Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Ray Danton and the Diabolical Mistress

A couple of years ago we read somewhere that actor/filmmaker Ray Danton had directed a few movies in Italy before making THE DEATHMASTER (1972), his supposed directorial debut, but that his work had to be fronted by Italians because of the laws enforced by the country's Ministry of Tourism and Entertainment. One of the films rumored to be Danton's was SENZA VIA D'USCITA (1970), starring Marisa Mell and Philippe LeRoy and credited to a one-shot director named Piero Sciumè. Sure enough, when the film was acquired by MJL Productions for U.S. distribution in 1974, Danton was credited on the publicity materials as both the executive producer and the director. Above is an ad for the movie under the title DIABOLICAL MISTRESS from August 1975, and below is another ad for it as DEVIL'S RANSOM from August 1977.

According to the MPAA, the film is also known as THE VICTIM, DIABOLICAL, and THE DEVIL AND THE DIABOLICAL MISTRESS.

Does anyone know if Joseph Fusco's recent book The Epitome of Cool: The Films of Ray Danton (BearManor, 2009) discusses SENZA VIA D'USCITA and any other obscure Danton credits? We can't seem to find reviews of it online.

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