BAMF Blaxploitation Archive – VELVET SMOOTH

velvetBAMF’s Blaxploitation Archive is a collection of reviews originally written in the 1990s that appeared in the pages of BadAzz MoFo. This review and many others have been reprinted and collected in BadAzz MoFo’s Book of Blaxploitation, Volume One, which is now available for purchase.

VELVET SMOOTH 1976 director Michael Fink, starring: Johnnie Hill, Owen Wat-son (I swear, that’s how he spelled), and a bunch of people you’ve never heard of (and deservedly so)
Bad filmmaking is a lot like incest: as long as both parties are consenting, you don’t get caught, and no one gets pregnant, one could argue that there’s not too much wrong with it. Unfortunately, Michael Fink, the untalented meathead behind the kung fu stinker Force Four, got his sister knocked up, who in turn gave birth to the mutated wonder called Velvet Smooth. There are really crappy movies. There are really boring movies. And then there’s Velvet Smooth, a really crappy, boring movie. With very few exceptions has my fast forward button gotten such a workout, than it did with this jumbled mess about a numbers runner (Owen Wat-son—I swear, that’s how he spells it) who hires a private investigator (that would be our lady Velvet), to find out who is shaking him down. Velvet, played by the remarkably talent-challenged Johnnie Hill (who at her best looks like a transvestite), gathers up some of her homegirls to crack the case. And that’s what passes for a story in this mind rotting pile of poop.

Describing the pure ineptitude of Velvet Smooth is difficult because most people have never seen a movie this bad. I say, “Velvet Smooth really sucks, it’s one of the worst movies ever made,” and right away people start comparing to the bad movies they’ve seen. They think, “Is it bad like Ernest Goes to Camp or Ernest Scared Stupid?” And then I have to explain, “The entire Ernest franchise—even Ernest Goes to Splash Mountain—has a level of excellence and cinematic craft that eludes every frame of movies like Velvet Smooth.”

Every time I think I’ve seen the worst of the worst, along comes a piece of shit like this. I find it hard to believe anyone would set out to make a movie this bad, but then I find it hard to believe there are people out there who enjoy golden showers. Actually, I’d rather have someone piss all over me while I was forced to watch Ernest Goes Incontinent than have to watch Velvet Smooth again.

While it may come as a surprise to some, actress Johnnie Hill did not appear in any other films after starring in Velvet Smooth. Her banishment to forgotten nether regions of those with no talent, along with director Michael Fink, seems appropriate. Fink’s only other movie was Force Four, which if you’ve seen, you know is not the pinnacle of cinematic craft (it’s more the depths of cinematic crap—while miraculously managing to still be better than Velvet Smooth). Owen Wat-son was the star of Force Four, and it’s not likely he will be remembered for his acting skills. Wat-son, or as he was really known, Watson, passed away in 2005. When he was not starring in bad films made by Michael Fink (which was thankfully not often), he was a well-respected martial artist operating out of New York City.


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