April 6, 2022
The exploitation classic Girl on a Chain Gang (1966) will be released on special-edition Blu-ray and DVD April 19 from Cinedigm’s The Film Detective, Something Weird Video and MVD Entertainment Group.
From famed shlock distributor-producer-director Jerry Gross, who made his directorial debut with Girl on a Chain Gang, the stirring feature about small-town hate stars William Watson, Julie Ange and Ron Charles. It follows three young people who are framed, arrested and tossed into jail by corrupt Southern police.
Gross — who produced everything from Blaxploitation films to features about teen pregnancy — exercised his social conscience in this drama about racist Southern cops. Made the year after three civil rights workers were murdered in Mississippi, Girl on a Chain Gang addresses a subject Gross must have believed worth exploiting into drive-in theater fare. True to his low-budget roots, the movie was filmed nowhere near the South, but in Long Island, N.Y.
Special features include full-length audio commentary with Movies are Magic author and “Classic Films for Kids” host Jennifer Churchill; a new, original essay from Something Weird Video’s Lisa Petrucci, in a full-color booklet insert; and “It’s All in the Title: Exploiting Jerry Gross,” a short history of the semi-legendary producer with author/film historian Chris Poggiali, from Daniel Griffith at Ballyhoo Motion Pictures.