Tag Archives: Chris Innis

Duke Mitchell’s GONE WITH THE POPE: It’s A Hit!

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This Easter, home video audiences are celebrating the miraculous resurrection of Duke Mitchell’s GONE WITH THE POPE, the long-lost follow up to the smash hit MASSACRE MAFIA STYLE! At last, the cult hit hailed as “a glorious masterpiece” (Detroit Metro Times) is here on home video!

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Legendary nightclub entertainer, crooner and “Mr. Palm Springs” Duke Mitchell stars in GONE WITH THE POPE as a gangster with an unholy scheme: to kidnap the Pope in exchange for the ransom of a dollar from every Catholic in the world! Duke Mitchell filmed GONE WITH THE POPE in 1975, but the movie was left unfinished at the time of his passing 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, ARMY OF DARKNESS) spent 15 years completing GONE WITH THE POPE from the surviving film elements. The result is the Holy Grail of Exploitation Cinema!

GONE WITH THE POPE played exclusively in 35mm at theaters and festivals around the globe for five years. The film has played repeatedly to an enthusiastic cult audience at the Quentin Tarantino-owned New Beverly Cinema in L.A. and the fantastic story of its unlikely rescue and restoration was featured in Variety, LA Weekly, Movieline, and the Los Angeles Times.

Now Grindhouse Releasing has at last answered years of worldwide demand for GONE WITH THE POPE on home video with a stunning deluxe Blu-ray/DVD set…and it’s a hit! Customers are already calling it the cult Blu-ray release of the year!

http://www.amazon.com/Gone-With-Pope-Blu-ray-Combo/dp/B00TA9VS6C

Available now, along with Grindhouse Releasing’s acclaimed, best-selling new Blu-ray editions of MASSACRE MAFIA STYLE and Lucio Fulci’s THE BEYOND, Duke Mitchell’s GONE WITH THE POPE is being hailed as a miracle by fans and critics alike!

“There’s miracle work, and then…well, there’s this Blu-ray disc. I cannot get over how phenomenal Gone with the Pope looks in high-def. The clarity and staggering level of detail outclass just about every last Blu-ray release I’ve come across, regardless of age, budget, or marquee value. An absolutely incredible effort…Gone with the Pope is one of a kind: crude, violent, offensive, unapologetic, deeper than it lets on, and a hell of a lot of fun. I doubt if there’s any other filmmaker, dead or alive, who could pull this off the way Duke Mitchell does. I defy anyone not to be floored by the complete package that Grindhouse has assembled here, one that’s twenty years in the making. The visual and aural presentation eclipse anything I ever could’ve dreamt possible for a lost production like this, and the sprawling selection of extras hammer home just how much of a labor of love this is. Highly Recommended.” – DVD Talk

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“Gone With The Pope is testament to how ambition and passion are always more important than a big budget or a famous cast. It’s a film like no other, an eighty-two minute barrage of ideas that are simultaneously insane and profound as Mitchell takes on the hypocrisy of organized religion without ever really writing off the spiritual side of life. It’s a skewed and strange vision to be sure but it’s relentlessly entertaining, as politically incorrect as they come and really just a wild ride all together. Grindhouse Releasing have rolled out the red carpet for the film, giving it the best possible presentation and jamming the disc with extras that are as interesting as they are comprehensive.” – Rock! Shock! Pop!

“Grindhouse Releasing kills it with this release of a long lost and unfinished film that will turn in to a classic piece of exploitation. A beautiful restoration job and lovingly packed with special features, GONE WITH THE POPE is a must own for any exploitation film fan!” – Celluloid Terror

“Grindhouse Releasing’s work here has resulted in one of their finest achieve­ments. They went beyond hon­or­ing a film’s legacy here: they actu­ally res­ur­rected, restored and fin­ished an aban­doned work. They really earned their tag as “the Criterion Collection of exploita­tion” with this impres­sive set.” – Schlockmania

“I’m happy to say that it was worth the wait. Gone with the Pope – as well as Grindhouse Releasing’s presentation of it – surpassed any expectation that I had. Very weird, very 70s, and very much the product of an individual who knew exactly what he wanted. It’s a shame that Duke Mitchell didn’t live long enough to see his work get the treatment that it is getting now, but he can rest easy know that it is in great hands and it looks f*cking amazing. Another indispensable release from Grindhouse Releasing.” – Paracinema

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GONE WITH THE POPE is continuing to run in 35mm in theaters. The movie was featured in the 2015 Boston Underground Film Festival and opens this Friday, April 10 at the Gateway Film Center in Columbus, OH. http://gatewayfilmcenter.com/gone-with-the-pope-35mm/

Duke Mitchell’s MASSACRE MAFIA STYLE will show in Portland at the Hollywood Theatre April 28. http://hollywoodtheatre.org/massacre-mafia-style/

Get the mind-blowing MASSACRE MAFIA STYLE Bluray/DVD here!

http://www.amazon.com/Massacre-Mafia-Style-Blu-ray-Combo/dp/B00R8O809O

Bob Murawski on the Restoration of GONE WITH THE POPE

Revisiting GONE WITH THE POPE, The Exploitation Jewel with an Unlikely Oscar Twist

About Grindhouse Releasing:

Grindhouse Releasing is a Hollywood-based film distribution company co-founded in 1996 by Sage Stallone and Academy Award-winning film editor Bob Murawski. Devoted to preserving, restoring and releasing the best in exploitation cinema, the label has earned the rep of “The Criterion Collection of cult” for its no-expense-spared restorations of such celebrated Italian horror films as Lucio Fulci’s THE BEYOND, Umberto Lenzi’s CANNIBAL FEROX, and Ruggero Deodato’s CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST. Through the Box Office Spectaculars imprint, Grindhouse has released David Durston’s I DRINK YOUR BLOOD, Lucio Fulci’s CAT IN THE BRAIN, and J.P Simon’s chainsaw classic PIECES.

In recent hyears, Grndhouse Releading has entered the Blu-ray market with acclaimed special editions of Amos Sefer’s AN AMERICAN HIPPIE IN ISRAEL,starring Asher Tzarfati and Shmuel Wolf,  Robert Hartford-Davies’ CORRUPTION, starring Peter Cushing, Sergio Sollima’s THE BIG GUNDOWN, starring Lee Van Cleef and Tomas Milian, and the #1 best-seller CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST, starring Robert Kerman and Carl Gabriel Yorke. In 2015, Grindhouse Releasing won the Satellite Award for Outstanding Overall Blu-ray/DVD for its special edition of Frank Perry’s THE SWIMMER, starring Burt Lancaster, which includes the original documentary “The Story of THE SWIMMER” by Academy Award winning film editor Chris Innis (THE HURT LOCKER).

Grindhouse Releasing once again scored a #1 Amazon best-seller in 2015 with the lavish 3-disc Blu-ray/CD release of Lucio Fulci’s THE BEYOND, sure to top the list of the year’s best horror discs. MASSACRE MAFIA STYLE and GONE WITH THE POPE are among the most long-anticipated titles in the Grindhouse Releasing catalog and the lvish Bu-ray/DVD sets are rapidly gaining acclaim as some of the studio’s finest work to date. Grindhouse Releasing is also the most active independent theatrical distributor of classic horror and exploitation films in the U.S., handling Sam Raimi’s original classic EVIL DEAD and other genre landmarks in addition to its own catalog of titles. Upcoming Blu-ray releases from Grindhouse include CANNIBAL FEROX, out May 12, and more to be announced soon!

For more about Grindhouse Releasing, visit www.GrindhouseReleasing.com

Twitter: @GrindhouseFilm

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Grindhouse-Releasing/125392227536411

Theatrical bookings: info@grindhousereleasing.com

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First Reviews: THE SWIMMER Blu-ray/DVD!

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Grindhouse Releasing’s new special edition Blu-ray/DVD of the 1968 Burt Lancaster classic THE SWIMMER is available now from stores and online retailers everywhere!

Buy THE SWIMMER at Amazon.com

Buy THE SWIMMER at Diabolik DVD

Hailed as “brilliant!” (Ain’t It Cool News), “a sensational package that’s an early candidate for the year’s best” (Film Score Monthly) and ”a spectacular Blu-ray/DVD release” (DVD Savant), THE SWIMMER hit #1 on DVD Empire’s sales charts this week, outranking Scorsese’s WOLF OF WALL STREET. The new SWIMMER Blu-ray/DVD combo includes the debut of Oscar-winning film editor Chris Innis’ all-new 2 1/2 hour documentary THE STORY OF THE SWIMMER, praised as “miraculous” (Blu-ray.com) and “a fascinating Hollywood story.” (Mondo Digital)

“If you have a favorite cult film, you should only hope that it gets on Grindhouse Releasing’s radar, as they have done exceptionally well by The Swimmer. A fascinating film, it’s been matched by a tremendous presentation, both in terms of the audio/video quality and the depth and quantity of the bonus content, especially the hugely enlightening documentary,” says DVD Talk.

“FIVE STARS! Continues Grindhouse’s exemplary work in the BD realm, with a gorgeous filmic offering…THE SWIMMER looks fresh and inviting on this disc, preserving the moods and mystery of the original cinematography. Scoring (from the late Marvin Hamlisch) stands out as clean and rich with instrumentation, providing bold orchestral support to the picture without drowning out the on-screen action. As with the visual experience, everything here is freshly prepared, delivering what was originally designed without distortion. It’s bold work and a forgotten film that deserves a fresh audience, with this exemplary BD providing a perfect opportunity to discover its numerous treasures.” – Brian Orndorf, Blu-ray.com

“‘The Story of ‘The Swimmer’ is a miraculous five-part documentary from Innis that dissects the feature in full, with specific attention to Lancaster’s star power and the BTS strife that almost prevented the movie from being released. Enthusiastic interviews are richly detailed with anecdotes and memories…the candor put forth here is outstanding, generating a riveting tale of a Hollywood tug of war…It’s an exhaustive documentary, but there’s never a dull moment.” – Brian Orndorf, Blu-ray.com

Watch THE SWIMMER trailer

Based on the famous story by John Cheever, THE SWIMMER stars Lancaster as Ned Merrill, a man who confronts his destiny by swimming home, pool by pool, through the suburban nightmare of upper-class East Coast society. The film was directed by Frank Perry from a script by Eleanor Perry.

Glenn Erickson of DVD Savant calls THE SWIMMER “a dynamite package that’s my favorite release so far in 2014. Unquestionably recommended!”

“THE SWIMMER is a knockout punch of a film and one of the great dramas of the 1960s…a terrific package!” says DVD Verdict.

Nathaniel Thompson of Mondo Digital writes, “The much-needed special edition by Grindhouse easily eclipses them all both in terms of technical presentation and supplements…in HD, it really looks fantastic. There hasn’t been any ridiculous digital manipulation, either; it still looks like film all the way. Audio options include a DTS-HD mono track (which sounds great) and, in a nice gesture, an isolated stereo presentation of the music score by Marvin Hamlisch (his film debut).”

The Story of The Swimmer documentary includes interviews with composer Marvin Hamlisch, Joanna Lancaster, Michael Hertzberg (first assistant director), Ted Zachary (second assistant director), actresses Janet Landgard, Marge Champion, and Joan Rivers, Bob Horn (UCLA swim coach), and  editor Sidney Katz.

The disc also includes a vintage audio recording of author John Cheever reading his short story “The Swimmer”, originally published in The New Yorker in 1964; extensive still galleries, storyboards, deleted scenes, artwork from around the world, the complete screenplay, a 12-page booklet with insightful essays by Innis and director Stuart Gordon (RE-ANIMATOR).

Praise for THE SWIMMER:

“Burt Lancaster is superb in his finest performance. Four stars.” – Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

“Totally engrossing, thanks to its very strangeness, and to the superb performances and vivid location photography. Five stars.” – Geoff Andrew, Time Out New York

“Grim, disturbing and sometimes funny…the film has the shape of an open-ended hallucination.” – Vincent Canby, The New York Times

“A strange, stylized work, a brilliant and disturbing one “- Roger Ebert

More reviews of THE SWIMMER Blu-ray/DVD:

“Grindhouse Releasing gives THE SWIMMER a fantastic Blu-ray debut. The presentation is up to the high standards set by their past releases as are the supplements which prove to be both comprehensive and genuinely interesting. The story behind this one is just as interesting as the movie itself. A fantastic package through and through.” – Ian Jane, Rock! Shock! Pop!

“The new Grindhouse Releasing of THE SWIMMER looks marvelous…I love this film, which has elevated to a cult status in certain circles. STRONGLY RECOMMENDED.” – Flicker Alley

“The new high definition digital restoration created from 4K scans brings this movie back to its original gleaming glory. THE SWIMMER is a beautifully photographed film and you will get to see all the spectacular imagery with this special edition. The superbly produced Blu-ray/DVD package is jammed with extra features that will give new and old fans of the movie a very complete view of the production from start to finish. Recommended!” – Furious Cinema

“An emotionally draining experience. THE SWIMMER is a very effective, and sometimes surreal drama.  The freshly restored print alone would likely warrant a purchase from most fans of the film, but as to be expected with Grindhouse Releasing, there are a wealth of incredible bonus features that make this truly essential. The highlight of the package would have to be THE STORY OF THE SWIMMER, a brand-new 2 1/2 hour documentary by Oscar winner Chris Innis.” – Brain-Hammer.com

“A BIZARRE MASTERPIECE…This remarkable restoration of THE SWIMMER is not to be missed.” – Mack Blankenship, SSS Horror Reviews

“It isn’t every day that a movie such as The Swimmer is released to the screen, but thankfully Grindhouse Releasing has realized the glory of this film, and how its impact can continue to be felt, so many years after its original theatrical run. The Swimmer is simply one of the must-see home video releases of 2014.” – George Pacheco, 10K Bullets

Press and publicity contact: David Szulkin, info@grindhousereleasing.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/Grindhouse-Releasing/125392227536411

YouTube: www.YouTube.com/GrindhouseReleasing

Twitter www.twitter.com/grindhousefilm

Grindhouse Releasing Presents ‘The Swimmer’

Grindhouse Releasing is proud to present Burt Lancaster in THE SWIMMER, based on the famed story by John Cheever, arriving March 25, 2014 on Blu-ray and DVD in a spectacular new collector’s edition.

Buy THE SWIMMER Blu-ray/DVD at Amazon.com

Buy THE SWIMMER Blu-ray/DVD at Diabolik DVD

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Lancaster stars in THE SWIMMER as Ned Merrill, a man who confronts his destiny by swimming home, pool by pool, through the suburban nightmare of upper-class East Coast society. Roger Ebert hailed THE SWIMMER as “brilliant and disturbing”, and Lancaster “superb in the finest performance of his career.”

Trailer for THE SWIMMER

The film was directed by Frank Perry (DIARY OF A MAD HOUSEWIFE, PLAY IT AS IT LAYS, MOMMIE DEAREST) from a script by Eleanor Perry.

The new Blu-ray/DVD set boasts a wealth of bonus features including the brand-new 2 1/2 hour documentary “The Story of THE SWIMMER” by Oscar winner Chris Innis.

“The Story of THE SWIMMER” includes in-depth interviews with stars Janet Landgard, Joan Rivers and Marge Champion, composer Marvin Hamlisch, film editor Sidney Katz, assistant directors Michael Hertzberg and Ted Zachary, UCLA Olympic swim coach Bob Horn, and Joanna Lancaster.

The new Blu-ray/DVD set features a vintage audio recording of John Cheever reading his famous story “The Swimmer”, which first appeared in The New Yorker in 1964.

THE SWIMMER Blu-ray/DVD also offers a 12-page booklet with liner notes by director Stuart Gordon (RE-ANIMATOR), rare production stills from the lost alternate scenes, extensive still galleries, trailers, TV spots, and more. The cover art for the disc is a new painting by renowned Stephen King cover artist Glen Orbik (JOYLAND, THE COLORADO KID).

THE SWIMMER is the latest home video release from Grindhouse Releasing, the company founded by Sage Stallone (1976-2012) and Bob Murawski and known for its restorations of Italian cult-horror classics such as Lucio Fulci’s THE BEYOND and Ruggero Deodato’s CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST.

“We are thrilled to be bringing THE SWIMMER to Blu-ray and DVD in one of our most comprehensive releases to date,” says Grindhouse Releasing president and co-founder Bob Murawski.  “THE SWIMMER is one of those offbeat late-60s studio films that really defies explanation. It is ultimately as bleak and emotionally disturbing as anything by Deodato or Gaspar Noe.  We are extremely proud to have the opportunity to present this almost-forgotten classic, and, as usual, have spared no effort or expense in giving it the best release possible.”

THE SWIMMER follows Grindhouse Releasing’s acclaimed Blu-ray collector’s editions of Sergio Sollima’s THE BIG GUNDOWN, starring Lee Van Cleef and Tomas Milian, Robert Hartford-Davis’ CORRUPTION, starring Peter Cushing, and Amos Sefer’s AN AMERICAN HIPPIE IN ISRAEL, starring Asher Tzarfati and Shmuel Wolf.

Grindhouse Releasing has also issued Sage Stallone’s award-winning acclaimed short film VIC, starring Clu Gulager (THE LAST PICTURE SHOW, THE KILLERS). DVD Talk calls VIC “truly unforgettable – a must-see, must-own short film” and Cinema Retro hails VIC as “an extraordinary film that packs an emotional wallop”.

THE BIG GUNDOWN, a massive 4-disc set of the celebrated spaghetti Western that includes Blu-ray, DVD, and the original soundtrack by Ennio Morricone on CD, was hailed as the “the Blu-ray release of the year…absolutely stunning” (DVD Verdict), “a must-see” (Blu-ray.com). “superb on every level” (Cinema Retro) and “first-rate…one of the best home entertainment packages of the year” (The Film Corner).

CORRUPTION, the first U.S. home video release of the gory Peter Cushing shocker, earned applause from horror connoisseurs around the world. CORRUPTION was named Blu-ray of the Year (The Splatter Times) and called “the answer to many a horror fan’s prayers…easily one of the most significant British horror releases in the Blu-ray era…definitely one for the ages and, in its own bloody and twisted way, a little miracle most fans never expected to happen.” (Mondo Digital)

Among the next Blu-ray titles from Grindhouse Releasing are Ruggero Deodato’s CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST and Lucio Fulci’s THE BEYOND, for which Murawski and Innis recently shot a new featurette on location in New Orleans.

Grindhouse Releasing will also issue Fulci’s CAT IN THE BRAIN, Duke Mitchell’s  GONE WITH THE POPE and MASSACRE MAFIA STYLE, Juan Piquer Simon’s PIECES, in a new 4K transfer, and S.F. Brownrigg’s SCUM OF THE EARTH.

For more information, visit www.GrindhouseReleasing.com

Press and publicity contact: David Szulkin, info@grindhousereleasing.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/Grindhouse-Releasing/125392227536411

YouTube: www.YouTube.com/GrindhouseReleasing

Twitter www.twitter.com/grindhousefilm

THE SWIMMER DELUXE EDITION

(Blu-ray/DVD combo) (1968)

Burt Lancaster, Janet Landgard, Janice Rule, Joan Rivers. Director: Frank Perry. Rated: PG.

Color – 1.85:1 – 1968 – 95 minutes – Region 0

Release Date:  March 25, 2014

“Burt Lancaster is superb in his finest performance.  Four stars. “

– Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

“Totally engrossing, thanks to its very strangeness, and to the superb performances and vivd location photography. Five stars.”

– Geoff Andrew, Time Out New York

“Grim, disturbing and sometimes funny…the film has the shape of an open-ended hallucination.”

– Vincent Canby, The New York Times

” A strange, stylized work, a brilliant and disturbing one.”

– Roger Ebert