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Monday, February 08, 2010


BLACK DYNAMITE, the letter-perfect sendup of the blaxploitation genre and funniest movie of 2009, is out on DVD on Tuesday (or right now, if you live in NYC and shop at a certain Lower East Side video store beloved for its "fuck street dates" attitude). I watched it on Saturday night and it absolutely holds up for repeat viewings. The transfer looks great (its intentionally crappy film stock brings me back to the days of VHS tapes of already worn low budget flicks) and the extras are quite good. There's a commentary track featuring the director, the co-writer (the guy who plays Bullhorn, a dead-on tribute to Rudy Ray Moore as Dolemite) and star Michael Jai White, alternate and deleted scenes (skip this section; the stuff was left out for a reason), an informative "making of" documentary entitled "Lighting the Fuse," and a very entertaining panel discussion from the San Diego Comicon with the same dudes who did the commentary, along with the female lead. That last segment in particular is loads of fun for its insight into where the filmmakers got their inspiration and their astute observations about the blaxploitaton genre in general, such as:
  • The indisputable fact that about 97% of the genre's films are boring as fuck and have notable moments but are mostly filler. With that lesson in mind, the filmmakers strove to make their film "all-meat" and no filler.
  • In most blaxploitation films, what you got was a collision of classically-trained actors (the regal William Marshall as Blacula, to cite the most obvious example) and comedians and sports figures who mostly could not act (my man Fred Williamson being a notable exception among the sports figures), and when the filmmakers watched some of the films again they noticed how weird the delivery of lines could be. Michael Jai White points out how Rudy Ray Moore would just go dead before delivering dialogue, wait for a count of about five seconds, and then just blurt out his lines in his signature way. Jim Kelly, the impressively-Afroed martial arts hero from BLACK BELT JONES, THREE THE HARD WAY and of course ENTER THE DRAGON, was mentioned for his bizarre "kiai" and his odd stressing of certain words when he said them; for instance he always pronounced "the" like the medieval "thee," no matter the context in which the word is used. Like White said, weird.
So the blaxploitation genre's answer to YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN makes for a terrific addition to your DVD shelf. Take my word for it and get your hands on it immediately, you born insecure, rat soup-eatin' muthafukka!


--=JOE=-- said...

I watched this the other night thanks to you recommending it. The scene with the boom mike almost made me piss myself.


Joe Jusko said...

It never played near me.:-( I can't wait to see this!

Satyrblade said...

Looking forward to it. The film played for a week here in Seattle, and I missed it then.

The "97% filler" observation is true of just about every exploitation/ psychotronic/ grindhouse film I've ever seen. It's what makes exceptions like The Re-Animator, Living Dead Girl, Dawn of the Dead, Street Trash, Gator Bait, Shogun Assassin, Dead/ Alive, Sorceress and so forth - movies that really are as batshit insane as their posters suggest - so damn much fun!

Mindlesskirby said...

I loved this one.
"quiet, you'll wake up the rest of the bitches"

Chris T said...

I don't think this ever made it to Sydney... :-/

I'll definitely get the DVD.

Thanks for the heads up, man.