The Black Godfather Reviews
This is a run-of-the-mill effort in both genres.
What we get here is the typical story of a street punk who goes from rags to riches and works his way up the ladder to criminal stardom. There's turf wars, drug trades, and a push to force the Man out of the ghetto.
Even such a basic and well worn premise can still make for a good movie if done right. But here, the results are just basic, cookie cutter formula rehashings. It's not even that engaging or memorable of a movie. It does try a little bit, but not nearly enough. At least the music is decent though. That's probably the best part, really. If not for that, this would be even more forgettable.
But the best part is definitely the description of the music in the subtitles. Not that it saves the movie or anything, but it does add an extra star or so of amusement.
JJ is a black crime boss that is slowly taking over the entire neighborhood. One of the drugs creeping through his neighborhood is heroine. When JJ does some digging, he discovers the source of the heroine is a rival crime boss in a small corner of an area he doesn't control. JJ decides to extend the reach of his gang and squeeze the heroine dealer out of business. The heroine dealer will not go out quietly.
"You pimp everything and everybody in the neighborhood."
John Evans, director of Speeding up Time, Blackjack, and the upcoming The Accident, delivers The Black Godfather. The storyline for this picture is fairly straightforward and not overly imaginative. The action scenes were okay and the script was fairly clever. The acting was below par and the cast includes Rod Perry, Tony Burton, Damu King, and Jimmy Witherspoon.
"I'll fuck you for it."
"Close your eyes and pretend it's me."
I watched this off Netflix as another potentially interesting Blaxploitation film. I found it just okay with some nice characters and action scenes but a cliché plot and direction. Overall, I recommend seeing this maybe once but it definitely isn't a classic addition to the genre.
"I'm the man that recognizes talent."
"The Black Godfather" is a 1970s crime drama/action film of the blacksploitation school, with all the stereotypes that implies. Nothing that happens and nothing that is said is any surprise--except perhaps for the drag-queen assassin with the blowgun--and my guess isthat you've seen what this film has to offer done better elsewhere. Plus, it's short on drama and action, but long on talkie bits espousing black power, coming from a guy who ultimately is just looking to enrich himself. (At least there's the counterpoint in the form of a thug who truly is devoted to the concept of black empowerment.)
The one thing this movie has going for is is a cast of actors who are better-than-usual for movies of this type and in this budget range. Despite the movie's sluggish pacing and cliched story and characters, these excellent actors manage to keep the viewers engaged. (In fact, I don't think there's anyone who appears in a speaking role who didn't deserve to be in a better movie than this.
Starring: Rod Perry, Don Chastain, Jimmy Witherspoon, Damu King,and Duncan McLeod
Director: John Evans