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(aka "Si può essere più bastardi dell'ispettore Cliff? " or "Blue Movie Blackmail" or "Mafia Junction")

 

directed by Massimo Dallamano
Italy 1973

 

Interpol agent Cliff Hoyst (Ivan Rassimov, THE STRANGE VICE OF SIGNORA WARDH) may be playing more than one side. When gangster Mamma the Turk (Patricia Hayes, A FISH CALLED WANDA) tries to sidestep middle-man drug dealer Marco (Giacomo Rossi-Stuart, EMANUELLE IN BANGKOK), Cliff takes out the competition. In London, Cliff starts working for Morrell (Ettore Manni, FELLINI CITY OF WOMEN) who runs an escort agency that regularly films and blackmails important wealthy men to transport drugs hidden inside works of art. Their latest patsy is American ambassador Lansin (Cec Linder, LOLITA) seduced by Morrell's favorite bunny - and his wife - Joann (Stephanie Beacham, AND NOW THE SCREAMING STARTS). Cliff - who is also romantically involved with Joann - deals with Mamma the Turk's associate Gambel (Luciano Catenacci, KILL BABY KILL) for Morrell but behind the other man's back Cliff crosses and double-crosses his way through both Interpol and various mafia factions; but is he out for justice or just on the take?

The first of FISTFUL OF DOLLARS cinematographer-turned-director Massimo Dallamano's two crime films, SUPER BITCH is shot through with splattery bullet hits, production value-friendly globe-hopping, and ample coverage of Beacham's ample attributes. Hayes' Mamma the Turk (or "Toyk" as she pronounces it) and her hippy "family" - including the lovely Verna Harvey (who had previously appeared with Beacham in Michael Winner's "Turn of the Screw" prequel THE NIGHTCOMERS - is colorful and Rassimov looks sharp as Cliff, but the twisty plot doesn't quite hold up if you pay too much attention. Thankfully, there's plenty to keep genre fans entertained. Stanley Kubrick associate Leon Vitali (BARRY LYNDON) appears here in a supporting role as one of Morrell's male escorts. Riz Ortolani's brassy main theme was re-used in THE RED RINGS OF FEAR - the third film in the unofficial "schoolgirls in peril" that also included Dallamano's WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO SOLANGE? (also shot in the UK and featuring I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE's Camille Keaton, who has a smaller role here), WHAT HAVE THEY DONE TO OUR DAUGHTERS? - which was meant to be helmed by Dallamano before he was killed in a car crash in 1976 (the film was eventually directed with considerably less flair by TV director Alberto Negrin). Released in the UK as BLUE MOVIE BLACKMAIL and in the US as MAFIA JUNCTION, the film's UK title was changed to SUPER BITCH (shifting the emphasis from "bastard" Inspector Cliff) for late eighties video release to cash in on Beacham's soap diva role Sable Colby on DYNASTY and its short-lived off-shoot THE COLBYS.

Eric Cotenas

Poster

Theatrical Release: 5 March 1973 (Italy)

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DVD Review: Arrow Video - Region 0 - PAL

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

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Distribution

Arrow Video

Region 0 - PAL

Runtime 1:34:09 (4% PAL speedup)
Video

1.85:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 7.41 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Audio English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono; Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 mono
Subtitles English, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Arrow Video

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.85:1

Edition Details:
• Bullets, Babes, and Blood (16:9; 17:46)
• Ruggero Deodato remembers Ivan Rassimov (16:9; 1:54)
• Liner Notes Booklet by Calum Waddel
• Reversible Cover

DVD Release Date: October  29th,2012
Amaray

Chapters 12

 

Comments

Arrow Video's dual-layer, anamorphic transfer is probably derived from the same master as the Italian 01 Distribution DVD (the film had also an earlier non-anamorphic DVD release in Italy). The 01 disc's case listed only an Italian track, but it did indeed have the English dub. Arrow goes one better by supplying optional English subtitles for the Italian track (as well as brief bits not included in the English version and some offscreen dialogue that was never dubbed). The English track features some awful cockney accents, but Beacham dubs herself on this version and the dialogue is sometimes wittier than the Italian version.

Extras include a featurette about Italian crime movies featuring commentary from directors Ruggero Deodato and Sergio Martino, as well as a very brief featurette in which Deodato speaks about late actor Ivan Rassimov (Deodato directed him in JUNGLE HOLOCAUST, THE RAIDERS OF ATLANTIS, and BODY COUNT). The liner notes booklet also provides some context for the Italian crime genre (going a little farther back than Fernando Di Leo).

  - Eric Cotenas

 


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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Distribution

Arrow Video

Region 0 - PAL

 

 




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