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Funky! Freaky! Foxy! - Blaxploitation Cinema

"A negro and a white man linked to each other by four feet of hate and a steel chain!' - an immortal Defiant Ones tag line from a fascinating compendium of coming attractions, hyping mass-market black-oriented features from 1946 to 1976. Rare promos reveal the kitschy packaging of people of colour ... Read more
Larry Cohen's two Blaxploitation flicks - Black Caesar and Hell Up in Harlem - are often accused of ripping off the genre whitey-style. But Cohen is a sharp genre-crossing exploitation master. He delivers the funk and the action in Black Caesar and rams it hard and fast. Fred Williamson ... Read more
The most camp of all Blaxploitation flicks. 70s in style - 60s in tone. Hollywood's typical decade-lag makes this a stew of funky fun. Everyone tries to be real mean - especially Tamara Dobson, a 6 foot plus Vogue glamour model. Pre-Grace Jones. The streets are dressed as if it's a fashion shoot ... Read more
"Superbad. Dig it. The lady is Superbad." Willie Hutch's theme song says it all - with drum machines, even. Pam Grier is Foxy Brown and all that. A sassy woman whose performances have defined the feline finery of many Blaxploitation flicks, Grier is to the genre what Kitten Natavidad is to ... Read more
Gratuitous use of disco mirror balls, fake furs, big butts and the word 'muthafucker'. Welcome to the rhinestone world of Rudy Ray Moore. Entrepreneurial brother from Planet Black. Incomprehensible, potent, hedonistic, crazed, downright rude. But he runs the show. A live comedian whose dirty ... Read more
Times Square. The Sony logo. Marquees: He and She, The Animal, School for Sex, The Wild Females. 1971. Welcome to New York City in 35mm winter. Turf of John Shaft - or that smooth-skinned Essence-subscribing ex-model, Richard Rowntree. Nice guy, quick gun, loud wah-wah. All the jokes are about ... Read more
Smooth, sexy, sweet. Afrodesiac style oozes in every frame. Costume and production design are flagrantly fetishised. Shots usually start with a close-up on clothes, shoes, hats. Marki Bey is Sugar Hill, a fashion photographer. Love those sessions she does. Her main man Langston is offed by Mafia ... Read more
Gordon Parks Jr removes the smoothness from Shaft and reshapes it into diamond strength hardness in Superfly. Shot with pimp-funding, a largely black crew and with the illegal use of street pole electricity, Superfly is the success story of renegade Blaxploitation filmmaking. The definitive ... Read more
The black community with the aid of white money forms the People's Army. In some white eyes, that could only spell - The Black Gestapo. Whitey wears plaid leisure suits and white loafers. Brothers and sisters are more into uniforms and arm-bands. The ideals of Malcom X and Farrakan go astray in ... Read more
Never has a film lionised the sex industry to such an extent. And despite its down tone, it's deadly serious. Max Julien - not exactly a good-lookin' dude - struts around embarrassingly in definitive Mack-style. He does a standard rise-and-fall of the pimp who wants it all. Julien went on to create ... Read more
Three cities: LA, Washington and Detroit. Cesspools of the 70s urban black. A pseudo-Nazi plan will cleanse these American citadels of the Negroid gene. Their water supplies will be injected with a serum that selectively kills all African Americans but leaves the Caucasian races unharmed. Three ... Read more
No doubt. Truck Turner is the best Blaxploitation film. Many come near but this one rides high on top. This is Issac Hayes (Mack 'Truck' Turner) inside and out: from his dropped-octave murmuring to his piquant music arrangements. From the gun holster across his naked chest to his non-actor swagger ... Read more
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