Tag Archives: blaxploitation

Dolemite II: The Human Tornado

I had to subject myself to more Dolemite, so I watched this not long after writing the review for the first film.

It started out with Dolemite doing a stand-up routine in a nightlclub…

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…insulting the guests to raucous laughter. It then got into the story about saving his nightclub and two kidnapped dancers from a rival nightclub owner, a side story of a backwoods sheriff out to kill Dolemite, and general chaos.

Here is the plot from Wikipedia:

After coming off a successful comedy tour, Dolemite throws a get-together at his mansion, there he announces that he is to offer his mansion to the person that started a drive for a new boys’ home, then is rudely interrupted by the local sheriff and his deputies because they’re a group of black people having a party, thus causing trouble. Turns out the Sheriff’s wife is offering Dolemite money for sexual services. When the sheriff catches them red handed, he promptly shoots his wife. Dolemite and his friends kidnap a young man and his car and decide to head to California where he is to meet Queen Bee, only to find out that the local mob man, Joe Cavaletti kidnapped two of her girls and forced her to close down her joint and work for him. Dolemite must rescue Queen Bee, her girls and teach the grease balls a lesson all the while being chased by his hometown’s sheriff for the murder of his wife he pinned on him.

The final scenes are similar to much of the era’s kung fu scenes along with the expected added sound effects, and a fight with none other than the “Central American Nunchuck champion”.

The credits were great:

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Here is a screenshot of Dolemite jumping over a wall, completely in the nude, and about to roll down a rather high embankment. Rudy Ray was obviously proud of this scene and replayed it whilst narrating “So you all don’t believe I jumped huh?! Watch this good s**t!”. Ha!

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The final fight scene at the rival nightclub owner’s house was a hoot with Dolemite running around busting ass using his kung-fu skills, sometimes sped up.

Here he is about to take on the Central American Nunchuck champion…

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The cops bust up the fight, including this weird cop…

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All good fun, just as good as the first, but not better.

Date watched: October 26th
Number of times Dolemite said “Motherfather”: wasn’t counting, but less than in Dolemite
Score: 4/10
Film count 2016: 167

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Detroit 9000

I came across this 1973 blaxploitation film on YouTube, and as it turn’s out this is a cult film that Quentin Tarantino helped get re-released theatrically in 1998.

Typically for blaxploitation films this was cheaply made (by today’s standards at least), with only average acting on the whole. But, it was entertaining, and looked at racism in the police force and politics.

It was surprisingly violent and even a little gruesome at times, although the liberal use of bright red poster paint as blood was comical.

The final shootout scenes between the Detroit Police and a gang of well-armed thugs was very entertaining, with a chase ensuing between the escaping thugs on foot and the cops also on foot, on horses, motorbikes, and in cars. Plenty of cops got plugged on the way, and there was lots of poster paint everywhere.

And the final scene involving a cop (played by Alex Rocco, he died last year)and the spoils of a jewelery heist was a surprise, and ended with more questions than answers. I can see why Quentin likes this so much.

“9000” refers to the police radio call meaning “officer down”.

Good stuff.

Date watched: October 24th
Score: 7.5/10
Film count 2016: 164

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The Monkey Hu$tle

Even though I have a few more modern day films to watch I returned to my YouTube “Watch Later” list and watched this 1976 blaxpolitation flick.

The synopsis on IMDB is: “A new highway threatens a Chicago neighbourhood, so to protest the residents throw a block party.”, which is partly true if only for about one-eighth of the film. The rest of it is about various characters hustling each other including a corrupt cop, and there is also a sub-plot about an aspiring drummer who has to resort to hustling to survive while he waits for his big drumming chance.

I gave up on trying to figure out what was going on about a third of the way in, and just waited for it to end. It was not all that funny, but did have some half-decent acting. Yaphet Kotto (Alien) was in this along with a few other familiar faces.

Not really worth watching.

Date watched: July 22nd
Score: 4/10
Film count 2016: 119

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Jive Turkey

I am still stuck in the past as far as my film watching goes with this 1974 blaxploitation film. The other title for this film is Baby Needs a New Pair of Shoes, and neither name makes any sense, although as it would turn out a lot of things didn’t make sense in this film.

Some of the acting  was quite good, especially the main character who was the leader of a numbers game racket. A few of the other characters were interesting, especially Serene, the psycho transvestite hit-vestite. She killed people with glee, laughing away while she did it.

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The story though was confusing at times as many things were not explained well, or not explained at all, and the direction and editing did not help. It was also a bad film to digital copy with chopped shots here and there.

It had some groovy music though, a Barry White clone would break out in a song, sometimes at inappropriate times, but it was a highlight.

This was supposed to be set in 1956 as the opening credits said this was a true story, with the names, places, and events changed to protect the innocent… ha! But apart from a few 1950’s cars here and there, this very much looked 1970’s.

A lot of tomato sauce was used in the killing scenes.

Overall this is not a watch for discerning film goers. However if you like trashy films that are trying their best, then this is worth a watch.

Date watched: June 4th
Score: 6/10
Film count 2016: 92

Here is the title song…

Willie Dynamite

This is a 1973 Blaxploitation film about a pimp, his girls, and his path to the doing the right thing.

All in all it is a pretty good watch, although about two-thirds of the way it slowed down a bit, but it picked up at the end. Some of the performances were a bit amateur at times, but you don’t expect much more from this kind of film.

The costumes in this were great, Willie changed several times and each outfit was something to behold. Here is an example…

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Perhaps you recognise Willie, played by Roscoe Orman? Yes, that is indeed Gordon from Sesame Street (he was the third actor to play the role).

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So this is well worth a watch, on the whole. And it made me rethink my whole wardrobe, I need some style.

I actually started watching Inside Out before this, but didn’t make it past the opening credits, too much sugar-coated goodness for my liking. Perhaps I will attempt it again soon.

Date watched: May 20th
Score: 7.5/10
Film count 2016: 83

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Five on the Black Hand Side

Perusing through YouTube using “blaxploitation” as a search, I found this rather entertaining film.

While this is listed on IMDB as a blaxploitation film, I wouldn’t call it that. It is a comedy drama with some great acting, fancy threads (this was made in 1973), some great moustaches and beards, and snappy dialogue that I could easily see influencing a young Quentin Tarantino (he would have been 10 years old at the time).

Fave quote (it is in the trailer below):
Booker T: Are you gonna put down that spear?
Gideon: Can a buffalo skate?

There was also this great monologue by a character named “Fun Lovin'” about how great he is with the ladies. “I use a cobra snake as a necktie!”

Most of these actors and actresses had long careers in television and film including The Color Purple, The Cosby Show, The Wire, Rosemary’s Baby, Good Times, and many more.

Well worth a watch. Watch it all at the link above.

Date watched: April 24th
Score: 8/10
Film count 2016: 70