I have always maintained that if you are gonna 'spoof' something or mimic an era you can't be timid. You have to go 'full retard' as the kids say. Thankfully the creators of 'Black Dynamite' decided to do everything they could to both honor and lampoon the era of the 'blacksploitation' pictures of the 1970s. Most often made on the cheap, these 'grindhouse' features had to make up for the lack of money with over the top antics, fashions, fight scenes and experimental photography. Everything that made those movie fun is replicated here.
Michael Jai White (yes the same guy who played Spawn) is totally unrecognizable as our hero, the badass mofo Black Dynamite, the man all the ladies love and all the men would love to be. I knew from the opening malt liquor commercial and 'jive turkey' dialogue that I would love this movie. Everything is perfect from the 70s fashions to garage sale furniture/lighting to the love of Bruce Lee inspired Kung Fu culture. Add to that the period music, jumpy camera work and slightly 'off' editing style and you got a gem of a feature that reminds us of all about what we love about a time long past.
The plot is irrelevant but involves revenge for the death of Black Dynamite's brother and a new drug being pumped onto the streets by 'the man'. The acting is deliberately bad but done by professionals who know the difference between satire and irony. You will recognize a bunch of black character actors and some more famous faces. This was truly a work of love in the black community. The direction is tight and just grabs you from the beginning. I remember thinking that this is exactly the way I want Danny Trejo's 'Machete' to come out.
White Cop - "The old pie in the windowsill trick. I can't believe I feel for that. That was the same trap you used in 'Nam to save my ass." (Think about that for a second then laugh you ass off) Yeh, Black Dynamite's got issues from the war and guilt over promising his dying momma to look out for his now dead brother. Motivation? HELL YEH.
I really love the monologues about everything that makes Black Dynamite hurt by the star himself. They show up to put a hold on the action but to also remind us of any plot points we may have forgotten from five minutes earlier. Perfect writing.
"I know I was the best CIA agent that the CIA ever had. But I thought I told you honkies from the CIA that Black Dynamite was out of the game." GOLD!
This movie hit me right when I needed something fresh and funny to watch. The only thing I regret is not having a fellow movie fan next to me to catch all the inside jokes.
Cal's Canadian Cave of Coolness
I forever stand vigilant to protect this planet from the myriad of forces that are always against us. Be it the octopus, zombies, aliens or the robots my team of human agents, and our feline allies, circle the globe in a never ending struggle for human freedom.
I learn all I can on every subject that interests me. I especially enjoy ancient history because in the past there are valuable lessons to be found. Also, if I ever get my time machine to work properly, it would be good to know a bit about possible destinations and what to expect when I get there.
I greatly appreciate beautiful design. Be it manufactured or found naturally I am fascinated by the process of invention. I am attracted to the unique, the strange, the haunted. I like to share what I find on this blog.
And not let us forget the 'Cephalopod Menace' who, if allowed to, would wrap their tentacles around all that is good and pure in this life and crush it until it remained no more. They are creatures of pure spite. Hate is all they know. Death is all they do. They are our most ruthless and determined enemy.
So we fight. Selena has the celebrity contacts, the cat is ruthless and without pity, Roosevelt's ghost has the experience and I do the wetwork.
Fighting for the future of the planet doesn't have to be a chore, however. We can take the time to appreciate all that is cool in this world even as we cut the octopus into bite sized chunks.
This is the reason there has always been and must forever be, a Cave of Cool. Be sure to wipe your feet before you enter.