Saturday 23 March 2013

Super Bitch (1973)

      Proof, as if it were ever needed on this site, that a film doesn’t have to make a whole lot of sense to be a whole lot of fun, here’s a 1973 EuroCrimes exploitation flick that originally went under the title "Si può essere più bastardi dell'ispettore Cliff?" I can’t find a decent translation of that online anywhere but it has the words ‘Bastard’ and ‘Inspector Cliff’ in there somewhere that suggests it might be a DIRTY HARRY ripoff but with Inspector ‘Bastard’ Cliff instead. Certainly the film takes pains to call the title character (played very much in Clint mode by Ivan Rassimov) a bastard as often as possible so that might have been the intention. Other titles for this Massimo Dallamano directed little crime opus include BLUE MOVIE BLACKMAIL (which makes sense), MAFIA JUNCTION (which kind of makes sense) and the title it goes under on its DVD release from Arrow Films, SUPER BITCH, which makes no sense at all until you realise it’s the film’s re-release title from when it was shovelled out onto VHS for the delectation of Stephanie Beacham fans everywhere after she’d just made it big in TV spin-off series DYNASTY: THE COLBYS. The series also starred Charlton Heston, but a slew of obscure Heston re-releases did not occur at the same time, partly because of rights issues but mainly because Mr Heston did not end up nude in any of them.
Whatever its title, the plot of SUPER BITCH (let’s call it that shall we as it’s quicker to type) does take a fair old bit of following. Patricia Hayes, player of a million Cockney tea ladies, cleaning ladies, and bag ladies in British sitcoms not worth revisiting unless you have some kind of masochistic taste streak, is cast here as a Turkish drug Lord who is trying to get a consignment of drugs shifted from Beirut to New York. A London-based escort agency is trying to do the same thing. In the middle of all of this is Cliff (Ivan Rassimov) an undercover policeman and complete bastard who isn’t above arranging for villains to be machine-gunned to death in out of the way English farms if they’re in his way. Cliff’s having it off with the escort agency’s star attraction Joanne (Stephanie Beacham) who is also involved in the drug trafficking. 
I’ll leave it there for plot because most of this film is taken up with double and triple crossing, extremely violent murders that outdo movies like THE SWEENEY, and Stephanie Beacham naked, when she’s not wearing a sexy skimpy bunny costume with rabbit ears. Yes a bunny costume. With rabbit ears. For anyone interested (and I bet there are quite a few out there) this occurs very early on in the proceedings presumably to helpfully suggest that if you’re taking any of this film seriously you really should stop now. If that’s not enough Miss Beacham’s hair changes length and style from virtually scene to scene, suggesting that this film was made in at least two and possibly three different time periods but seeing as no-one making this seems to be bothered about that, then neither should you. Finally there’s the cast. Look out for Camille Keaton, Michael Sheard getting his head blown off graphically in a park, Gareth Thomas getting pushed by Bastard Cliff, and Cec Linder (the original Dr Roney from the BBC’s QUATERMASS AND THE PIT) in another bunny costume. For fans of Euro daftness SUPER BITCH is worth every penny of what Arrow Video is currently asking for it, and to top it all you get a Graham Humphreys cover as well. Marvellous.

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