Movie of the Day – Black Dynamite

Movies are a labor of love, most of the time though, and we as movie lovers have to learn to appreciate the care that goes into making a movie.  Some directors choose to create original movies and wow us with something we have never seen before.  Other directors will take the route of retreading past movies as a directorial style.  There are even certain directors that will pay homage to movies that influenced them in their film making.  Homages in general are a tricky thing for directors to make, since we as a viewer will be familiar with the story and setting, so nothing can honestly take us by surprise.  Homage movies run the risk of also seeming unoriginal to others.  Tarantino has this criticism put on him many times as he takes story elements from numerous genre’s and places them into his movie.  I mean Kill Bill had almost all the elements of Lady Snowblood, but the Tarantino was influenced by the story and added his typical dialogue and flair to the movie.

Homages try and toe this line between parody and send-up of the genre the film maker is wanting to portray.  Often times they fall on the parody side and focus on the ridiculousness that the genre has to offer.  There was a little known cult movie that came out in 2009 that was a loving send-up to the genre of Blaxploitation movies.  You might be familiar with movies like Shaft, Super Fly, Foxy Brown, or maybe Blackula (Black Dracula).  Those films were iconic in the 70s as they part of a slew of films that focused on the black community.  They gave the African-Americans their own story, their own voice and their own heroes to root for when they went to the movies.  Their characters are strong and independent.  They don’t take shit from the man.  Most were even about the political and social climate.  So when a director wants to recreate the look and feel of the era, they will have to walk a fine line as to not upset those that love the genre.

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Movie of the Day – Shaft

That’s right I’m talking about Shaft.  You know my love of Blaxploitation films so I am not gonna waste my breathe on bestowing the love all over again about how this genre of films created not only some of the most entertaining and culturally important film movement, but also some of the best soundtrack music ever.  You can dig it if I keep the post for today brief as I don’t want to repeat myself with talking about the love affair I have with blaxploitation films, but I do want to talk a little bit about Shaft.  You dig?

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Movie of the Day – Three The Hard Way

Ladies, you are all going to have to control yourselves as I realize that the leading men in today’s post are pure machismo.  I mean you got Jim Brown, former football star and Fireball from The Running Man, Jim Kelly who rocked it in Enter The Dragon and Fred Williamson who was the star of Boss Nigger, which is fucking amazing.  These gentlemen of the blaxploitation film era all teamed up for what could be considered The Expendables cast of the mid 70s.  Get ready for Three The Hard Way.

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Movie of the Day – Truck Turner

Sweet Lord that trailer is just pure machismo with Isaac Hayes running the show.  I am taking another trip down the exploitation road to bring us this solid blaxploitation film to you the readers.  This time we got the Mac Truck bounty hunter himself, Truck Turner, laying down both the justice and pipe to the ladies, that is when he has the free time.  It’s a pure exploitation film with bounty hunters, pimps, hoes, villains, and a killer soundtrack.  Don’t get in the way of this Truck baby.

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Movie of the Day – The Black Gestapo

Wow.  Just wow.

Going down the Youtube rabbit hole one day, I ended up going through old exploitation trailers and the words “Black Gestapo” made me stop in my tracks.  I could not have imagined the two words together…ever…but certainly enough I had to watch the trailer and to my surprise, it was perfect.  I think what put me over the top in terms of tracking down the full the movie to watch, was that the trailer basically ended with “Victory through violence and vengeance for the New Master Race.”  SOLD!

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Movie of the Day – Disco Godfather

Put yo weight on it!

Time for a funky time with another blaxploitation flick and we are going to groove to the sounds of fury with Disco Godfather.  Rudy fucking Ray Moore is back and kicking all sorts of ass while making sure the tunes are spinning folks.  God I love this genre of film!

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Movie of the Day – Coffy

After yesterday’s trip to the grindhouse theater with Machete, I just had to do another post in the exploitation genre that I love and enjoy so much.  If you have read my blog for some time, or not, whatever, then you know my general affinity for the Blaxploitation genre.  I have review Shaft, Superfly, Black Dynamite and even Blacula, all because I love watching people stick it to the man.  Also because that genre spawned some of the best soundtracks ever.  Shit I still listen to Curtis Mayfield’s Superfly soundtrack in the car when I am cruising.  But I do have to give some undying love to the Nubian Queen of the Blaxploitation genre, the baddest mamma in the land, Pam Grier.  Coffy is the breakout role that led to her future roles in Foxy Brown and becoming the strong, force in strong willed women in cinema.  She is also, still, a stone cold fox.

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Movie of the Day – Blacula

Yeah that’s right, a black Dracula.  Oh the Blaxploitation movement definitely was an inventive time to say the least.  I am sure that you were all expecting some horror, violent filled movie for today to continue the horror movie post trend, but I felt that since it’s Friday some ridiculous fun will do instead.  There is some charm to be had with a movie like Blacula, a movie that practically launched the sub genre of blaxploitation horror movies.  While the title of the film is campy, you would be surprised as to how good the movie is.  Take a look…

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Movie of the Day – Shaft (1971)

That’s right I’m talking about Shaft.  You know my love of Blaxploitation films so I am not gonna waste my breathe on bestowing the love all over again about how this genre of films created not only some of the most entertaining and culturally important film movement, but also some of the best soundtrack music ever.  You can dig it if I keep the post for today brief as I don’t want to repeat myself with talking about the love affair I have with blaxploitation films, but I do want to talk a little bit about Shaft.  You dig?

John Shaft (Richard Roundtree) is a black private eye detective in New York and while on his way to work, he gets pumped for information by Lt. Victor Androzzi (Charles Cioffi), a friend of his on the police force  about some happenings down in Harlem.  Black crime kingpin Bumpy Jonas (Moses Gunn) has enlists Shaft’s help because his daughter has been kidnapped and he wants Shaft’s help in getting her back.  Bumpy leads Shaft to a black militant group who is run by a long-time friend Ben Buford (Christopher St. John).  As soon as Shaft arrives, machine gun fire kills the group, but Shaft and Buford escape.  Shaft, Buford and Bumpy end up having to take on the Italian mob who is behind the kidnapping and using the girl as ransom to get into the Harlem drug trade.  Shaft, Buford and Bumpy take the fight to the kidnappers to end the standoff.

Shaft is an incredible, shining example of Blaxploitation movies.  You have a strong, independent African America who takes charge and is an authority figure cleaning up the streets.  Shaft is a charismatic lead with just the right amount of swagger and depth to him that makes him an incredible character on film.  Roundtree, in my eyes, will always be remember for his role as Shaft.

Shaft is not only a great detective movie, mixing in elements of the gumshoe noir and a fresh step in the detective genre, but the film is a cultural icon.  Even if you have never seen Shaft, you know who John Shaft is.  By and large, the soundtrack by Isaac Hayes is one of the best soundtracks out there and also the grooviest, funkiest track out.  It won a damn Grammy and a fucking Oscar for “Best Original Score”.  It set the standard for soundtrack music and in turn the song itself became a cultural icon much like the movie.  It has made AFI’s 100 Years 100 Songs list at 38.  You are probably thinking about the song right now.  The guitar licks, constant cymbal bass line and the orchestral accompaniment.  You hear when you walk down the street think you are the baddest motherfucker alive and rightly so.  The music made and enhanced the movie, making John Shaft’s character larger than life and the rhythmic lead up to the chorus line of the song.  God fucking amazing.

Aside from the music, the movie itself has influenced pop culture and the Blaxploitation genre.  Many movies tried hard to copy the swagger and feel of Shaft, but few came close.  It changed the game in terms of detective films as you had a movie that showed a cultural side we haven’t seen before film.  The black culture has usually been portrayed in a negative light in detective movies, where most of the crime happens and it’s a white cop who tries to clean up the street.  Shaft gave that culture a voice, not by hiding that there are seedy elements, but showing that there are people out there looking help.  Shaft is the strong character and hero that people needed at the time and his actions spoke louder about the plight of the people in that area.

Even if you have no ambition in seeing the movie, you got to appreciate that this movie has influenced music and pop culture for ages to come.  Hell the movie even got remade by the next baddest motherfucker around, Samuel L Jackson.  While not a terrible movie, still doesn’t hold a candle to the original.  Damn now I need to go out on a high note.

Isaac Hayes – Theme from Shaft

Movie of the Day – Superfly

I am in a bit of groovy mood tonight and that is because I was out having a few beer, but mainly because I need to find a calm place this evening after a hectic work week.  So the post tonight is going to be fairly mellow, but it gives me an excuse to post a movie that I enjoy, from a genre that spawned some killer soundtracks.  I am talking about the landmark Blaxploitation movie Superfly.   If you have never seen the movie, well I am sure you have heard of the soundtrack by Curtis Mayfield, you know the one I am talking about.  I do enjoy Blaxploitation movies, heck I gave a massive amount of praise to Black Dynamite which was one of the best homages to the genre out there.  Superfly covers a lot of the elements that Black Dynamite incorporated into the movie.  So aside from the groovy tunes of Curtis Mayfield, Superfly does hold an interesting place in the halls of cinema.

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