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Darktown Strutters
Get Down and Boodie!

USA 1975
produced by
Gene Corman for New World
directed by William Witney
starring Trina Parks, Edna Richardson, Bettye sweet, Shirley Washington, Roger E.Mosley, Christopher Joy, Stan Shaw, DeWayne Jessie, Norman Bartold, Charles Knapp, Edward Marshall, Dick Miller, Gene Simms, Milt Kogan, Sam Laws, Frankie Crocker, Della Thomas, Ed Bakey, Fuddle Bagley, Frances E.Nealy, Raymond Allen, Alvin Childress, the Dramatics, Barbara Morrison, Charles Woolf, Oaky Miller, John Gary Williams
written by George Armitage

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Syreena (Trina Parks) leads an all-female. all-black biker gang (who roam the streets on motorized thricycles), and they are always on the run from the cops and the Ku Klux Klan alike - but this time around, Syreena has come to town with a mission, to find her missing mother Cinderella (Frances E.Nealy), who has run an abortion program for black women until she just vanished into thin air. Doing some investigation, sometimes helped by her kung fu savvy brother Flash (Gene Simms), Syreena stumbles upon a plot to abduct prominent black people from all over the town, and one name comes up time and again, that of Commander Cross (Norman Bartold), a self-proclaimed black people's friend who's really a white supremacist backing the Ku Klux Klan.

He manages to capture Syreena though and can't help but gloating about his plan: To use a cloning machine to replace all black leaders with replicas more sympathetic to his cause. But since Cross has black servants, they instinctively side with Syreena and help her escape - and she comes back not only with her gang but with a whole army of blacks, and they conquer Cross's estate like nobody's business and also free Syreena's mum. And in the end, everybody is witnessing the birth of the first and last clone Cross's machine will ever produce: Cross himself. And since Cross the clone is nicer than the real Cross, they have the real one tarred and feathered and party with the clone.

 

Admittedly, this synopsis doesn't sound like much, just like a rather typical blaxploitation flick with elements from the biker and science fiction genre thrown in just for good measure - but then again, the mere plotline as such doesn't even begin to describe this piece of utter wackiness that is full of bizarre, almost surreal costumes, where people tend to break out into song-and-dance routines at the least fitting moments, where slapstick is used to bring racial agendas across, and where action scenes are more inspired by popular vintage cartoons and the Keystone Cops than by genre standards of the 1970's. That said, Darktown Strutters most certainly has its shortcomings, especially some of the humour misfires horribly, but that does not make it any less of a very unusual viewing experience, and most certainly the weirdest blaxploitation ever committed to film.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD