The good folks over at Grindhouse Releasing always put their all into their DVD releases, having put out such classics as Cat In The Brain, Cannibal Holocaust, and Pieces. Branching out into theatrical side of things, their gearing up to premiere Duke Mitchell’s long-lost film Gone With The Pope, which sounds like the exact kind of film those who love their other releases will dig. The premiere will take place at The Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood, CA on March 12 at 7:30 PM. Make sure to check out their newly remastered print of The Evil Dead currently on the road and coming to a city near you. Read on for more details.
Grindhouse Releasing and the American Cinematheque will present the late, great Duke Mitchell’s never-before-seen exploitation 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-nominated 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.