Monday, November 24, 2008


Twitch has all the details on the real movie behind this hilarious trailer, which will bow to audiences eager to get their Slaughter on at the Sundance Film Festival in 2009.

If this one plays as straight and straight-funny as it does in the trailer, writer-director Scott Sanders (Roc) may have cooked up blaxploitation parody that could end up a deadpan classic and make you forget all about I'm Gonna Git You, Sucka! Or it may just make you want to leave the theater early and rent the collected works of Fred “The Hammer” Williamson. Either way, honkies and bitches, it's a stone-cold can't-miss deal, right?

(Thanks to Robert Hubbard and Sal Gomez for sending this one my way. Twitch features higher-resolution clips, if you're into the whole clarity thing, man, but somehow low-rez seems to work better for me in this case. Either way, Twitch's warning is well-heeded and worth repeating: don’t watch this one at work unless you want to get fired.)

Low-rez conversation starter: What's your favorite blaxploitation movie? (Whatever it is, it's sure to get a shout-out in Black Dynamite.)


Anonymous said...

Let me be the first...

Black Belt Jones


Three the Hard Way.

Chris Stangl said...

Good question.
CANDY TANGERINE MAN or CLEOPATRA JONES AND THE CASINO OF GOLD. The first alternates between brutal, realistic tragedy and pimp-cane-sharp social satire, the second is exploitation fantasia par excellence (those easily bored may skip to the spectacular action setpiece at the end).

Booksteve said...

Don''t even know of I'd call 'em blacksploitation but most do. Definitely the two original Coffin Ed Johnson and Gravedigger Jones films--COTTON COMES TO HARLEM (directed by Ossie Davis) and COME BACK CHARLESTON BLUE.

Anonymous said...

My vote is for Truck Turner.

By the way, not too long after Black Caesar came out, I wrote a fake movie review for Black Gatsby starring Fred Williamson, with Pam Grier as Daisy, and Howard Da Silva repeating his role as Meyer Wolfsheim.

Beveridge D. Spenser said...

Hmm, Sweet Sweetback's Baaaad Aaassss Song (sp?) is an amazing document, but not so much as a movie.

Cotton Comes to Harlem is a great movie, but too genial to be really blaxploitation. Digger is cool enough, but I never really got the rage from Coffin Ed. This is more of an Uptown Saturday Night thing.

I haven't seen Superfly. Shaft was pretty good. Hmm.

No, as always, I'm going with "whichever movie Pam Grier takes the most clothes off in"

Bob Westal said...

Great, great trailer -- love the donut man. The PR people contacted me some time (if what they had then was a great as this trailer, I would've run it long ago).

In any case, I'll be stealing this before too long. (I've been wearing the TV shirt for the film for a while, however.)

As for my favorite blaxsploitation film, I think I'm with Peter N. -- "Truck Turner" all the way, with a strong honorable mention for "Coffy" and the credits for "Foxy Brown."

bill r. said...

Sorry to go off topic, but Dennis, just yesterday I was in my local used DVD store, and they had The Sadist! For two bucks!

The holidays will delay my viewing of it, but I'm really looking forward to it.

Dennis Cozzalio said...

Booksteve-- I love the Coffin Ed and Gravedigger movies too, though it's been years since I've seen them. I would be hesitant to list them as blaxploitation, however-- Cotton Comes to Harlem was released in 1970, a year before Shaft came out, and they were based on books written by Chester Himes that I've always felt were more closely aligned with the sensibility of someone like Walter Moseley. (There's an interesting bio of Himes that can you can read here.) I think he wrote the book that Bill Duke adapted into his movie A Rage in Harlem too.

DID, Chris: You guys managed to name four movies that I've never seen-- obviously I have some homework to do. I'm not sure how I've managed to miss Black Belt Jones and Three the Hard Way all these years, but I have. And I've heard good things about the Cleopatra Jones sequel from connoisseurs of blaxploitation ever since it came out-- I'll be checking Netflix and hoping for the best.

Peter, Bob, Beveridge: It's awfully hard to argue with Truck Turner-- it's probably the best of a pretty wild bunch in terms of filmmaking craft and action skill, and it was nice to see Hayes's iconic dome leap off the record album covers and into an actual movie. Superfly was the first one I ever saw (on a double feature with a trend-setter of another stripe, Five Fingers of Death, aka King Boxer), but time has revealed that, despite its unbeatable soundtrack, it's really not so hot. However, I'd have to say that my heart really belongs to Pam Grier. Sheba Baby and Friday Foster are fun, but I love Coffy and Foxy Brown-- and I suppose you could even say that Jackie Brown was the best thing that ever resulted from the blaxploitation cycle that wasn't really part of the subgenre (starting with that excellent AIP-esque credit sequence).

That said, has anyone ever seen Rudy Ray Moore's Petey Whitestraw? My sister-in-law gave it to me for Christmas on DVD a couple of years ago, and let's just say seeing it was an eye-popping, life-changing experience! Highly recommended!

Bill: Now that's a find! I was getting prepared to go all highfalutin on you and start openly wondering about the disc quality of such a bargain (while hoping for the best, of course!), but then I remembered-- I saw the damn thing in nine separate parts on YouTube! Is there anywhere to go but up from there? I think not. And even in such a discombobulated format the movie still knocked me over. I think you're gonna love it.

bill r. said...

I was worried about the quality of the disc, as well, but for two bucks I'm not really in any position to complain. Besides, I checked the disc when I got home, and I was well within the realm of watchability. I doubt the movie has ever been restored at any level, though maybe that'll change in the future. I'll let you know what I thought of it when I finall get a chance to give it a spin.

Robert Fiore said...

My favorite blaxploitation movie is Jackie Brown. People who fixate on Tarantino's borrowings from other movies ignore the way he takes his source material to another level.

As for genuine genre blaxploitation, does Watermelon Man count?

On the subject of Jackie Brown, Robert Forster was at the same showing of Synecdoche New York I went to. This is officially my coolest actor sighting ever. As for the movie, it was clever, but unlike life itself it seems to go on forever.

tom hughes said...

I'm certainly no expert on blaxploitation, but I saw Scream Blacula Scream at a Halloween all-nighter last month and quite enjoyed bits of that. I think all of those films that I've seen get kinda dull though - you sit through fifteen minutes of near-boredom before getting to a classic scene or exchange.

Anonymous said...

Saw TRUCK TURNER with Jonathan Kaplan in attendance at the New Beverly as part of Dante's Inferno fest. He said he had a blast making it and it shows.

I'd go with COFFY for pure hardcore blaxploitation but SUPERFLY is pretty amazing, specially the soundtrack natch. And JACKIE BROWN rulez.