Super Bitch out on DVD Featured

Monday, 05 November 2012 14:06 Written by 

Super Bitch - out now on DVDI wasn’t familiar with the ‘Italian Cop Genre’, of which “Super Bitch” is a highly-regarded entrant. It doesn’t help that, in common with many such dubbed movies, this one has a succession of different titles.  This 1973 example is also known as “Mafia Junction” (USA), “Piège pour un tueur” (France) and “Blue Movie Blackmail” (original UK title). It has to be said, all these are a little more ‘snappy’ than the original Italian title of “SI PUO' ESSERE PIU' BASTARDI DELL'ISPETTORE CLIFF?”

But wait!  Before all you Brit-philes surf on, you need to be told that Stephanie Beacham, yes, Connie (and Sable Colby in The Colbys) herself, is the star. Not only that, but we see more of her flesh than we have ever seen since. She plays the ‘Femme Fatale’ luring businessmen into inadvertently starring in home movies that are blackmail of the highest order. Not only that, but in short cameos we also have the likes of Gareth Thomas (Blake in Blake’s Seven), Michael Sheard (Mr Bronson in Grange Hill) and George Murcell (a familiar-faced character actor who was also the voice of Prof Popkiss in Supercar).  There!  I knew that would get your attention. And you could have won one of three copies of "Super Bitch", as well as "The Night Child", in our prize competition.

Whilst Arrow Video, who have released this DVD, were hoping for a ‘15’ certificate, it rightly gains an ‘18’ badge, but with no cuts needing to be made by the BBFC. Initially, you too may be thinking it’s going to be a little tame, not quite leading up to the PR billing of “sexual depravity”.

The reason for being misled into the thought that we are visiting the land of ‘cop out’ is due to Ms Beacham’s first scene in a compromising position. As the character Joanne, a strawberry blonde, it features her cavorting with an elderly businessman who has a penchant for dressing up as a rabbit. Indeed, he likes eating rabbit food – including carrots as big as you’ll see this side of the GMO nightmare heading down the tracks at us. Ms Beacham also dons bunny ears, and the resulting footage is as erotic as a ‘Carry On’ movie. The action cuts off just as it looks like a young Asian boy is going to become part of the movie!

However, subsequent shower and bedroom scenes with Ms Beacham crank up the flesh quota, and there are no body doubles on display! You get a completely OTT orgy scene in the mix, too, so those looking for T&A will not be disappointed. Later on, look out for Verna Harvey as Eva, going topless for no apparent reason – you certainly can’t say that it was essential to the plot!  Verna starred in the first season of the Carmel McSharry ITV sit-com Beryl’s Lot, as Rose Humphries, just after “Super Bitch” was released.

What is bizarre, though, for a movie which obviously had its British actors speaking English when filmed, is that several of the smaller roles are being dubbed by other ‘voice talent’.  The only rider on this is that some of the familiar faces (to us in the UK) have so few lines that it’s difficult to be sure.  Michael Sheard, as agent Williamson, has one scene in a park. Gareth Thomas as a ‘Trench-Coated Detective’ has a scene in a doorway, whilst George Murcell weighs in with a couple of scenes. I wager the first two are dubbed, but it’s touch-and-go in working out whether it’s Murcell’s voice or not, given his ability to put on believable accents.

One of the Brits getting major screen time is Patricia Hayes as “Mamma the Turk”. We may know her best for her sweet little-old-lady roles (for instance, Min in Till Death Us Do Part), but this is a real exercise in getting out of a type-casting rut. She drives a sports car like a lunatic (benefitted by an over-cranked camera), and is one hell of a gun-toting mother, but if that’s her voice in the English dub then I need my ears syringed!

So, here we are in the heart of a wicked scam to manipulate rich, perverted men in what is described as a ‘soft-core pasta crime classic’ from director Massimo Dallamano, who was cinematographer on “A Fistful of Dollars” and director of Giallo (Italian Crime Fiction and/or Mystery) favourite “What Have You Done to Solange?”

Taking in locations in Italy, New York and London, at the heart of the movie is Italian cinema icon Ivan Rassimov. He plays Inspector Cliff, a police officer working undercover to expose the London escort agency at the heart of the blackmail. Those who cannot resist Ms Beacham’s charms and caught on film soon find themselves smuggling drugs across international borders, including the Lebanon, for her shadowy associates. Soon there’s cross and double-cross, as Cliff plays traffickers off against corrupt boys-in-blue. His plan is to keep their money, their drugs, and the ultimate prize of Joanne herself.

Special features on this DVD release include:

  • New widescreen transfer in the original widescreen ratio;
  • Newly translated optional English subtitles;
  • Optional English and Italian audio tracks;
  • “BULLETS, BABES AND BLOOD: THE HIGH OCTANE ACTION OF THE ITALIAN POLICE” FILM - Legendary directors Ruggero Deodato, Sergio Martino and Brit filmmaker Darren Ward, and critic Paolo Zelati, discuss the sex, style and shootouts that typified the Italian crime-caper;
  • “RUGGERO DEODATO REMEMBERS IVAN RASSIMOV” - An affectionate look back at the veteran Italian exploitation actor and “Super Bitch” leading man;
  • Collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by author and critic Calum Waddell; and
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Graham Humphreys.


The DVD extras note that this style of movie was Italy’s answer to the likes of “Death Wish”, “Dirty Harry”, “The French Connection” and “Serpico”. The major difference is that Italy had less of a problem with nudity than its American counterparts, although the violence in both genres is equally as graphic.

All in all, this is a fascinating curiosity, especially for its British connections, which will provide a group of you with some fun late-night entertainment on so many levels.

“Super Bitch” is out now from Arrow Video.  It has a running time of 94 minutes approx, a ‘15’ certificate, and a RRP of £15.99, or get it for less at www.culttvstore.com

Thanks to Cult TV and Arrow Video, you had a chance to win one of three copies of "Super Bitch" that we had up for grabs. But that's not all - our three winners also got a copy of "The Night Child" (click to see our review) too!  All you had to do was answer the following question: What role did Stephanie Beacham play in "The Colbys"? The answer was Sable Colby, and the three lucky winners were Paul Hughes of Shenley, Lorraine Crispin of Plymouth, and Mark Tucker of East Ham.  Well done all, and thanks to everyone who took part!

 

Last modified on Tuesday, 20 November 2012 14:34

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