Blaxploitation #7: Trick Baby (1972)

Film Title

Trick Baby

Synopsis

Two con men stumble upon the chance of a big pay day

Director

Larry Yust

Cast

Kiel Martin
Mel Stewart
Vernee Watson
Dallas Edward-Hayes
Beverly Ballard

What the hell are these cats up to? White Folks (Martin) and Blue Howard (Stewart) are two Philadelphian hustlers. Blue’s black and a lot older, having taught Folks the tricks of the trade. I guess it’s important to know Folks is a trick baby, the product of a brief (and no doubt delightful) union between […]

Never Take Sweets (a.k.a. Candy) from a Stranger (1960)

Film Title

Never Take Sweets From A Stranger

Synopsis

A little girl dances naked in front of a town’s powerful stalwart in return for candy. Her parents aren’t impressed.

Director

Cyril Frankel

Cast

Patrick Allen
Gwen Watford
Janina Faye
Bill Nagy
Felix Aylmer
Frances Green

Some movies are way ahead of their time. Michael Powell’s Peeping Tom is a good example, a voyeuristic horror pic centering on a serial killer filming his victims’ last moments while stabbing them through the throat. People just weren’t ready for that kind of sicko shit in 1960, the revulsion apparently resulting in the revered […]

She (1965)

Film Title

She

Synopsis

An English archaeologist and two companions stumble upon a lost city in East Africa. She is there.



Cast

Ursula Andress
Bernard Cribbins
Peter Cushing
John Richardson
Christopher Lee
George Pastell

Do you have a favorite little movie that somehow doesn’t get the recognition it deserves? You know, a flick that’s pretty much always met with scorn, lukewarm reviews and general disdain. Year after year you keep expecting the love to materialize, especially as there are so many filmgoers out there gushing over what can only […]

A Handful of 90s British Classics

The nineties was the last great decade for movies. Here we had the likes of Goodfellas, Unforgiven, Pulp Fiction, Thelma and Louise, Fargo, Se7en, Silence of the Lambs and Schindler’s List while (as detailed below) those Limey bastards also coughed up a good few belters. Yes, terrific movies still get made post-2000 (e.g. Requiem for […]

Starring debuts #10: Bo Derek in 10 (1979)

Film Title

10

Synopsis

A middle-aged man risks everything by pursuing a new bride  

Director

Blake Edwards

Cast

Dudley Moore
Julie Andrews
Bo Derek
Robert Webber
Brian Dennehy
Dee Wallace

Bo Derek is actually rated a Spinal Tap-esque 11 in this successful sex comedy but that still might be underscoring her. She looks sensational here and it’s not hard to see why George Webber (Moore) gets hit by an Apollonian thunderbolt as he mundanely waits in his open top Roller at a Californian stop sign. […]

Blaxploitation #6: The Black Gestapo (1975)

Film Title

Black Gestapo

Synopsis

Don’t be silly/Be a Smarty/Come and join/The black Nazi Party

Director

Lee Frost

Cast

Rod Perry
Charles P. Robinson
Phil Hoover
Wes Bishop
Ed Cross
Angela Brent

What the hell are these cats up to? Rape and castration, mainly. General Ahmed (Perry) has started an inner-city People’s Army in south LA to improve everyday black life and tackle pressing issues like drug addiction. However, he runs into big trouble with the Mob, leading him to grant permission for his deputy Colonel Kojah […]

Starring debuts #9: John Amplas in Martin (1978)

Film Title

Martin

Synopsis

A serial killer tries to work through an identity crisis

Director

John Romero

Cast

John Amplas
Lincoln Maazel
Christine Forrest
Elyane Nadeau
Tom Savini

Martin on the hunt with a syringe clamped between his teeth is one of the great sights of 70s horror. We know he’s a serial killer, but is he a vampire? As played by the superb Amplas, we never get a telling answer. The movie continually toys with conventions and expectations so that facts and […]

Blaxploitation #5: Three the Hard Way (1974)

Film Title

Three The Hard Way

Synopsis

White supremacy, black coolness and red berets

Director

Gordon Parks Jr.

Cast

Fred Williamson
Jim Brown
Jim Kelly
Jay Robinson
Sheila Frazier

What the hell are these cats up to? After watching this mess, I only have the vaguest of ideas. I think there are three black dudes (Williamson, Brown and Kelly), who somehow know each other, and they team up to tackle a white supremacist’s genocidal plan to poison the water supply so that only the […]

Pliers, Pussies & the Enduring Class of John Vernon

In the flat blaxploitation parody I’m Gonna Git You Sucka, baddie John Vernon prickles at the insinuation that playing an exploitation villain is beneath him. “Lots of famous people have done exploitation movies,” he tells the hero before listing the likes of Shelley Winters and Angie Dickinson. OK, mate, fair point, but I doubt you […]

Starring debuts #8: Alan Rickman in Die Hard (1988)

Film Title

Die Hard

Synopsis

A bare-footed, vest-wearing cop takes on a group of crack terrorists

Director

John McTierman

Cast

Bruce Willis
Alan Rickman
Bonnie Bedelia
Reginald VelJohnson
Alexander Godunov

You know Alan Rickman’s done his job remarkably well in Die Hard when he plunges to his death from a high-rise building and we feel a bit sad. Unlike Kong, it wasn’t beauty that killed the charismatic beast, but a combination of old-fashioned greed and sheer bad luck. Rickman plays Hans Gruber, a debonair German […]