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H D - S E N S E I

A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Massacre Mafia Style aka "Like Father, Like Son" or "Duke Mitchell's Massacre Mafia Style" aka "The Executioner" [Blu-ray]


(Duke Mitchell, 1978)



Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Spartan Films

Video: Grindhouse Releasing



Region: FREE (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:22:30.904

Disc Size: 47,643,206,055 bytes

Feature Size: 22,305,724,416 bytes

Video Bitrate: 33.00 Mbps

Chapters: 36

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: March 10th, 2015



Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



DTS-HD Master Audio English 1080 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1080 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps






Interviews with Jeffrey Mitchell, Frankie Ray, George Jacobs, Jim LoBianco, and exploitation legend Matt Cimber (10:10)
Almost one full hour of never-before-seen Duke Mitchell home movies (52:01)

Like Father, Like Son (43:33)


Theatrical Trailer (2:18) / Radio Spots and Testimonials / Stills Gallery
Lost audio recording - Duke Mitchell Live in Concert, June 9, 1960
Bonus TV special - AN IMPRESSIONISTIC TRIBUTE TO JIMMY DURANTE (37:05) and 16mm Dailies (6:32)
Glossy 12 page booklet containing liner notes by veteran cult movie journalist David Szulkin
Spectacular new cover painting by renowned Los Angeles cult artist Dave Lebow

DVD of the feature





Description: Italian-American actor and nightclub singer Duke Mitchell wrote, produced, directed and starred in this homemade answer to THE GODFATHER, self-financed with earnings from his career as the self-proclaimed Mr. Palm Springs. Previously known for his Martin and Lewis act with Sammy Petrillo as seen in BELA LUGOSI MEETS A BROOKLYN GORILLA (1:14:19), Duke plays the ruthless son of a Mafia kingpin who blasts his way through Hollywood on a bloody crime spree. Promising more guts, more action, more dynamite than the Mario Puzo gangster classic, MASSACRE MAFIA STYLE delivers an onslaught of low-budget mayhem unlike anything you've ever seen. Grindhouse Releasing proudly presents the definitive release of the most violent movie ever made!



The Film:

One thing you can say about “Massacre Mafia Style,” Duke Mitchell’s shameless attempt to cash in on “The Godfather,” is that it’s never boring. Even when it’s brutally silly it really is also a compelling bit of exploitation that tries desperately to out Godfather “The Godfather.” It does so to the point where the film’s anti-hero bawls about the end of the Italian crime organization and hints at “The Godfather” as a goofy portrayal of the Italian crime legacy in tears. It’s a valiant attempt to set itself apart, but it surely won’t be confused for the aforementioned crime drama any time soon. Duke Mitchell gives an odd performance as aspiring crime boss Mimi Miceli, who wants to garner approval by his ex crime boss father by becoming a crime boss in his own right. Leaving behind his young son in Sicily, the widowed Mimi enters the streets of Los Angeles and ropes in his old friend Jolly for his impending operation.

Excerpt from Cinema Crazed located HERE

This delightfully egotistical slice of Grindhouse Gangster cinema, written, Directed, co-Produced, and starring the late Duke Mitchell (he even did the music and sings on the soundtrack!) is pretty much a forgotten entity nowadays, but any fan of violent, off the wall 70's movies will find much to enjoy in this ragged, low budget exercise in vanity.

From the wonderfully over the top massacre opening (where Mimi and Jolly proceed to wipe out an entire office building with deadpan expressions, electrocution by urinal and table lamp and much silly rolling over desks), to the hysterically operatic Finale, "Massacre Mafia Style" never fails to hold the attention. And no matter what some of the other shortcomings of the film may be from a technical and logical point of view, Mitchell is to be congratulated for never wasting a minute of the films lean running time. 

Excerpt from Beardy Freak located HERE

Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

Massacre Mafia Style arrives on Blu-ray from Grindhouse Releasing. It looks quite strong and theatrically pristine with an image that appears to have been produced this year rather than in 1978. This is dual-layered with an exceptionally high bitrate. Colors are very bright and crisp backed with solid contrast levels. The 1080P provides a very pleasing HD presentation - far in advance of what one might expect. I might have seen one or two slight instances of inconsistency but they was never distracting. The 1.85:1 visuals shine with depth prevalent and a high level of detail in the few close-ups. This Blu-ray video is impressive - all things considered - and provides a very worthy presentation (better than the film deserves!)




















Audio :

Grindhouse opt for an authentic DTS-HD Master monaural track at 1080 kbps. The aggressive gunplay has some depth but there is always a slight dialogue sync issue - more closely related to the original production than the transfer. The score is, of course, by Duke Mitchell with some other music; Rigatone, Mostacoioli and Spaget, One Hundred Years From Today and Open Your Heart. There are no subtitles offered and my Oppo has identified it as being a region FREE.


Extras :

Perhaps it would be easier to list what ISN'T in the extras. There is no commentary but we do get a cornucopia of supplement tidbits including interviews with Jeffrey Mitchell, Frankie Ray, George Jacobs, Jim LoBianco, and exploitation legend Matt Cimber, 52-minutes of never-before-seen Duke Mitchell home movies, the 43-minute Like Father, Like Son video piece plus cool extras like the catastrophically bad Bela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn Gorilla also starring Duke. There are theatrical trailers, Radio Spots and testimonials plus an extensive Stills Gallery and a bonus TV special - the 37-minute An Impressionistic Tribute to Jimmy Durante - again with Mitchell - plus 6.5 minutes of 16mm Dailies. There are some Easter Egg, unlisted, extras to boot in the text Filmographies area (we'll let you indulge) plus the package, with a new cover painting by renowned Los Angeles cult artist Dave Lebow , has a DVD and a glossy 12 page booklet containing liner notes by veteran cult movie journalist David Szulkin.



Massacre Mafia Style gravitates to a kind of pure level of exploitation, ego-driven, Mafioso schlock. The beauty of the Grindhouse Blu-ray
is that it piles on the supplements to garner some real appreciation of the production... and Duke Mitchell. I wasn't as interested until wading through the supplements - now it is a film I may revisit one day (especially the Bela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn Gorilla feature which is perfect for a double feature B-movie night). Quite the detailed package and recommended for all the effort put into it!

Gary Tooze

March 9th, 2015


About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze






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