Thursday, 8 November 2012

Blaxploitation

I'm in charge of programming films for my local film society, The Edinburgh Film Guild. As part of our programme we have four mini-seasons of six films/screenings each which showcase cult type films. For next year I'm thinking of doing a Blaxploitation mini-season. What do you think of the films I've chosen and which changes would you make? I've deliberately steered clear from Sweet Sweetback, Shaft and Superfly.

BlaxploitationThe term Blaxploitation refers to a type of exploitation cinema that emerged in the early 1970s, with the realisation that African-Americans comprised an increasingly large part of the US film audience that Hollywood had hitherto failed to tap into. Most Blaxploitation films used familiar genres but changed their dynamics by having black rather than white heroes and anti-heroes. In this mini-season we showcase six examples of the form, featuring iconic stars such as Fred “The Hammer” Williamson, Pam Grier and Rudy Ray Moore.

Hitman
-- Based upon the same novel as Get Carter, but transposed to Los Angeles, this hard-hitting revenge tale gives the better known Michael Caine vehicle a run for its money. Bernie Casey stars.

Black Caesar -- Independent auteur Larry Cohen's re-imagining of the 1930s rise-and-fall gangster tale, with Fred “The Hammer” Williamson in the title role as the ambitious Harlem mobster.

Coffy -- Pam Grier plays the titular nurse seeking vengeance upon the drug pushers whose wares were responsible for the death of her sister.

Blacula -- Acclaimed stage actor William Marshall plays the titular vampire, an African prince who had unwisely sought Dracula's help against the slave trade centuries before, and who now finds himself in present-day Los Angeles.

Welcome Home Brother Charles -- Having spend several years in the pen after falling victim to racist cops, the titular protagonist seek revenge. His method and weapon have to be seen to be believed.

Disco Godfather -- The inimitable Rudy Ray Moore is a retired cop now working as a DJ in the hottest disco in town. When his relative flips out on PCP he goes seeking revenge. One of those films that's so bad it's good.

8 comments:

vwstieber said...

Good choices all, but I might switch one of the revenge-themed films (not Coffy) for MANDINGO or ADDIO UNCLE TOM.

For a complete lack of good judgement, may I recommend BLACK DEVIL DOLL (2007)?

K H Brown said...

I wouldn't show Farewell Uncle Tom, as I screened that a few years back as part of an extreme cinema season. Thanks for the other suggestions.

Nigel Maskell said...

Disco Godfather! Great call :) Nice one Keith.

Elliot James said...

If you could find it, Dr. Black and Mr Hyde with Bernie Casey

rrj said...

Maybe it's too late, but I think you should take a look at Dolemite, an incredible entertaining film. I think Blacula is a good choice for a blaxploitation horror film.

K H Brown said...

I have the Dolemite box set, so could show any of his films. Perhaps it would be better to show Dolemite first and then work up to Disco Godfather?

rrj said...

Dolemite boxset? was that released on reg 2?
I haven't seen disco godfather, but Dolemite was just such a great laugh, and i love his 'rapping'. Also, if you manage to get a hold of it, Blackenstein looks pretty interesting based on the trailer.

K H Brown said...

RRJ: the Dolemite box set is a US release.

I have Blackenstein somewhere, but probably not in good enough quality to show to a more mainstream audience.