Soul Cinema. Isn't that what Blaxploitation really is? These films all touched a very special place in each of us. To see Shaft rise up and defeat the MAN lifts one's spirits and makes us believe, if only for the briefest, flyest second, that we too can raise our staff and drive an umbrella through the belly of the MAN. Cinema for the soul, indeed.
Please enjoy the following retrospective of the Blaxploitation that has crossed paths with the HG, and the resultant HGs which probably crossed the line. Please feel free to click on the movies to purchase them through Amazon.
|The first helping of Blaxploitation that we recieved was Shaft. Shaft is and always will be a favorite of the HG league. Richard Rountree, Shaft himself, is a staple of any good movie. Roundtree contests the notion that "Shaft" is blaxploitative. Hear the black private dick who's a sex machine to all the chicks discuss it here. Is it hard living in Shaft's shadow? Roundtree sure thinks so. He goes so far as to call it a burden. Even so, he is a fine HG thespian.|
The HG has obediently digested the following Roundtree films the God "Television" dropped on our plates.
Shaft .... John
|The only man even close to meeting or beating Richard is Fred Williamson.
Williamson is one of the kings of Blaxpoitation, although he too has issues
with the term. Williamson has set down three rules for his flims. "I
had three rules that Hollywood just wouldn't adhere to: I've got to win
the fights, you can't kill me, and I've got to get the girl at the end of
the movie. They weren't going to let that happen, so I went to Europe."
Jive on the rest of the conversation.
Many of the HG have wanted to do the movie "Original Ganstas". Now the secret story behind that movie can be told! A crack house opened across the street from Williamson's mother. Traffic became horrible, and she asked them to move a car from her driveway. After she was threatened, Williamson flew in from El Lay, knocked on the neighbor's door, drug the guy from the house, beat and stripped him and left him lying in the street. And "Original Gangstas" was born.
Hang on for the Williamson HomeGamography.
Hell Up in Harlem (1973) .... Tommy Gibbs
South Beach (1992) .... Mack Derringer
The rest of the movies are relative one-shots. Just as you shouldn't put all your eggs in one basket, you shouldn't get all your blaxploitation from the same coke-addled basket case. Some of the following are real gems, not ever to be missed.
|Tamara Dobson is probably not a name you hear as often as the two aforementioned cat, yet she has made two very fine blaxploitation films: "Cleopatra Jones," and "Cleopatra Jones and the Casino of Gold." While she is not the most prolific of stars, where else were we to get our Shelley Winters LPS?|
|Williamson may be the king of Blaxploitation, and Issac Hayes an African Prince, but William Marshall, aka Blacula, is the King of Cartoons. That's right! You heard us correctly! Our very own black Dracula went on to become the second King of Cartoons on Pee-Wee's Playhouse. If that doesn't show the man is talented, I don't know what will.|
|Every once in a while, a shining beacon, a monolith to worship, is found. The day Ted Turner gave us Black Samson was one such day. "What's his plan? He ain't got one." It sends shivers down one's spine. Black Samson was just a regular brother that owned a bar. He didn't ask for any trouble. He just wanted to lay back and enjoy life. But would the MAN, as represented by drug lords, let him? No. So he had to start going upside their heads with his magical stick. Fight the power, fight the power!|
|Issac Hayes, better know now as Chef. Even better known for composing the theme from "Shaft." Hardly known at all for being a $scientologist. Except, of course, around here. Anyway, Truck Turner is almost one bad mutha... but he falls just a bit short. Yeah, he has a big gun, but you know what that's compensating for don't you? Even though Yaphet Kotto and Nichelle Nichols are in this, the thing that really saves it is all the pimp imagery. Pimps are what made this country strong. The HG will not stand by and let them be dishonored.|