Alright, so if you don’t already know (or don’t already have your own bootleg copy), Black Dynamite comes out on DVD today. This hilariously authentic spoof of 70s blaxploitation films features Michael Jai White (of Spawn and other B-movie fame) as the ass-kicking, smack-fighting, lady killer, Black Dynamite, who will stop at nothing to avenge his brother’s death and clean up the ‘hood.
The movie premiered at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival, but unfortunately, was largely overshadowed by the heavier-themed Precious. However, Black Dynamite has gotten a lot of positive reviews from critics, and I for one think it’s impressive to note that Jai White not only stars in the film – delivering both comic lines and action sequences with great skill – but also had a hand in writing the script. I guess he’s had enough B-movie experience to be able to turn the genre into a comic goldmine for himself.
On a related note, I happened to be enjoying a DVD collection of The Boondocks during Atlanta’s recent snow ‘storm’ , and rediscovered one of my favorite scenes where Huey goes toe-to-toe with Bushido Brown, a black kung fu master sporting a perfectly coiffed afro and aviator sunglasses. The beau – who’d never seen the Boondocks episode – hipped me to the fact that the cartoon character seemed to be modeled after Jim Kelly, a real-life blaxploitation kung fu action hero from the 70s. Later that day, in an attempt to cure our cabin fever, we made a trip to Videodrome and immediately came across Black Belt Jones, the 1974 flick starring none other than Jim Kelly. Needless to say I snatched it up and, upon viewing it, was surprised to find that not only did The Boondocks borrow Kelly’s image for the character of Bushido Brown, but Michael Jai White also borrowed heavily from Black Belt Jones for several scenes of Black Dynamite. The theme song from Black Belt Jones – composed by funk guitarist Dennis Coffey – was also surprisingly familiar. A snippet of the theme (along with a snippet from Coffey’s tune, ‘Scorpio’) was sampled in LL Cool J’s ‘Jingling Baby’. Just goes to show, a good thing never goes out of style.
If you’re a fan of movie spoofs, 70s culture, tongue-in-cheek action films, or watching sexy, shirtless black kung fu masters stick it to the man, I strongly suggest you rent them both.
Later for you jive turkeys,