Sunday, June 12, 2016

Junesploitation 2016 Day 12: Blaxploitation!

Black heat is red hot!

65 comments:

  1. DYNAMITE BROTHERS (1974, 90 min.) on DVD.

    A mash-up of kung fu and blaxploitation action tropes (particularly the opening credit's constantly-looping shitty theme song) that adds up to a whole lot of nothing. Larry Chin (former Golden Harvest action star Alan Tang) comes by boat from China to San Francisco looking for his long lost brother. Chin's met by a gang of thugs set upon him by a dirty cop named Burke (Aldo Ray) working for a drug dealer. Before you can say "The Defiant Ones" meets "Rush Hour" minus charisma Chin ends up handcuffed to Stud Brown (Timothy Brown), whom Burke is also trying to remove. After escaping the duo teams-up to help each other out and to bring down the dope dealer terrorizing Stud's neighborhood (i.e. empty studio backlot after a real movie has finished shooting).

    This is the unironic, straight-faced template that "Black Dynamite" is making fun of. There's some decent fighting choreography and S.F. location shooting, but director Alan Adamson can't frame or make any of it look exciting. Burke and his trophy wife get a lot of screen time, probably because its cheaper to shoot a fat white guy being racist than a black-on-black shootout. If you have to see this one seek it out as 'Cinematic Titanic "East Meets Watts"', it's one of their funnier shows. 'Who stabbed the duck?' Indeed, Joel, who? :-)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Coffy (1973)

    Pretty incredible, thanks for the recommendation on the podcast. Pam Grier is at the top of her game... really doesn't miss a beat.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I just watched coffee tonight as well. I have to agree with movie, it is incredible. Grier owns this movie, just like she did in Jackie Brown and I am guessing in all her movies. Though this does mean I am going to have to buy all of Jack Hills movies now?

      Delete
    2. I mean agree with you not the movie, though I also agree with the movie

      Delete
    3. I also watched Coffy tonight! Pam Grier owns it! She's badass, unrelenting, and plays it all with empathy. I'm surprised I haven't seen this before but I will definitely be going back.

      I've got Jackie Brown qued up for tonight so it's a Pam Grier kinda day!

      Delete
  3. Michael GiammarinoJune 12, 2016 at 5:26 AM

    Abar: The First Black Superman (1977)

    Even with the pedigree of typical late 70s Blaxploitation, I was surprised how prescient Abar is to the national zeitgeist of 2016. A black scientist and his family moves into a white neighborhood, and the neighborhood goes insane with rage. To combat the white people terrorizing his family, the scientist endows his family's protector, leader of the Black Front Unity biker gang, with telekinetic powers. Everything we've seen in the news lately can be found in this film. Watching this film makes me even more infuriated at how much it seems like the clock is going backwards, not forwards. I would dare say this film is as important to Blaxploitation cinema as Melvin Van Peebles’ Sweet Sweetback’s Badass Song.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Coffy (1973)

    Like our master and spiritual leader P.B. once said, there are those who love Coffy and those who've yet to see Coffy. I just transitioned from the latter group to the former.

    Blaxploitation is a total blind spot for me, but this was a great place to start. Coffy kicks dicks!

    And now I know where the sample in this White Zombie track comes from.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Trespass (1992)

    Not traditional Blacksploitation but I saw a few websites count it so I will as well. Thanks to Patrick for recommending this in underrated 90s action movies because man does it kick ass. It reminded me of a more action packed Green Room where 2 people have to fight their way out of an unwinnable situation. I didn't know it was an update of Treasure Of The Sierra Madre too which is a movie I love so that just adds to its cool factor. I like how simply Walter Hill shoots the action, it's got a great fast pace to it and everyone in it is a recognizeable actor so that's always fun. I took issue with everyone running around a burning building at the end for a long time and no one dying of smoke inhalation, but hey that's movies for ya. Plus Ice-T and Ice Cube in the same movie, can't beat that. Two Ices for the same price.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. All that ice must make for a cool movie.

      Delete
    2. And Raymond (Bruce A Young) is my favourite movie Pimp of all time, with that suit and hat, he is even cooler than all that ice

      Delete
    3. Samuel Jackson in The long Kiss goodnight probably comes second

      Delete
    4. Fly Guy, I'm Gonna Git You Sucka, goldfish shoes, nothing tops that.

      Delete
  6. Scream Blacula Scream (1973) first time watch.

    The sequel to 1972's Blacula sees Prince Mamuwalde resurrected after the voodoo queen dies and does not name a successor. Her son, wishing to seize power for himself, buys the bones of Mamuwalde from a shaman and using voodoo resurrects the vampire prince to do his bidding. Mamuwalde though turns him into a vampire and begins on a killing spree across the city and is soon sought after by police.

    Pam Grier, pre Foxy Brown and Coffy, plays her role as the new Voodoo Queen, both strong and vulnerable and is always seductively engaging.

    William Marshall has everything you want from a good vampire, he's menacing and charming at the same time and radiates fear each time he transforms into Blacula.

    It's a great under appreciated movie that holds it's own with the original.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Live and Let Die (1973)

    I was was on such a high after Coffy, I wanted to watch something else, anything else. What have I got - Live and Let Die. Well at least this movie brought me back down to earth. I tend to give Bond a lot of leeyway, but this is unfortuntley part of Tom Mankiewicz's James Bond runs away trilogy.

    I have alwasy kinda like the daftness of the movie. The cast (expect for Moore) are all charismatic, which is why I think I keep thinking I like this movie more than I actually do. But I can never forgive this movie for what it does to Rosie and introducing to the world J. W Pepper.

    This is not my favourite Bond.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Is it anybody's favorite Bond? The Magic Eight Ball says 'Trump supporters,' so the answer is "Fuck no!" ;-)

      Delete
    2. My Favorite Bond gets no love on this site... :(

      Delete
    3. Moore I mean. Live and Let Die is not one of his bests.

      Delete
    4. I like uncle Roger, both him and the kooky version of Bond he played. Tim Dalton will forever be my favorite 007, but it's a struggle between Moore and Connery for #2. :-)

      Delete
    5. When it comes to Uncle Rog, The Spy Who Loved Me is the bomb.

      Delete
    6. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    7. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    8. Matt - Moore is your Bond, thats awesome. I may not have liked him in LALD - but have always had soft spot for Moonraker

      Delete
    9. Oh good, I'm not alone in my entirely unwarranted Moonraker love. Well, not "love," exactly...

      Delete
    10. I have a strong love for Live and Let Die! It's such a change from the Connery films and I will never get tired of Kananga blowing up from the shark gun.... Also crocodile running should be a new Olympic sport!

      Delete
  8. The Black Gestapo (1975, dir. Lee Frost)
    Pretty cool movie in which a group of black men form a kind of army to fight the mob out of Watts and bring power back to those living in the inner city. Unfortunately, things get out of hand and an even more militant faction seizes control (the Black Gestapo) mostly so they can take over the city's criminal activity. That second faction -- the ultimate villains of the movie -- is run by Mac from Night Court. I love the movie's mix of anger and activism, plus it carries some interesting messages about the need for communities to stay together rather than be driven apart by differing agendas.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Black Snake (1973)
    A Russ Meyer blaxsploitation. Slaves on an island plantation fight back with biblical results. Weird part in the middle that's quite out of place, but gets back on track with some "fancy" editing. Overall, a well made film and ultimately the message of us all being in this together gets across.

    ReplyDelete
  10. White Dog (1982, dir. Sam Fuller, on DVD) – First Time Viewing: This isn’t blacksploitation but it deals with the subject of race so hopefully it counts. This is probably my favorite Paul Winfield performance, he is unforgettable. The scenes of him working with the dog are really heartbreaking. The dog is also great. Between this and The Thing, 1982 was a banner year for dog acting. Also Burl Ives hates on R2D2 in this movie. Strange. And what an ending! (4 out of 5 Griers)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nice choice, I have useless but interesting Sam fuller fact, in 83 in the whole Video Nasties time in the UK Sam's film The Big Red One made in onto the Banned 54 list because they though it was a porn film, along with The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, we Brits are a bit stupid sometimes

      Delete
    2. I'm trying to check this one out later in the month. I thought it looked interesting.

      Delete
  11. A Blacksplotation Cheech and Chong

    Friday 1995

    A stretch maybe but I always thought of this as a Black version of a Cheech and Chong movie, it hits all the same beats, Weed, girls, getting high, getting into trouble, it also feels a bit like The Burbs but on a different street, I miss 95 Ice cube, aka Oshea Jackson, I like all the Hiphop music and Menace to Society but Are we there yet! Damn, and some later Cube stuff I never watched, I miss the Cube of old, I may need to watch more Friday movies to close the loop,

    You got knocked the fuck out man!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've seen this movie way more times than I should have. I haven't seen it in a while but I loved it in college.

      Delete
    2. Its "Been a While". But I think I liked part 2 better

      Delete
  12. DEATH FORCE (1978)
    Leon Isaac Kennedy’s gigantic biceps play a Vietnam-era soldier who is betrayed and left for dead by his best friend, only to be rescued by some Japanese islanders. They teach him the ways of the Samurai, and he returns to the U.S. for revenge. Ridiculously over-the-top and violent, it’s just plain awesome.

    BLACK COBRA 2 (1988)
    Stallone’s Cobra never got a sequel, but Fred Williamson’s version got two of them -- and this one co-stars Nicholas Hammond, the ‘70s TV Spider-Man! Williamson’s rebellious cop is sent to Manila to work with Interpol. It's pretty dull, but Williamson is still the coolest.

    ABBY (1974)
    A Blaxploitation ripoff of The Exorcist, complete with William Marshall (Blacula!) in the Max Von Sydow role. Here’s a great example of filmmakers doing a whole lot with very little. Despite the obviously threadbare budget, they managed to crank out total balls-to-the-wall ‘70s Satanic horror. Hugely entertaining.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Love this choice, Abby, I watched it last year for the site, SMM or Jubesplotation, not sure which, its kinda amazing it exists

      Delete
    2. The myth going around is that Warner Bros. prevented Abby from being seen for years because of its similarities to The Exorcist. Hopefully more people can discover it, because it really is great.

      Delete
  13. The Mack (1973)

    A solid movie, but nothing too spectacular. Richard Pryor appears in a smallish part but isn't really given much to do. I'm planning on revisiting Blaxploitation on the next free space when I have more time.

    ReplyDelete
  14. COFFY (1973):

    Seems like a popular choice today, and with good reason. Pam Grier is a force of nature. I love how much respect the movie has for Coffy; she's never down for long and no one's ever smarter than her. Great stuff.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Coffy (1973)

    Honestly, not really in the mood for movies today so I'll keep this short. I was going to go with something I hadn't seen, but instead decided I needed a comfort movie and Coffy is easily my favorite blaxploitation movie. Pam Grier is strong, sexy, and confident as a vigilante out to avenge drug violence in her hometown. It's as good as the genre gets, and wildly entertaining.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hammer (1972)

    Ah, my first dud of the month. I thought Fred Williamson was a great screen presence, but I couldn't get invested in the movie. Some scenes felt endless, like they were trying to stretch out the running time (car chase, the main love scene). I was really excited about Blaxploitation Day, but today's a busy day. Hopefully I can make some time later today to watch Super Fly or Coffy.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Coffy- 1973

    Like half of the people today I had no idea where to start with Blaxploitation so went with Coffy which everyone was loving here, what a great film, Pam Grier is the full package and I love the feel of the era.

    ReplyDelete
  18. The Messenger (1987)

    Fred Williamson is an ex Green Beret, ex convict, music prodigy, oh yeah and he enjoys killing mobsters too. A real renaissance man. This is a violent, trashy and action packed film directed by Williamson and set in Europe and the US. Williamson is fun to watch and the film has some nice moments of humor amidst all the killing. Not really a good movie but worth watching for action fans. It's streaming on Amazon Prime.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Three the Hard Way (1974, dir. Gordon Parks, Jr.) - first viewing

    White supremacists plot to kill off the black population by poisoning the water supply with a racially selective chemical. Its up to Jim Brown, Fred Williamson, and Jim Kelly to foil their scheme - Three towns. Three BAMFs. A whole lot of bodies.

    As a newcomer to the genre this hit the spot for me: great characters, sincere performances, sweet soundtrack, gritty action, implied sexual torture/interrogation, and highly combustible vehicles. I was charmed to death by this one. A Junesploitation highlight.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That plot is insane!!! Sounds like a good time.

      Delete
  20. Coffy (1973)

    I watched Coffy. I am so original.

    I decided to introduce myself to the genre by starting with what seems to be agreed to be the best. Just like so many of you guys. What else is there to say? I dug it. Especially the music! The characters theme songs are fantastic.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Velvet Smooth (1976)

    Why, oh why, didn't I just rewatch The Last Dragon??? Velvet Smooth is, by every measurable metric a terrible movie. It's hard to say whether the acting, the directing, or the fight scenes are the worst, but I'm leaning toward the latter. A tip to filmmakers - when your actors have no ability to convincingly pull off a kung fu fight scene (or even to throw a punch or kick) don't stage a several minute long climactic martial arts battle between dozens of performers. Just don't. On a positive note, there were a couple of reasonably clever twists in the plot, and one laughably abrupt one, so there's that.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Poor Pretty Eddie (1975, dir. Richard Robertson)
    Diana Ross type has engine trouble and gets held hostage by an Elvis wannabe. It's nasty and slimy and mean. Loved it. With Shelley Winters, Leslie Uggams, and Slim Pickens.
    Truck Turner (1974, dir. Jonathan Kaplan)
    Isaac Hayes is a slobby, skip tracer superhero who insane lady pimp Nichelle Nichols wants dead. Having worked in a bail bonds office once made me love it even more than I would've anyway.
    Top of the Heap (1972, dir. Christopher St. John)
    Black cop doesn't like his job, scowls at everybody, daydreams about being an astronaut. Hippy shit. Skip it.
    Black Sister's Revenge (1976, dir. Famaa Janaka)
    Mississipi teen moves to Compton, falls in love with a doofy pill popper, does a lot of dumb shit trying to help him get out of jail, cries a lot. Skip it.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Velvet Smooth (1976)

    shitty fight scenes with absolutely no foley overdubs are funny for a minute. The appearance of a boom mic is always fun. I like when people say "Don't jive me man!" The thugs look cool in their masks. Ah, but despite these marks of a fun viewing expierience, this one just isn't clicking.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Scream Blacula Scream (1973)
    I agree with a lot of what Ronan said in his review of the movie. Pam Grier and William Marshall are great, but I really didn't enjoy it as much as the title and premise made me think I would. The acting felt like the only think keeping me watching at several points. Its pretty slow, and not much happens. I will say that the amount of screaming and the fact that Blacula is in this movie justifies the title.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Penitentiary II (1982)

    I have a confession to make. I've never seen the first Penitentiary.

    THIS MOVIE BEGINS WITH A STAR WARS OPENING CRAWL! It went by so fast, I had to go back and read it a couple of times. Ernie Hudson is in this movie. He is a crazy rapist and the length of his teeth is unsettling. Penitentiary II has a lot less penitentiary and a lot more rollerskating. An hour into the movie...no penitentiary. Mr. T plays Apollo to Too Sweet's Rocky. My mind is blown.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Coffy (1973)

    "Its was easy for him because he really didnt believe it was comin, but it ain't gonna be easy for you because you better believe it's comin!"

    ReplyDelete
  27. Nice to see so much Coffy love on this site...

    ReplyDelete
  28. The Kentucky Fried Movie (1977)

    I'm not sure if this movie counts as a Blaxploitation movie, but it DID show up when I looked "Blaxpoitation" up on Amazon Prime and it DOES have the Cleopatra Schwartz segment so I guess I'll count it. This movie was hilarious! Surprisingly so. I'm not a huge fan of Airplane! but I might have to rewatch it after loving this movie so much. Everything about it was spot on! There are so many memorable segments (including Cleopatra Schwartz) that I won't list them all here, but some favorites are "A Fistful of Yen," "Scot Free," "That's Armageddon," "Courtroom," and "Zinc Oxide and You." I've seen people call this movie dated, but I understood (and appreciated) almost all of the references so it didn't really lessen the movie at all for me.

    Now about Blaxploitation specifically. I don't think I've ever seen one before (except Tarantino's), but I know enough about them to get the Cleopatra Schwartz segment (and it was really funny). I do plan on watching some "real" ones though, and I guess I'll start with Coffy based on all the comments above.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Dolemite (1975, Dir. D'Urville Martin)

    Having seen Coffy last junesploitation this one just doesn't cut it. I know there's a lot of fans out there who find all the inept problems charming but I'm not quite there yet. Still lots of sleaze and violence and dolemite's dialogue is pretty 'rat soup eatin' mother*^##^% good'

    ReplyDelete
  30. Foxy Brown (1974)

    Well SHIT I could have researched for two more seconds and realized that Coffy is what we were all going to watch today. The good news is that I get to watch something better later with Foxy as a precedent instead of stepping it down a notch. Anyway Pam Grier should be bottled and sold. She is electric.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Abby (1974) (first time viewing)

    It's like the Exorcist (Warner Bros. apparently sued and got it taken out of circulation for quite some time) on a $10 budget. There's just enough crazy going on to warrant checking it out....and William Marshall is in it.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Dam, yesterday was busy. Kids, taking them swimming, dropping off at kids parties, a double header in ball hockey (we lost both, but I kicked ass, but a couple other dudes have serious holes in their d game), tired having worked most of the night before, making lunches for Monday morning....dam, I was tired. In the spirit of Junesploitation I did throw on Jackie Brown, knowing I would fall asleep in about 5 minutes, which I did. Last scene I remember was her running through the airport, which is the 1st scene. Finished it this morning.

    Jackie Brown (1997)

    I'm not a "foot man", but after watching this for the umpteenth time, I kind of dig Bridget Fonda's feet. It's so very explicit, which it fitting for an exploitation movie. Also, if we had a girl (we only had boys), I wanted to name her Bridget....but those legs....and those feet??? I need to sleep.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Also Robert Forster is super duper in this...

      Delete
  33. Bones (2001) Pam Grier, Snoop Dog, if the entire film was like the last third, it would have been banging..but then spend too long setting it up...it either needed a better director or just tighter editing. Flashbacks to the 70s to set up the Orient Express style murder and then Bones (Snoop) comes back for retribution. Give it points for effort. though i don't get what was WITH Michael T weiss in the fat suit.. and they went a little overboard with the mealworm larvae.. but i really liked the talking heads..that was worth sitting through the rest of it. and Pam looked great.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Bones (2001) Pam Grier, Snoop Dog, if the entire film was like the last third, it would have been banging..but then spend too long setting it up...it either needed a better director or just tighter editing. Flashbacks to the 70s to set up the Orient Express style murder and then Bones (Snoop) comes back for retribution. Give it points for effort. though i don't get what was WITH Michael T weiss in the fat suit.. and they went a little overboard with the mealworm larvae.. but i really liked the talking heads..that was worth sitting through the rest of it. and Pam looked great.

    ReplyDelete