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Elite Entertainment presents

Don't Mess With My Sister (1985)

Ann: "Do you think Jerry will like me?
Clara: "Well, he likes big breasts, I can tell you that much."- (Kit Bard, Jeannine Lemay)

Stars: Joe Perce, Jeanne Lemay, Jack Gurci
Other Stars: Laura Lanfranchi, Kit Bard
Director: Meir Zarchi

Manufacturer: IFPI
MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (sexual content, violence, language)
Run Time: 01h:25m:51s
Release Date: 2000-10-31
Genre: action

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
C+ D+A-B- C+


DVD Review

Don't Mess With My Sister! is the second in, so far, only two films from director Meir Zarchi. His first is the infamous, cult-film I Spit On Your Grave; the rape/revenge story that got most of its mileage from being banned in most places. Don't Mess has little in common with that work, though, and is instead a strange, exploitation film. It's a tender, cautionary, coming-of-age tale about how one man fights for the freedom of his people against incredible odds. OK, I admit, it isn't actually about any of those things.

In the film, Steven (Joe Perce) works for a shady junkyard where he's underpaid and underappreciated. It's his birthday, so his wife and boss (who happens to be his wife's brother) plan a weird, sleazy party for him. At the party, an attractive belly dancer performs and Steven learns that she also goes to the same accounting school he's attending (yes, accounting school). The dancer leaves her bra at his apartment and Steven takes this as a prelude to a hot and steamy affair. He returns the bra to her, then manages to sleep with her, kill one of her clients, and screw his whole life up in the course of an evening. Way to go! Once his wife finds out, Steven goes into a world of hurt where she uses her brother to beat him up at regular intervals.

The whole action-packed, revenge drama that the film promises never really happens and, in fact, the plot described above takes about an hour and a half to fully take place. The last 11-15 minutes wrap everything up with a really weird ending and that's the movie. As much as I appreciate good, cheesy sleaze, Don't Mess is frankly just boring. The moments of inspired brilliance are few and far between, and for the people who put together I Spit On Yor Grave, there is a distinct lack of anything offensive, perverted, or disturbing. I feel kinda ripped off, frankly.

There are a few good parts, especially some of the wonderfully stupid dialogue some of the characters belt out. Overall, though, the whole thing feels like it's holding back being really wild, which would have been easy to accomplish with such a lurid plot. There's not even any nudity, for pete's sake! If you're looking for high quality trash, turn to Russ Meyer, otherwise skip over this lukewarm soap opera.

Rating for Style: C+
Rating for Substance: D+


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.85:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: An excellent anamorphic transfer manages to make this film look better than it probably ever has. The transfer is free of flaws like artifacting or pixelization. Colors are very well balanced, and black level provides accurate depth and sharpness to the image. The source print is very clean and only has a few speckles and scratches here and there. No aliasing from the anamorphic enhancement is visible, and the enhancement adds a distinct softness and depth to the image.

Image Transfer Grade: A-

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access

Audio Transfer Review: The 2-channel, Pro-Logic mono mix is clear and vibrant, but not particularly exciting. Dialogue sounds clear and balances well with the rest of the audio. Minimal use of music pretty much assigns this track to a dialogue-heavy job.

Audio Transfer Grade: B- 

Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 12 cues and remote access
1 Original Trailer(s)
4 Deleted Scenes
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extras Review: A 17-minute reel of deleted footage is featured on the disc. The footage is basically extended versions of scenes in the film, and the fact they're trimmed down in the actual cut is good thing since they don't add much.
The theatrical trailer is good for a chuckle, but otherwise that's the extent for the disc.

Extras Grade: C+

Final Comments

Don't Mess With My Sister has a certain charm to it, but doesn't really entertain in the way it should. It needs to go much further with the subject matter. If you're a Meir Zarchi fan, though, the excellent transfer and rare, deleted footage should definitely make this a purchase.

Dan Lopez 2000-10-12