Gone with the Pope (1976/2010)

I'm back again! This time hopefully for good. Just as suspected, everything fell into place right befre the move. We had a delightful cross country trip. Including a tourist-y afternoon spent in Tombstone. It was still fun for me because before that day I'd never even seen the desert in person. We arrived two weeks ago and things have been crazy-hectic ever since. Between family events, filling out applications, going to interviews and re-familiarizing ourself with the area it seems like we've barely had a moment's rest. Unfortunately almost all of my movies are packed up in the storage shed so our viewing options are very limited. We've bought a few movies but even still haven't had much time or space to watch them. Our living area is really small and cluttered right now so even when we have had the time it hasn't been very comfortable and cohesive for a proper viewing experience. Alas, one of the best things about living in LA are the amazing theaters. My favorite is of course, the New Beverly. The only note worthy movie experience I've had (other than discovering an incredibly hip rental place called Videotheque in South Pasadena which I'll be touching upon more in the future) was finally seeing the much anticipated Gone with the Pope.

Director and star Duke Mitchell was best known for his Dean Martin impersonations, particularly in his role in Bela Lugosi meets the Brooklyn Gorilla. He went on to make the cult classic Massacre Mafia Style. Gone with the Pope was intended to be the sequel, which I wasn't aware of until after I saw it. Although it didn't prevent me from thoroughly enjoying and following along fairly easy anyway. This was considered Mitchell's lost masterpiece. Scraping pennies and filming it on weekends when he could get the money, cast and crew together he filmed most of it in pieces over the course of five years. Over time the project was abandoned. In 1981 Mitchell died leaving Gone with the Pope unfinished to collect dust in his son's garage. In 2009 Grindhouse releasing were offered the opportunity to assemble the piece to make it a coherent film. Bob Murawski ( who was there to introduce the movie the night I saw it) made it his pet project in between his bigger jobs ( Drag Me To Hell, Spiderman 1,2 & 3 and the Hurt Locker, ).The end result is a hilariously offensive cult film on par with the work of the Kuchar Brothers.

The story revolves around Paul (Duke Mitchell) a hitman who's recently been released from prison. He's hired for a new job and recruits a goofy lopsided hispanic with a unsettling grin to assist him. After collecting payment we see a montage of him and his girlfriend playing and having fun. So absurdly over the top, it had the entire audience in hysterics.

He gets his group of buddies together and he cooks up a scheme to sail from California to Rome, Italy so they can kidnap the Pope for a ransom of one dollar from every Catholic in the world. A great plot if you ask me and even in it's flaws it's the small details that make this movie so perfect. The almost homo-erotic "buddy" scenes, Paul throwing his friend's necklace in the ocean for no reason at all and maybe best of all, the off-putting John Water's-esque "sex"(?) scene with a random obese woman he finds on the street. People who take movies too seriously might not see the genius of Gone with the Pope but those with a love for all things campy and high tolerance for sexist, racist and generally offensive dialogue will be dying of laughter at this resurfaced gem.

As of now it's still touring select cities. It will no doubt be getting a DVD release in the near future so if you miss out on the screenings keep your eyes peeled, here's the link to the official website.

So am I back for good? For the most part. Like I said, my movies are still packed and until all of the kinks are ironed out of the arrival (for instance, being on shared computer) my reviews may still be a bit sparse. However I am certainly in the right place to continue my hunt for the weirdest and wildest movies around so don't be discouraged if my blog updates are still somewhat sparse. I'm making a comeback and it will be more awesome than ever so stay tuned!

1 comment:

  1. Not hip to this one, but it sounds like a big mess o' happening viewing. Enjoy your new digs and locale.