Archive for October, 2011

Best of BAMF – POLICE BEAT

October 27, 2011

The Best of BAMF is a showcase of older reviews of films still worth watching.

Police Beat is one of those rare films that can be extremely difficult to adequately describe. Having first seen it at the Sundance Film Festival back in 2005, it was hard for me to find the right words to describe it back then, and having seen it three more times since, it’s still hard to find the right words. Rarely does a film come along that seems so innovative and original that you can’t really compare it to anything else. And that’s what Police Beat is—a film so uniquely original and stylish that is stands apart from pretty much anything I recall seeing in recent years. (more…)

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BAMF Blaxploitation Archive – SUGAR HILL

October 25, 2011

BAMF’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.

SUGAR HILL 1974 (a.k.a The Voodoo Girl; Zombies of Sugar Hill); director Paul Maslansky; starring: Markie Bey, Robert Quarry, Don Pedro Cooley, Richard Lawson, Zara Cully, Charles Robinson

Not to be confused with the other films with the same title, this is the one and only Sugar Hill, starring Markie Bey as the fine momma Diana “Sugar” Hill. When her old man gets dead at the hands of some mobsters trying to muscle in on his nightclub, our heroine decides to out do Foxy Brown and Coffy. Sugar takes her fine self to see Mama Maitresse (Zara Cully, The Jeffersons’ Mother Jefferson), a local voodoo woman. Mother Jefferson raises the spirit of her other son — George’s evil brother, Baron Samedi, the lord of the undead. Quicker than you can say, “We’re movin’ on up”, the good Baron is offing the honky mobsters, in all sorts of manners both unusual and fun (one jive sucker is eaten by pigs). No one is safe from Sugar and Baron Samedi’s army of buggy-eyed zombies. (more…)

Best of BAMF – The 36th CHAMBER OF SHAOLIN

October 25, 2011

If you are a true fan of martial arts flicks, then you no-doubt have seen this film in at least one of its several incarnations, which includes the alternate titles Master Killer and Shaolin Master Killer. If, however, for some strange reason you have never seen this movie, then you can’t, in any way, shape or form, consider yourself to be a true die-hard fan of kung fu films. As harsh as that may sound, the reality is that for every genre and sub-genre of film you can imagine, there are only a very small handful of films that are essential viewing within that particular group. The 36thChamber of Shaolin is one of those films. (more…)

dvd review – ATTACK THE BLOCK

October 21, 2011

Writer-director Joe Cornish has made the best John Carpenter movie since John Carpenter made great movies. Cornish’s debut feature, Attack the Block, conjures memories of Carpenter when he was on top of his game with an impressive list of genre movies that includes Assault on Precinct 13, Escape from New York, The Thing, and Big Trouble in Little China. Set in South London, ATB finds a gang of hardened teenage criminals becoming neighborhood heroes when their apartment block is swarmed by deadly extra terrestrials. Led by the steely-eyed Moses (John Boyega), the gang is mostly black, making the heroes of Attack the Block the most unlikely to save the day since the forgotten blaxploitation classic Together Brothers. But much of what makes the film work is Moses and his gang, a motley assortment of thugs played by a cast of unknowns, who are simultaneously tough and funny, exuding equal parts two-fisted badassness and adolescent awkwardness. This is easily one of the most compelling groups of teenage boys to come along in quite some time, and far more interesting than the kids in Super 8. As Moses and his crew square off against the deadly creatures that are terrorizing the block, Cornish keeps the film moving at a rapid pace, while finding just the right balance of humor. His direction is as assured as his writing, and Cornish’s decision to cast his film with heroes you’re not likely to see in any other movie is the added ingredient that gives Attack the Block its heart and soul. Along with John Carpenter, Cornish seems to be most influenced by Edgar Wright, whose genre-blending films like Shaun of the Dead have found the perfect creepy-to-comedy ratio. And like Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and Wright’s under-appreciated Scott Pilgrim, Attack the Block is a highly entertaining film that holds up to multiple viewings.

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New Article on MSN

October 10, 2011

Check out my most recent article for MSN’s Parallel Universe. With the upcoming release of the prequel/remake/reimagining of The Thing, I have come up with a list of the best and worst Winter Terrors.

Casting a Black Actor as 007

October 5, 2011

There was a bit of a buzz floating around on the Internet a few days ago, regarding the possibility of Idris Elba (above) assuming the James Bond mantle after Daniel Craig leaves the role (read it here). This was based on comments made by Craig several years back, and it opens up a long-running topic that I talked about for many years.

Since the film debut of James Bond in 1962, six actors have played 007 (provided you don’t count the early versions of Casino Royale), and many more have been mentioned and considered for the role over the decades. In 1973, Roger Moore replaced Sean Connery as Bond in Live and Let Die, blowing the perfect opportunity to cast a black actor as the secret agent. (more…)