One good thing about last week’s discussion was that people were reminded that BET no longer shows old Black movies. Though the demographic has shifted, somebody under the age of 25 with a trade school education might appreciate the moral lesson that Cabin in the Sky delivers. For all the years I’ve been around, I don’t think they have shown any movie that starred Roscoe Lee Browne.
Anyway, Bounce TV alone is worth investing in and installing a digital antenna. I got an old-school (remember the rabbit ears?) one for less than $12 at Best Buy. It worked better than the fancy things that were $25 and up. In most cities, This TV is another digital channel that shows pre-blaxploitation era movies and others that aren’t too violent or “pulp”.
If you have cable, TV One and Aspire are good sources but Turner Classic Movies is turning out some gems. For a minute there, they seemed to be stuck on 1972’s Trouble Man with Robert Hooks but over the holidays, I got a real treat.
Before the recession hit my humble yet dysfunctional home, I would peruse the Amazon lists for the most rare blaxploitation movies. Some were disappointments but others, like Black Girl are worth the search. Abar, the First Black Superman was a nice surprise although the acting was mostly subpar and there were no known names attached.
The story is about a doctor who is making a serum that gives one super strength. While his intentions may have been good, he moves his family to a White (but looks like Inglewood/Baldwin Hills or Culver City adjacent) neighborhood. Neighbors are less than friendly but somehow when things get rough, a group of Black bikers comes to the rescue…not once, but twice in 20 minutes. The good ol’ doc suddenly gets the bright idea to recruit the leader, Abar, to moonlight as his personal bodyguard.
Although the constant presence of bikers wears down some of the White folks from protesting in front of the Black family’s yard, a few are relentless but get their just reward. Plus there’s a couple of other surprises I won’t let out.
More people need to look to the late Jamaa Fanaka for making quality films on a budget, especially in the age of #oscarsowhite.