The Video Vacuum (thevideovacuum) wrote,
The Video Vacuum
thevideovacuum

MASSACRE MAFIA STYLE (1978) *** ½

Years after he starred in Bela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn Gorilla, Duke Mitchell produced, directed, and starred in this gory Godfather rip-off that will have your jaw dropping more often than not. It’s full of bloody shootouts and is filmed in a grimy, grindhouse style that makes the violence feel more realistic. The flick is kinda choppy in places and some of the dialogue is stilted, but what Massacre Mafia Style lacks in polish, it more than makes up for in sheer awesomeness.

Duke Mitchell stars as Mimi, the son of a Sicilian mobster living in exile. He comes back to America and reunites with his buddy Jolly (Vic Caesar) and together, they make their bones by kidnapping a big time mobster. They then set their sights on taking over the prostitution and numbers racket and gun down anyone who stands in their way. Of course, the bloodshed makes the big bosses nervous and they force Mimi and Jolly to go “legitimate”. (AKA: Becoming porno producers.) Naturally, Mimi’s lust for violence can’t be sated and pretty soon, he goes back to shooting people.

Massacre Mafia Style is Mitchell’s singular cinematic vision pristinely preserved on film for all time’s sake. Like I said, there are several rough passages throughout the flick, but Mitchell wears his heart on his sleeve, and his passion and love for what he is doing shines through in nearly every scene. Sometimes it seems like he’s reading from his script, but other times he gives such a passionate line reading that it makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. He gets a great monologue about his mother that is rather touching and he also gives his father a long speech where sticks it to that Coppola movie and tells him, “They made a movie about you!”

And of course, the violence is primo. Guys are shot, electrocuted (in a urinal, no less), and hung up on meat hooks. Guns are hidden in loafs of bread. It’s glorious. It’s nuts. I loved it.

It’s a shame that Duke Mitchell only directed two films in his lifetime. (His second, uncompleted film, Gone with the Pope is getting released on Blu Ray sometime this year.) If Massacre Mafia Style is any indication, he could’ve been a legendary exploitation filmmaker.

AKA: The Executioner. AKA: Like Father, Like Son.

Tags: action, cult, exploitation, m
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