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BLAXPLOITATION FILMS


Coach E-Dub
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Where are the great black films of the 70s? I know they are called Blaxploitation, But they were not that at all. These movies were the only way that black actors and actresses could get their foot in the door in hollywood and for others, the only way they could get some work. These movies are classics and should be revered as such. They should be brought to a new generation of film goers to show how much hollywood has moved forward. The new movies goers need to know who opened the door for their new Academy Award winners, Denzel Washington, Ana DuVernay, Halle Berry, Prince, Kobe Bryant, and others. Why can't we get these movies shown on TCM, other than on Fridays late late night, so late that most don't get to see them? That is a culture of what was really going on in many communities, no matter what race or religion.

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23 minutes ago, Coach E-Dub said:

Where are the great black films of the 70s? I know they are called Blaxploitation, But they were not that at all. These movies were the only way that black actors and actresses could get their foot in the door in hollywood and for others, the only way they could get some work. These movies are classics and should be revered as such. They should be brought to a new generation of film goers to show how much hollywood has moved forward. The new movies goers need to know who opened the door for their new Academy Award winners, Denzel Washington, Ana DuVernay, Halle Berry, Prince, Kobe Bryant, and others. Why can't we get these movies shown on TCM, other than on Fridays late late night, so late that most don't get to see them? That is a culture of what was really going on in many communities, no matter what race or religion.

The Criterion Channel is featuring some of these right now.

https://www.criterionchannel.com/beyond-blaxploitation

Even if you don't want to subscribe, they have a 14 day free trial period...

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Welcome to the TCM Message Boards, Coach!

Well, I'll never be accused of being a "Blaxploitation" fan. I saw a few "back in the day" when all of the flicks in LawrenceA's list played grindhouses. Only two of his recommendations are in my movie library: Blacula and Ganja & Hess (I've also got Da Sweet Blood of Jesus, Spike Lee's remake of Bill Gunn's chiller).

I'm keen on seeing the crime-thriller Cool Breeze, which is another adaptation of W.R. Burnett's The Asphalt Jungle.

I'm not big on making lists and recommending "essentials." However, here are "Blaxploitation" flicks that I enjoyed:

Car Wash

Cooley High

The Liberation of L.B. Jones (marginal "Blaxploitation," IMO)

Scream Blacula Scream

Sugar Hill

Watermelon Man

 

Blaxpic1.jpg

 

 

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@Eucalyptus:  Speaking of COOL BREEZE (1972) . . . when I first bought a VCR in May 2006 that was a "multi-standard" unit I set about looking for MGM releases from England.   I had seen a list of UK MGM releases from 1980 through December 1985 and there were a number of titles that caught my eye; titles which MGM didn't bother to release on VHS here.  COOL BREEZE was one of them. 

There were 3 "black-themed" movies released by the MGM UK branch circa 1982/83 which were ignored for a video release in America.  Besides "Cool Breeze", the others were THE HIT MAN (1972) and THE SLAMS (1973).   I found all three and bought two of each.  I always have "spare-itis".  📼

I enjoyed COOL BREEZE.  I'd watch it again.  Hopefully you'll be able to stream it from somewhere; I do believe Warner Archive made it available on one of those 'MOD DVD-R's several years ago, but I'm guessing you don't want to have to buy it to see it.    👍

 

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I have been a fan of "Blaxsploitation" movies for years.  I've collected quite a few of them over the years so I can watch them at home.  Between, say, 1968-78 there were a bunch of movies categorized as "Blaxsploitation" movies made.  I concur that a fair number of these films weren't really "exploitation" movies even though it seems *every* black-themed movie from that time period is classified as such.   Just because a movie has a predominantly black cast doesn't automatically make it an "blaxploitation" movie. 

I must say, however, the 1973 movie THE SPOOK WHO SAT BY THE DOOR just sounds like an exploitation movie  due to that title.   😜

BLACK EYE (1975) is not a "Blaxsploitation" movie; the only people who would classify it that way are people who haven't seen it.  

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9 hours ago, Mr. Gorman said:

I have been a fan of "Blaxsploitation" movies for years.  I've collected quite a few of them over the years so I can watch them at home. 

Same.

I love the strong women charactors, so especially love Pam Grier movies.  

1118full-pam-grier.jpg

Many are basically just 70's time capsules of urban fashion & slang, all of which I identify with. Plus, often exciting violence! I used to read Black Crime/Romance paperbacks in the 70's too.

Cleopatra-Jones1.jpg

Haha ^^^ Shelly Winters name in big letters. Bet she stands out, can't think of anyone whiter.

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16 hours ago, Eucalpytus P. Millstone said:

Welcome to the TCM Message Boards, Coach!

Well, I'll never be accused of being a "Blaxploitation" fan. I saw a few "back in the day" when all of the flicks in LawrenceA's list played grindhouses. Only two of his recommendations are in my movie library: Blacula and Ganja & Hess (I've also got Da Sweet Blood of Jesus, Spike Lee's remake of Bill Gunn's chiller).

I'm keen on seeing the crime-thriller Cool Breeze, which is another adaptation of W.R. Burnett's The Asphalt Jungle.

I'm not big on making lists and recommending "essentials." However, here are "Blaxploitation" flicks that I enjoyed:

Car Wash

Cooley High

The Liberation of L.B. Jones (marginal "Blaxploitation," IMO)

Scream Blacula Scream

Sugar Hill

Watermelon Man

 

Blaxpic1.jpg

 

 

What!

No SUPERFLY?

COFFEY?

TROUBLE MAN?

SHAFT?

BLACKENSTEIN???

;) 

Sepiatone

 

 

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6 hours ago, Sepiatone said:

What!

No SUPERFLY?

COFFEY?

TROUBLE MAN?

SHAFT?

BLACKENSTEIN???

;) 

Sepiatone

SUPERFLY

For me, the best thing about Superfly was  Curtis Mayfield's funky musical score.

COFFEY

I never got the appeal of Pam Grier, beyond the attraction of her voluptuous bosom. I'm not into the Badass Butt-kickin' Babes-Girls with Guns subgenre.

TROUBLE MAN

I've never seen it, but I do remember the theme song by Marvin Gaye.

SHAFT

Similar to Superfly, the iconic main theme (by Isaac Hayes) made a greater impression on me than did the flick.

BLACKENSTEIN

A JIVE-@SS TURKEY! As were Dr. Black, Mr. Hyde ("Don't give him no sass or he'll kick yo' @SS!") and Abby!

The House on Skull Mountain, OTOH, isn't bad as isn't  J.D.'s Revenge, which had a poster that was RIGHT ON!

OIP.0jHtEnjc4xWiUQmMFcdr4wHaLH?pid=ImgDe

 

 

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I do realize, since a friend of mine claims the original TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE is the BEST movie EVER made, that the comments made about any of the movies are purely personal observations, and not objective commentary.  ;) 

Sepiatone

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@ERIC_J:  I used to have the first MEDA Home Entertainment release of BLACKENSTEIN from 1978.  This VHS release was so old the company hadn't yet started putting Catalog #'s on their video boxes . . .yet the movie was so bad I traded it.   And usually I never do that with tapes which are that collectible.  The movie has to be *dire* for me to contemplate trading it.  And it was! 

→ Except there's always other collectors eager to own that pile of boring, amateurish sludge.  Almost makes me wish I'd have picked up 2 or 3 of 'em some 25 years ago as I could've used them for trading material to get tapes I really wanted.   

('MEDA' was 'MEDIA Home Entertainment', but early on Charles Band used his wife's name 'MEDA' on the video boxes and cassette labels even though the official company name was always 'MEDIA Home Entertainment'.   After a couple of years the 'MEDA' was indeed replaced with 'MEDIA' on the company's video boxes and videocassette labels). 

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I'm enjoying watching Criterion's collection of Baxploitation films.  The producer of a feature I directed years ago is currently working on a production with Pam Grier.  Glad that she's still keeping busy in her 70's although I feel like she should've been offered better roles through her long career.

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ROSALIND CASH got some good parts, like in "The Omega Man" (1971).  She also lent an air of seriousness to HICKEY & BOGGS (1972) as Bill Cosby's estranged wife.  Plus, she played the Vice-President of the United States in the 1982 movie WRONG IS RIGHT.  She was "Mrs. Ford".  

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No love for Cleopatra Schwartz?  😅

On 4/19/2022 at 8:16 PM, Eucalpytus P. Millstone said:

OTOH, isn't bad as isn't  J.D.'s Revenge, which had a poster that was RIGHT ON!

I seem to be the only other person besides Robert Townsend who remembers JD's Revenge--

And Mandingo, which made it uncomfortable being the only geezer in the theater watching 1986's Hollywood Shuffle and getting all these ancient Blaxploitation jokes from 1975.  😳 

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15 hours ago, EricJ said:

No love for Cleopatra Schwartz?  😅

I seem to be the only other person besides Robert Townsend who remembers JD's Revenge--

And Mandingo, which made it uncomfortable being the only geezer in the theater watching 1986's Hollywood Shuffle and getting all these ancient Blaxploitation jokes from 1975.  😳 

You, Robert Townsend, I, and Arrow Video remember J.D.'s Revenge!

I also saw Mandingo as well as Russ Meyer's attempt at Blaxploitation: Blacksnake!

Ditto Kentucky Fried Movie, but I don't remember Cleopatra Schwartz, who seemed to be a Soul Sistah of TNT Jackson ("She'll put you in traction!"). So super-bad, she fights while clad in only her panties!

 

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I remember J.D.'s REVENGE (1976).   👍 

I don't have TNT JACKSON (1974) on tape yet.  I should've picked that one up already!  Shame on me.

ALSO:  I didn't know Criterion had issued some "Blaxsploitation" films.  Live and learn. 

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TubiTV, with their usual psychotronic random cool, managed to dig up a blaxploitation rarity this month:  Adios, Amigo (1975)

hqdefault.jpg

Best remembered as one of Richard Pryor's first early name-feature roles, before he was "discovered" in Car Wash and Silver Streak--A western comedy where drifter Fred Williamson, on a mission, partners up with con-artist Pryor, and finding that Pryor has been using hype about his "amigo" to get out of trouble at the next towns and making them for him instead...

I saw the first half hour or so on TV long ago (on Gene Siskel's recommendation, back when Siskel & Ebert had to search the Chicago grindhouses for Dogs of the Week, and ended up giving it a good review), but never had the chance to see it all the way through.  Now I can complete my collection of angry-era pre-rehab 70's Pryor.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Tubi has a Black Cinema section but most are recent films. I spotted a few 70s titles: The Black Six, A Hero Ain't Nothin' But A Sandwich, Black Shampoo, Lady Cocoa, Jive Turkey, The Black Godfather, Devil's Express, and Thomasine and Bushrod. Some on this list are super-rare.

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