The "Mr. Showbiz" guide to movies characterizes this movie as "tough and tawdry." I can't really dispute this conclusion in any way. We last saw Fred Williamson punching out injustice in Hammer. Here, he's the bowler-hatted anti-hero of the Harlem slums known as Black Caesar. Hassled by "the Man" from an early age, BootBlack Caesar grows into a strong young man who just loves killing Italians. Really, though, who doesn't? Eventually, Black Caesar is "king of the world," enslaving his mother (played by Slappy White in a breakout role) in a demeaning chambermaid outfit, and confronting his father in a frighteningly blatant Oedipal scenario. "Caesar's" henchmen include Conan O'Brien and Malcolm X. Jesse Jackson rounds out the cast as the weaselly preacher. Don't miss the heartwarming "15 dead elderly Italians riddled with bullets floating in a pool" scene.
THE HARDER THEY SLUM
Ironf> Black Entertainment Television, although for tonight, it's Blaxploitation Entertainment Television
mgrasso> AIP 50s: bad sci-fi. AIP 70s: bad blaxploitation
Ironf> The Man, this early in the film?
BryanL> Shoeshine Boy!
Plumm> Huggy Bear: Year One.
mgrasso> he's not so much black as he suggests black.
BryanL> He implies black.
KevinL> Damn, he was saving those ketchup packets for dinner.
mgrasso> somewhere, quentin tarantino has his pants down around his ankles
mgrasso> and dan dierdorf shows ronaldo the world of crime
BryanL> Black Caesar, Cleopatra Jones... what's next, Brutal Brutus?
mgrasso> well, nice to see charlton taking his role as prezof the NRA seriously
Plumm> Blackbird, don't go singing on me in the dead of night.
KevinL> Strange how they let the "N word" through for Black Ceasar, but edit it out of every rap video they show.
mgrasso> i guess it all depends on who's wielding the nightstick, kev
Plumm> Is this Black Caesar's origin story?
Ironf> So it will be and hour and 15 mins before we get to see any of his powers
mgrasso> cooley high hospital
Ironf> Lil' Malcolm X
Plumm> It's just one of the NSA's old Urkel prototypes, Bry. It's still 1953.
mgrasso> present day. groovin'.
mgrasso> what kind of country is it where a man cannot shave another man without GPS!
BryanL> Either that's the worst shave ever, or he grows stubble really fast.
mgrasso> that's what's known as 12 o'clock shadow
Ironf> With all those cuts, think he will have to pay for it?
mgrasso> whoa! get the styptic pencil!
mgrasso> "stuck in the middle with you.."
Plumm> Get an earlobe for your records.
KevinL> So, basically, anyone that Black Ceasar performs a service for is brutally murdered. Check.
MrBooze> HEY! Human ears don't go in spaghetti! That sort of meat needs shells!
BryanL> Now THAT'S what we want to see in a movie. Ear pasta.
mgrasso> ah. guineas.
KevinL> Word of advice, white man. Don't let Caesar bus your table.
Ironf> AND he knows Italian
mgrasso> wow! he really *is* caesar!
BryanL> That's Italian for "hold the ear".
MrBooze> That's italian for "Collard greens and a hamhock"
MrBooze> The Hat Squad: In COLORED!
BryanL> Hat shoping!
KevinL> Hat Sho Ping? The new HK action star? Where?
MrBooze> They are disgracing the honor of Black Samson
BryanL> Jump back. Gotta montage myself!
MrBooze> The scalps of rival black gangs are mounted as a warning.
BryanL> The brother is a father! The father is a brother! It's almost Mississippi here.
Plumm> So, this is that Nothing Sacred I've heard . . so .. much about . . . lately?
BryanL> Why are they applying for a loan from Conan O'Brien?
mgrasso> the rec room archtiecture. wood paneling. hello! yes! right!
MrBooze> It must be hard to keep a ledger regularly updated when its locked in a deposit box.
mgrasso> it's showtime at the apollo. tonight... carrot top! the osmonds! and black caesar!
BryanL> By the way, can I borrow your sideburns? I've got these really dirty pots to clean.
mgrasso> sesame street!
BryanL> Sunny days!
KevinL> She's only tickling the ebonies. Now -that's- Black Power.
mgrasso> she's quite talented for a coke whore.
mgrasso> hey guys, which phrase is funnier... "coke whore," or "crack whore"?
BryanL> I gotta go with crack whore.
Ironf> hmm tough choice, but I lean more towards Crack Whore
KevinL> Crack Whore. Plus it's the only one with its own magazine.
mgrasso> we now return you to black caesar, alreadyin progress
BryanL> What is it with blaxploitation heroes and eight-foot sideburns, anyway?
Plumm> The 70s, Bry.
Ironf> Almost everyone had sideburns in the 70's, even women
KevinL> They're follicular representations of the black action hero's genitalia, bro.
mg> i like the bowler... very john steed.
BryanL> See, this is what happens if you don't have Rubbermaid.
mg> the "flinging furs off the balcony" montage.
Plumm> How will you make it on your own? o/~
MrBooze> That wont look suspicious at all piled 6 feet high beneath his appartment.
Ironf> in the street below, Black Samson is fighting a guy
* MrBooze longs for a Black Samson / Black Caesar showdown
* BryanL longs for a Samsonite/Little Caesar showdown.
mg> she's got a face only a lesbian bulldog could love.
BryanL> So, this is what Mr. Nanny was based on.
mg> the mumblinghere is worrse than "shaft in africa"
BryanL> They're coming through the walls! Game over man, game over!
mg> what is he hitting them with? a beanie baby?
Plumm> The Italians were really pissed when the underworld's Jim Crow laws were overturned.
KevinL> He's gettin' hassled by the Man-dolin. It's FUNNY!
mg> wow. it's an old-fashioned italian cookout.
MrBooze> Would someone please SHUT THAT BLOODY BAZOOKY OFF!
mg> ah yes. italian man-tits. your ticket to non-stop entertainment.
mg> ok, so fine, it looks like one of my family gatherings.
mg> i love the orange blood in this movie
mg> this movie is like batman the animated series, what with the retro look
* Plumm would love to see Black Caesar: TAS.
BryanL> Pool kill!
mg> tonight on black caesar: "when the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie,that's... DEATH!"
MrBooze> Ah, they're making gazpacho
mg> greasy italian soup. just add italians.
Plumm> Idiots. Now they can't sneak in and use their pool. What was the point of all the killing?
mg> and hammer breaks the tension with some philip glass onthe piano
Plumm> I want Cardoza's territory and Francis' film stock!
mg> peter sellers?
Plumm> Every white character in this is played by Peter Sellers. Quite a tour-de-force.
KevinL> That car is a vehicular manifestation of the size of the blacktion hero's genitalia.
BryanL> Everything's a manifestation of genitalia to you, isn't it, Kevin.
Plumm> But now, back to our show.
Ironf> Is he gonna kill his own daddy?
KevinL> He's packin' a Han Solo blaster?
MrBooze> So, Caesar, what he's trying to say is that you're a HARD BASTARD! RIGHT!
mg> who's singning in the background? celine dion?
BryanL> Why do I expect her outfit to have "Normal View" printed on it.
Plumm> Black Caeasr establishes the first black gated community.
GersonK> This whole thing is just him entering houses.
GersonK> Not a railing kill, but it'll do
Ironf> ohh so sorry Gerson, just a stairwell kill
BryanL> What rolls down stairs, alone or in pairs, and makes a whining sound?
SirDude> I'm gona take him back up stairs and throw him over the railing!
SirDude> So when the guy talks back, he hits the girl.
mgrasso> slapped her so hard her afro flew into new jersey
Plumm> Pop some Propecia, babe. Just don't handle any broken tablets, as you're so wont to, yo.
Ironf> I knew the X-Files was involved somehow
mgrasso> and the "killing bruthas" montage commences
BryanL> His scream was awfully girly for such a big guy.
GersonK> He shot the horse!
KevinL> It's like we're watching these people walk around doing things, while every so often an off-camera sniper picks one of them off.
Ironf> Do they call him MR. Gibbs?
KevinL> 50 large in a Trapper Keeper? Not wise.
* Plumm laughs at Trapper Keepers.
Plumm> Van Cleef & Van Patten First Mutual.
KevinL> This movie certainly has its share of busting of caps in peoples asses.
BryanL> Fear and Loathing in Unspecified Downtown Area.
Plumm> Brutha, don't go raping mailboxes, you get yourself hurt.
GersonK> You see, now with Guiliani, you could only do that for for a block or two
Plumm> One of the Fifth Element cabs would be handy about now.
MrBooze> Suddenly it's Spike Lee's "It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad Mad Mad World"
MrBooze> Et Tu, Moesha?
SirDude> Wow. nice nipple ring.
mgrasso> and... he attempts a cure light wounds spell
BryanL> Nothing like a little faith healing to give your movie that extra touch of soul.
GersonK> Man, sinatra really let himself go
GersonK> And Bryant gumbel is dead. and there was much rejoicing
mgrasso> the light and fluffy "bruthas mowed down in cold blood" montage
SirDude> Damn! Must find the book that lets me into the batcave!
MrBooze> The cat's on the stand-up bass again.
KevinL> Was that a life and death game of cat and Mauser?
MrBooze> Maybe if he'd just give it a chance, he'd find that he LIKES BOOTBLACKING VERY MUCH!
KevinL> So, there's a dead guy walled up in this room somewhere?
MrBooze> Someone accidentally turned on the "Mother's Heartbeet" sound soother.
GersonK> Looks like everybody's gonna die. Just like sheakespeare. Truly, this is great literature.
MrBooze> The old guy really shouldn't have said he hopes the Jazz wins
Ironf> and now the soulfull epilogue
mgrasso> yuck. he's klingon.
mgrasso> are they attacking him with gynecological equipment?
Ironf> Was that a piece of the fender of a car?
Plumm> This is like that one Star Trek episode where the Space Children whoop up on Shat.
MrBooze> Black Caesar! Bonk Bonk! On the head!
Plumm> the ledger!
KevinL> Live by the beat-down, die by the beat-down.
MrBooze> Must be another garbage strike.
mgrasso> still shot. still shot. still shot.
* KevinL anxiously awaits the Black Samson/King Crimson crossover battle.
MrBooze> Black Caesar will now sleep for centuries under a pile of garbage, until he is needed again and a young black girl will sing him back to life.
LOVELY SOOTHING DIALOGUE
"You don't know a lot of things."
"I'll cut your black balls off."
"You're a coke nigger."
"And you're full of SHIT! You ain't got no gun."
"Since when do spades make as much as whites?"
"...when we have control of those celebrated ledgers..."
"Right now you're high as a junkie with a hundred dollar habit."
"You been takin' dope?"
"I knew you was gonna end up a dope fiend."
"Jewish folk ain't even allowed in here."
"Oh Lord, have mercy on this old black woman's soul."
"It's a jungle, and it takes a jungle bunny to run it."
James Brown was responsible for the entire soundtrack to Black Caesar. The economics of the 70s demanded that each soul artist had to perform at least one blaxploitation soundtrack. The Godfather of Soul, as we know, performed the songs for Black Caesar. Can you match the other (not necessarily soulful) soul saviors with their funky motion pictures?
|1. Black Belt Jones||a. Isaac Hayes|
|2. Black Samson||b. Roy Ayers|
|3. Blacula||c. Gordon Parks|
|4. Coffy||d. Gene Page|
|5. Dolemite||e. Dennis Coffy|
|6. Foxy Brown/The Mack||f. Willie Hutch|
|7. Shaft||g. Allen Toussaint|
|8. Shaft's Big Score||h. Curtis Mayfield|
|9. Shaft in Africa||i. Melvin Van Peebles|
|10. Superfly||j. Arthur Wright|
|11. Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song||k. Johnny Pate|
ANSWERS TO QUIZ
HOW DID YOU DO?
11 correct: the mack
8-10 correct: pimp
5-7 correct: soul brotha
2-4 correct: wack
1 correct: honky
HOW DID YOU DO?