyllic lakeside vacation becomes a nightmare when her husband is murdered by an axe-wielding psychopath. Helen flees into the forest and runs into Odis Pickett (Ross), the moonshine-swilling patriarch of a degenerate hillbilly clan. Lured back to Pickett’s cabin, Helen is drawn into the family’s life of harsh poverty and abuse — while the unseen killer stalks the woods outside, striking again and again as he closes in…

The film ranked among the top-grossing nationwide movies in Boxoffice and Variety when it was re-released to theaters in 1976 as POOR WHITE TRASH PART II. Armed guards were stationed at theaters to shield minors from the “abnormal” subject matter, and audiences were warned that “this film captures poor white trash in their natural habitat.”

The new DVD documents the making of SCUM OF THE EARTH with rare photos, lost footage, artwork, commentary, and interviews with the film’s cast and crew. Paying tribute to Texas independent cinema, the package also includes the complete screenplay for DON’T LOOK IN THE BASEMENT and other surprises!

David Szulkin, author of WES CRAVEN’S LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT: THE MAKING OF A CULT CLASSIC, produced the new, restored version of SCUM OF THE EARTH with Box Office Spectaculars founder Bob Murawski, acclaimed Hollywood film editor of Sam Raimi’s DRAG ME TO HELL and SPIDER MAN 1, 2 & 3.

“A lost gem…a must for any fan of the backwoods.” (IMDB)

See the trailer at!

Grindhouse Movie Posters

In Exploitation, Grindhouse, Horror, Movies on August 26, 2009 at 6:02 am

Here are some vintage grindhouse movie posters, courtesy of the late Bill Landis of SLEAZOID EXPRESS. Enjoy!


Before he was TV’s “Major Dad”, Gerald McRaney played a shook-up, misunderstood nut in the 1969 ax-murder flick NIGHT OF BLOODY HORROR. The same filmmakers produced NIGHT OF THE STRANGLER, starring Mickey Dolenz of the Monkees.


Amazing ’70s ad for the roadshow-style reissue of Larry Buchanan’s tame Texas nudie film THE NAKED WITCH. Distributor Claude Alexander double-billed the movie with L.Q. Jones’ THE WITCHMAKER.

Savage Abduction

From Jerry Gross and Cinemation Industries, 1972: “CAPTURE NICE YOUNG GIRLS. Drag them to a house in the woods. Brand them. Beat them. Turn them on to everything. Someone’s willing to pay $10,000 for them.”

SAVAGE ABDUCTION features a twisted performance by Joe Turkel, familiar to moviegoers as the ghostly bartender who serves Jack Nicholson in THE SHINING. Turkel plays a wealthy deviant with a necro fetish. After a sleazy lawyer hires him to kill and rape his wife (in that order), he blackmails the guy into delivering him a couple of teen girls for snuff kicks. The attorney pays bikers to make the snatch. The forced pot-smoking sequence is hysterical, and the original music by Salt Lick is ’70s bummer gold.

And here’s another very special presentation from Alexander International Films:


In the time-honored tradition of Kroger Babb’s MOM AND DAD, this is a carny-style “birth of a baby” show. HIGH SCHOOL HOOKER is an alternate title for Gary Graver’s THE HARD ROAD (1970). Chris Poggiali has info on THE STEPDAUGHTER at Temple of Schlock.

More to come!