Archive for May, 2014

Blaxploitation, April Ghouls’ Night, etc.

My roundtable entries, the April Ghouls Monster-Rama, another B-Fest straggler, and more:


The Beast Within (1982), in which the combination of cannibalism and the blood of the First Nations apparently gives you the power to turn into a rapey cicada monster, except not really…

Galaxy Quest (1999), in which people making fun of Star Trek make a better Trek movie than most of the real things…

Kitten with a Whip (1964), in which wannabe Senators should never give a psychotic beatnik girl an even break…

Ladyhawke (1985), in which evil bishops don’t give the objects of their unrequited love any even breaks, either…

Sweet Jesus, Preacherman (1973), in which a black hit man contracting for the mafia goes undercover in Watts impersonating an idealistic minister…

The Town that Dreaded Sundown (1976), in which the Boggy Creek guy tries his hand at the emerging slasher genre…


Willie Dynamite (1973), in which it’s hard out there for a pimp, but not nearly as hard as it is for his stable.

El Santo rules the wasteland-- and also 1000 Misspent Hours and Counting.

The Watts Monster: Low Voltage, Few Shocks

Bad, Black and Beautiful! The B-Masters' BaadAsssss Roundtable

Bernie Casey as Dr. Black, Mr. Hyde

Dr. Black, Mr. Hyde (1976)
A.K.A. Dr. Black, Mr. White and The Watts Monster.

It’s a little surprising that Dimension Pictures, the exploitation outfit that released the Rudy Ray Moore “Dolemite” movies, would make a Blaxploitation movie with so little grit to it. Yet here it is: a Blaxploitation take on “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” that isn’t so much Black as… beige. Trust me: few people in the world are a pasty-white as I am, and if even I notice how tepidly the movie addresses its Black audience, there’s probably something wrong.

Will Laughlin is the Braineater.

She do voodoo on you





When the owner of a successful nightclub refuses to sell out to the local crime-boss, he is beaten to death by the mobster’s goons.

The crime-boss soon has reason to regret his chosen style of business negotiation, however, when it turns out that the nightclub owner’s girlfriend has friends, not in high, but in low places. Very low places.

Subterranean places…




Liz Kingsley is the insane genius behind And You Call Yourself a Scientist!

And he did it HIS way

Bad, Black and Beautiful! The B-Masters' BaadAsssss Roundtable

Death JourneyWhen the blaxploitation craze dried up at the major Hollywood studios, Fred Williamson kept chugging along by making his own star vehicles, Death Journey being one of them. It’s more often than not silly and inept, but it’s all the same a lot of fun to watch.

Keith Bailey is the proprietor of The Unknown Movies Page.

Deadly Art of Survival


Teleport City’s roundtable contribution is in effect:


Amid the ruin and confusion of 1970s New York, a group of (primarily white) young artists, freaks, punks, and weirdos decided they were going to become movie makers, the cinematic branch of No Wave, new wave’s slightly stranger, more chaotic sibling. At the same time, uptown and in The Bronx, a group of (primarily black and Hispanic) young artists, freaks, dancers, and weirdos were pioneering a creative lifestyle that would become known as Hip Hop. The two scenes intersected frequently, and when no wave film maker Charlie Ahearn was stopped by a group of black kungfu students who wanted to know what he was doing with a movie camera, DEADLY ART OF SURVIVAL was born. It’s more interesting as a historic piece than an actual film, a fascinating (to me) cocktail of punk, New York, black culture, martial arts and the role kungfu films played in black urban life, and a celebration of a dude who was being paid in pizza but was still willing to get kungfu kicked into the 1978 East River.

Keith Allison is the chief Bacchanologist at Teleport City.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Well… it’s a REAL movie…

UFO's Are RealThe documentary UFO’s Are Real attempts to convince viewers that we are not alone in this universe. And no, I didn’t make a typo with the title – there’s an apostrophe in the title both on the video box and in the opening credits, and it’s just the start of many problems to be found with this documentary.

Keith Bailey is the proprietor of The Unknown Movies Page.

Teen scene

Seven Minutes In HeavenJust before hitting it big with Labyrinth, future Oscar winner Jennifer Connelly starred in the teen movie Seven Minutes In Heaven. Despite the suggestive title, it’s actually a sensitive and thoughtful drama that both teenagers and older viewers will enjoy.

Keith Bailey is the proprietor of The Unknown Movies Page.

From Bad-Ass to Just Plain Bad

By the dawn of the 1970’s, the major Hollywood studios found themselves facing near-bankruptcy, both financially and creatively. The old system just wasn’t keeping pace with the times: more and more people turned to television rather than the movies, since they no longer seemed to see themselves or their concerns represented on the Silver Screen.

Of course, Black America had never really seen its interests represented in mainstream movies — if the Black experience did show up on screen, it was almost always filtered through the eyes of, say, Gregory Peck or Spencer Tracy. That’s why it came as a shock to Hollywood when they realized the biggest profits of the early 70’s were going to movies made for that vast, under-appreciated Black audience… movies like Ossie Davis’s Cotton Comes to Harlem or Melvin van Peebles’s Sweet Sweetback’s BaadAsssss Song. Suddenly it seemed like a good idea to give Black viewers what they wanted.

The movies that followed made stars of Black actors… brought attention to Black issues… gained a foothold in the industry for talented Black artists of many kinds… and paved the way for the serious Black Cinema that arose a decade later. But the producers, directors and/or writers of these movies were still — more often than not — white guys. This fact, plus the movies’ emphasis on violence, sex, drugs and crime, prompted civil rights leaders to coin a new word to condemn the Soul Cinema of the 70’s: BLAXPLOITATION! A term that’s been extended to almost all the Black-themed movies of the era.

Some of these Blaxploitation movies were genuinely respectful of Black American culture. Others at least had their hearts (and fists, and other body parts) in the right place. And some, in spite of their Black casts, were pure jive-ass honky bulls#!%. Yet taken all together, in their strengths and weaknesses, they represent some of the most vivid and memorable movies ever made. So join the B-Masters through the month of May, as they celebrate Blaxploitation movies from every part of the bell curve. It’s…

Bad, Black and Beautiful! The B-Masters' BaadAsssss Roundtable
Will Laughlin is the Braineater.

Tags: ,