The Black Godfather - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Black Godfather Reviews

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½ February 2, 2016
Kinda scraping the bottom of the barrel with my Blaxploitation selections this time around, and this one isn't any sort of exception, with only a few interesting moments to set it apart from the rest of the crowd.

Rental? Maybe?
March 9, 2014
Don't let your mouth overload your ass.

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."

Grade: C-
cosmo313
Super Reviewer
½ February 25, 2014
I dig mob movies...as well as Blaxploitation films..and on the occasions that the two would mix, I have been pleased. But that is not quite the case here.

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.
February 17, 2014
Watch this on Netflix with subtitles on. The plot has potential but is poorly executed. Most of the screen time is talkin' and walkin'.

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.
½ October 27, 2012
Hasn't had the lasting impact of The Godfather but not bad. Unlike Pacino, JJ rises from humble roots (with bodyguard Sonny) up the underworld to take on a white drug cartel who sell to ghetto kids. Black crimelords apparently have more scruples.
½ November 15, 2011
Some community-minded individuals squeeze out the mob influence and heroin traffic in the black community. Seems like a bit of a stretch. Part of a wave of second tier blaxploitation cinema in the mid-70s, but still recommended for the genre completist.
½ November 27, 2010
With the popularity of "The Godfather" and "The Godfather Part II" in the early 70's it would only be a matter of time before a Blaxploitation imitation of those epics oozed its way into the grindhouse cinemas. They made "Blacula", "Blackenstein" and "Dr. Black Mr. Hyde" so "The Black Godfather" seems like it's a step in the right direction as now the genre is cloning academy award winning films opposed to horror B-movies. Sadly the combination of such grand films and the interesting Blaxploitation genre didn't come out near as promising or entertaining as one might expect and even the Blaxploitation horror knock-offs are far better than this.

Our film opens up with two goons trying to hold up a place and they both end up shot, one dying and the other being taken in by the "Black Godfather" who in turn saves his life. Our "Black Godfather" takes J. J. (NFL star Rod Perry) under his wing and soon J.J. becomes the black godfather himself and decides to clean up his hood from drugs and starts a personal war against a rival white gang.

The perplexing aspect of the plot is that J.J.'s going murders and robs which seems to be kosher but drugs pushes their ethical line over the edge. Murdering in cold blood is so much better than selling crack to a teenager...sheesh. That just makes no sense and the thought of it is quite laugh inducing.

The acting is as expected for a low budget Blaxploiation effort but the filmmaking is quite poor. The direction is shoddy, the sound is deplorable, and the editing is sloppy. I even saw the shadows of the camera crew a few times during driving sequences. The score is just dreadful and makes a blood drop from your ear lob after a half hour of having it stab into your eardrum.

With a title like "The Black Godfather" this should have been a monumental effort in the Blaxploitation subgenre. I mean your referencing one of the best films ever made! Thanks to poor filmmaking all around it doesn't live up to the concept and just comes out being another poorly made Blaxploitation effort . It may not be the worst the genre has to offer, but there are many many many more better examples and I only recommend this for viewing for the most hard-core fans.
366weirdmovies
Super Reviewer
½ July 3, 2010
An idealistic black gangster organizes the ghetto to push out the white dope dealers. Surprisingly talky and fairly forgettable; the plot just barely keeps you interested in watching to the end.
April 6, 2010
The black godfather and the Godfather needs to be in the same movie....that was f**kin awesome!!!
½ February 19, 2010
Hasn't had the lasting impact of The Godfather but not bad. Unlike Pacino, JJ rises from humble roots (with bodyguard Sonny) up the underworld to take on a white drug cartel who sell to ghetto kids. Black crimelords apparently have more scruples.
½ September 24, 2009
Well, he's black, but he sure as shit is no "Godfather". He's basically only trying to control a bit of a city, I'm pretty sure the Corleones controlled America. there's one great scene where a broad sneaks into a cops house, shoots the guy with a poisoned blow dart, then beats the piss out of his junkie girlfriend, and that's about as good as this bore fest gets. If you need Blaxploitation, you can do a lot better.
½ July 20, 2009
Decent soundtrack but the film is just a bit shit, to be honest. Clunky dialogue and a wafer thin plot with not much else to back it up. Apollo Creed's trainer is in it though, playing an ex pro, lolz.
May 1, 2009
Alright first off if this happened "white godfather" whould win. Seccond off hes italion not white!
October 4, 2007
Career criminal JJ (Perry) sets about uniting black hoods and militants under his leadership so he can drive the mafia from the black neighborhoods and take over their criminal rackets in the name of black liberation and money for JJ.

"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.


Black Godfather
Starring: Rod Perry, Don Chastain, Jimmy Witherspoon, Damu King,and Duncan McLeod
Director: John Evans
April 21, 2004
John Evans' 1974 Black Godfather has been deemed a classic Blaxploitation film. However, compared to other films of it's time, most notably Sweet Sweetback and The Mack, Black Godfather is a tamed version of Blaxploitation. It carries the familiar themes of the genre, black guys being good, strong, etc., the cops being crooked, the whites are the villians, the women are mere objects. The violence is relatively tame also for this genre, there is not much graphic violence. The storyline is tight, predictable, but tight. There is, of course, the obligatory sex scenes, the obligatory full frontal nude woman scene, the bloody wound scene, all staples of the genre. The reason I rate this film so high, comparatively speaking, is beacuse of all the films I've seen in this genre, this is one of the better ones. If comparing to your standard Hollywood film, this rating would probably be lower. The genre doesn't work for all people, but for those who are fans, this film should keep you entertained.
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