Duke Mitchell’s Cult Cinematic “Massacre”! “Gone With The Pope!”

gone with the pope

Let’s Not Waste Time! It’s A WILD, “You Must See It To Believe It” Cult Classic!

This is a story that could ONLY come from Hollywood! You are about to meet:

“The King Of Palm Springs!”

singer duke mitchell

Time to celebrate the amazing career of Duke Mitchell, an actor, slapstick comedian, crooner and independent film director. Mitchell often performed his nightclub act in and around Palm Springs and called himself the “King of Palm Springs!”

Oh, and he directed these two classic cult films:


gone with the pope

Here is Duke’s fascinating story. In 1951, Mitchell teamed with teenaged comic Sammy Petrillo for a nightclub act. Mitchell’s cabaret-style crooning and Petrillo’s manic, rubber-faced clowning were clearly based on the then red-hot team of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis.

sammy petrillo

The duo made one of the strangest cult films of all time, with the wild name of:

“Bela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn Gorilla!”

bela_lugosi meets a brooklyn gorilla

OK, we are just getting warmed up! After this comedy duo broke up, Mitchell performed a nightclub act in Palm Springs and gave himself the name of “King Of Palm Springs!”

Duke Mitchell movies

Duke Mitchell, Film Maker!

Even though “The King” was having a successful singing career, he also turned to movies once again – and this time, NO ONE would get in his way! Mitchell wrote, produced, directed and starred in his version of the classic movie “THE GODFATHER”, and he paid for it by himself!

Duke Mitchell Gone With The Pope

Behold The Cult Majesty Of “Gone With The Pope”!

First, check out this review:

“Gloriously, hilariously offensive…an incredible hybrid, with Mitchell’s decidedly dated sensibility delivered in a modern, masterfully quick-cut package.”

-Karina Longworth, LA Weekly

Duke Mitchell Gone With The Pope

Thought lost to time, “GONE WITH THE POPE” now lives for all to enjoy, and stars Duke Mitchell as Paul, a paroled gangster with an unholy scheme: to kidnap the Pope and charge as a ransom:

“a dollar from every Catholic in the world!”

Check out the trailer:

gone with the pope

Shot in 1975, “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-winning film editor Murawski (THE HURT LOCKER, ARMY OF DARKNESS) spent 15 years completing this film using the surviving film elements!

And now it is on blu-ray, with in-depth interviews with stars Jim LoBianco and John Murgia, cinematographer Peter Santoro, editors Bob Leighton and Robert Florio, and legendary exploitation producer/director Matt Cimber!

Duke Mitchell cult movie

And in keeping with the cult nature of the film, they even released it to a rabid moviegoing public, with collectible T-shirts too!

The blu-ray release includes footage from the 2010 Hollywood World Premiere, along with deleted scenes and bloopers!

duke mitchell

And there’s more!

Time for “Massacre Mafia Style!”


Yes, the Duke made another film, this time playing the ruthless son of a Mafia kingpin who blasts his way through Hollywood on a bloody crime spree. Check out the trailer!

massacre mafia movie

“It’s a great thing for my Dad’s legacy for his movie to be released on Blu-ray,” says Jeffrey Mitchell, who co-produced the Blu-ray with Academy Award winning editor Bob Murawski of Grindhouse Releasing.

singer duke mitchell

According to Murawski: “We have put in years of work restoring MASSACRE MAFIA STYLE and gathering an amazing selection of bonus material on Duke Mitchell. We think fans will agree it was worth the wait.”

duke mitchell movies

This blu-ray release includes a treasure trove of goodies, like interviews with Jeffrey Mitchell, Frankie Ray, George Jacobs, Jim LoBianco, and exploitation legend Matt Cimber, along with almost an hour of never-before-seen Duke Mitchell home movies!

classic cult movies

Hear “The King Of Palm Springs!”

The blu-ray includes a “lost” audio recording of Duke Mitchell Live in Concert from 1960.

duke mitchell

And as for the reviews:

“Duke Mitchell delivers an eccentric, impassioned, unpredictable performance unlike anything else ever committed to film. You’ve never seen another gangster movie like this.”- Nathaniel Thompson, Mondo-Digital

grindhouse releasing

So there you have it, a pair of cult films that have been lovingly restored for your enjoyment!

grindhouse releasing

Kudos Grindhouse Releasing!

Congrats to a great home video company for keeping these classics alive! And they have an amazing line up of films to enjoy, like this!


Yes, see “psycho hippies” and more by reading my story here:


And see all of their releases at their website:


These films remind of of another “cult classic”:

worst films of all time TheRoomMovie

Yes, Tommy Wiseau also wrote, produced, directed, edited and starred in a film – the legendary “The Room!”

Read all about it here:


And buy these films to help keep cult cinema alive!

gone with the pope

Categories: 70's Cinema, Action Films, Books / Media, Cult Movies, Exploitation films, Film Noir, Great Films, Grindhouse, Hollywood, Independent Cinema, Los Angeles, Movies, New York, Obscure Movies, Revenge Movies, Talent/Celebrities, Uncategorized

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