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The 100




Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song
(1971)
Reviewed by Scott Murdock
Rating: 10 Beans

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orget "Catholic High School Girls In Trouble"... though "Sweet Sweetback" is harldy "more erotic than 'Deep Throat'", it is definitely "more offensive than 'Mandingo', and more shocking than 'Behind the Green Door'".

Very rarely does a film begin with child pornography during the opening credits, then go on to display penises, strap-ons, sex parties, a fat man defecating, brutal beatings, brutal torture (a man has his eardrums blown out one by one by the police), slow and agonizing murders, sex acts with nearly every female character, rotting dead skinned dogs, a gangrenous pus-infected wound, and an interesting use of what is probably urine but quite possibly may be semen.

All this with a musical score that you will never forget... not because it is particularly good, but because on the endless droning repetition... over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over.... di di di di DAH DAH DAAAAHHHHH.... di di di di DAH DAH DAAAHHHHH....

You know, the above description probably guarantees that 75% of those of you who read this will now go out and see this movie for yourselves. :)

After the torture of watching this movie, my wife turned to me and said, "You know, this movie reminds me in a way of 'The Emperor's New Clothes'." I asked her what she meant by that. She explained that in "The Emperor's New Clothes", a con man tricks the king into paying for a new wardrobe. The con-man convinces the king that the fabric is a special kind that is invisible to those who are not worthy. Of course there really are no clothes at all, but neither the king nor the members of his court nor his subjects will admit to not seeing clothes on the king because they believe the con-man.

In the case of "Sweet Sweetback's Badassss Song", Melvin van Peebles is the con-man. He sold his movie as the first movie made by, with, and for the black community, to be a movie telling the story of the black community from its own point of view, rather than all previous movies which portrayed the black community from the point of view of "the man". Of course what has actually happened is that Melvin van Peebles created a load of racist, stereotypical crap. But, after that sales pitch he made, who in the black community would want to point out that the movie is crap? That would surely be interpreted as selling out to the establishment. So, as a result, we ended up with a lot of similar movies over the next several years and the blaxploitation genre was born.


Other reviews for this movie:

Ken M. Wilson




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