Once upon a time there existed an age when filmmakers could get away with titling their films with names such as THE LEGEND OF NIGGER CHARLEY, THE SOUL OF NIGGER CHARLEY, the black bionic man parody THE $6,000 NIGGER (I shit you not) and even NIGGER LOVER. But that was then and this is now, and the likelihood of "nigger" being used as a viable title to be displayed upon a movie theater marquee — despite its ubiquity in much of the popularly-consumed hip-hop/rap that's out there — is damned near nil, but when those inflamatorily titled flicks find rerelease on DVD nowadays I believe they should be reissued as they originally were, N-word and all, existing as a product of their time. Case in point, the 1975 blaxploitation Western BOSS NIGGER, sometimes described as BLAZING SADDLES only not a comedy and starring the awesome Fred Williamson. I totally understand that it would be studio suicide to release a movie with that title today, to say nothing of allowing this poster to be displayed at the local multiplex right next to come-ons for movies like THE DUCHESS or BEVERLY HILLS CHIHUAHUA:
Any theater with the temerity to post that one would have been reduced to smoldering embers within hours, so there you go. But now BOSS NIGGER has finally been released on DVD and, to my utter dismay, retitled simply BOSS.
"BOSS?" What the fuck kind of pussified shit is that? The film already happened over three decades ago and is very well known among genre fans, plus it's unlikely to be sought after by the typical reader of ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY, so why strip the film of its extremely appropriate title? The dude rides into town, establishes himself as sheriff and kicks a fuckload of ass while taking no shit from anybody, demanding to be called "boss" in response to any asshole with a death wish who calls him nigger. The irony of the title when taken in context is terrific and is utterly appropriate for the film, so to me the neutering of it simply "BOSS" is yet another example of needless PC handling with tongs and kid gloves so as not to offend the .03 people out there in the average movie watching public who may encounter it. All I have to say to that is "Nigger, please."