a Mondo Digital subsite

Looking for the Upcoming Releases List? Here it is!

Cinema Arcana presents The VHS Archives!

Looking for Something Else? Check our Table of Contents!

Swing by and "Like" our Facebook Page for even more news & updates!

Follow our movie reviews at Letterboxd!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

The Mystery of Big Mike's Girls.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

After the past few weeks' Name that Movie Monday challenges, I thought it was only fair to present a movie that I want more information about!

I recently acquired an original of the one-sheet you see to the right.  (Strangely, reprints seem to be readily available.  I wouldn't have thought this to be a hot-ticket item for college dorms!)  I mainly grabbed it for Jess Franco's bottom-half contribution to the double-bill but was clueless about Big Mike's Girls, so I decided to do a little digging.

Nothing comes up on internet searches for Big Mike's Girls other than the aforementioned reprint sales.  The poster itself contains no copyright or distributor information.  Which leaves us with the listed cast:  Betty Harrison and Art Roberts.  A quick googling points to an easy ID of Pakistani expatriate Amin Chaudhri's Sweet Vengeance (1970), which follows a scorned woman's trail of bloody revenge after the mob offs her boyfriend.  Highlights reportedly include pseudo-prostitute throat slitting and climactic castration.  The syndicate head goes by the moniker Big Mike.  Mystery solved, right?  Not so fast.  This is where it gets interesting.

Feeling the film still had some legs, someone apparently decided to give it another go a few years later, and blaxploitation porn was the route they chose.  Adding new characters, a Shaft-esque score and several lengthy sex scenes, this new mutation ended up on theatre screens from Chancellor Films as Dirty Trick.  Given the 'X' rating on the poster and its release date, I can't imagine this version wouldn't have been hardcore.  

But that's not what turned up on video.  In 1988 the film saw its only domestic VHS release that I'm aware of, from Active Home Video as Deadly Vengeance, of course capitalizing on an early appearance by the one and only Grace Jones.  (Exploitation at its finest!  I can't imagine too many of her followers were thrilled with the movie that unfolded!)  It indeed presents the redux edition, but doesn't contain any penetration shots. 

So now I'm completely fixated on this movie.  Was the Dirty Tricks version actually hardcore?  If so, were they additional inserts, or were they filmed with the cast's participation?  Has the original version been released on home video anywhere?  Why doesn't the director's family want this listed on his official website?

Any help would be much appreciated; surely someone out there has to know something!  Hell, I'd even settle for a DVD-R.  I've probably passed up the tape dozens of times, never knowing what I was missing.  Kind of like when I finally caught Blood Games on cable a few months back.  Best redneck rapists vs. women's softball team movie ever.  Ever.






Poster scans courtesy of Wrong Side of the Art.

© 2010 -- Bruce Holecheck. All Rights Reserved.

7 comments:

  1. I don't think Chancellor Films was even around in 1980. I've seen ads for DIRTY TRICK as early as 1974, on double bills with hardcore movies like MY DEEP HUNGER and 3 A.M. so it was probably hardcore. BIG MIKE'S GIRLS is the Canadian release title.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hrmm... the plot thickens.

    The MPAA database shows SWEET VENGEANCE received an X in 1970; it was submitted by Europix. Did it play under this title? I'm assuming this would be the original version.

    Chris, you're right about Chancellor. I don't know why that didn't cross my mind. I'll modify my original post. I'm still assuming the DIRTY TRICK release is a hard version of the reworked DEADLY VENGEANCE edit.

    I wonder where the IMDB is getting an '81 date from?

    ReplyDelete
  3. And another thing: who's to say the director was the one who reworked it? If anything, it's much more common for these retoolings to be done *without* the involvement of the original makers. (I have no idea why I'm so stuck on this movie right now.)

    ReplyDelete
  4. I have a copy of the DEADLY VENGEANCE tape; expect a follow-up post sometime in the future! In the meantime, here's some info from the Ontario Film Review Board:

    Date Classified: Jul 4, 1972
    Film Number: 1972010522
    Distributor / Submitter / Exhibitor: CINEPIX INC.
    Running Time (min): 82
    Format: 35MM
    Language: ENGLISH
    Classification: RESTRICTED

    ReplyDelete
  5. It looks like there was actually two submissions -- each with a different runtime!

    Date Classified: Jul 4, 1972
    Film Number: 1972030096
    Distributor / Submitter / Exhibitor: CINEPIX INC.
    Running Time (min): 90
    Format: 35MM
    Language: ENGLISH
    Classification: RESTRICTED

    ReplyDelete
  6. I wonder if this is the Amin Chaudhri who had an editing lab in the West 40s of NYC? I used this lab for my own production and was recruited as extra for (non-XX) roles in eg "Dirty Trick".

    Reply to http://www.amgot.org

    Roger

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi Roger -- the time and place certainly seem right, so I'd imagine him the same person. It's not exactly a common name, either!

    What film did you do?

    ReplyDelete