It Played Detroit! – Massacre Mafia Style


9-17-75 (9-19 Friday ad)

Another series to keep the beat moving is It Played Detroit, a series of ads which showed that a cult classic favorite  showed up in The Motor City or at least a suburb. Of course, due to the nature of Independent film distribution, not every hard to find flick made its way (still looking for a Detroit showing of Last House on Dead End Street with no hope…it would have won ’em!!!), but it’s always worth it to find out.

In this episode, Duke Mitchell’s Like Father Like Son, re-titled as Massacre Mafia Style, had a few showings through The US, one hitting the Metro Detroit area at a number of suburban theaters as well as the Downtown Adams. Most of the showings carried The Last Detail with Jack Nicholson as the B.

Mitchell’s nightclub success after ending his Comedy act with Sammy Petrillo encouraged him to move into other ventures. Wanting to make an American Mafia film, he headed to LA where that dream came true while some time after it’s release he re-connected with Petrillo trying to further the film’s Distribution. The film is seriously one to catch as it was a topic Mitchell knew about and how to put onto film without glamorizing it as time were quickly changing away from the world this film shows. By 1975, the competition was getting crowded and the majors were starting to release movies that used Exploitation-style plots to great success, resulting in a limited amount of screen time for this film – in fact, some 1975 showings were in cities that also had a big hit Jaws while a few reportedly also had the re-issued 1969 film Shark starring Burt Reynolds playing as Man-Eater (A telling sign of the times, the once-strong Cinemation was handling some of the distribution…).


10-24-75, San Antonio




One of the more interesting pairings was this double bill with Dario Argento’s Deep Red! 11-26-76, Brownsville, TX


7-28-76, with The House of Exorcism in Louisville


9-29-77, Lubbock

2-4-72, Youngstown – One of Sammy’s shows in the area’s burlesque center.


At that time, the comic was in Keyholes are for Peeping and had the same manager as Chesty Morgan. By the Late 70’s, he worked for Transcontinental Film Corporation and Massacre Mafia Style appeared in The 80’s at video stores on the Video Gems label, although it seriously deserved a better release. Thankfully, Grindhouse Releasing saw to it that it did.


~ by screen13 on March 24, 2016.

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