Saturday, October 24, 2015

557. SUPER FLY (1972)

Running Time: 93 minutes
Directed By: Gordon Parks Jr.
Written By: Phillip Fenty
Main Cast: Ron O'Neal, Carl Lee, Sheila Frazier, Julius Harris, Charles McGregor
Click here to view the trailer


It was September 20, 2009 when I had marked off my tenth tick from THE BOOK, my feet barely soiled from the journey that I had embarked on. Now, six years and one month later, I can see the finish line and it's a little sad, although I can't say I'll be sorry for the trip to be over, with tripe like Super Fly coming down the pike.

It's blaxploitation folks, which means the man who wrote the title song is probably a lot more famous than the man who had the starring role (see Issac Hayes and Curtis Mayfield - continue to ignore Ron O'Neal and Richard Roundtree). Here Ron O'Neal plays Youngblood Priest (bad ass name, I'll give him that), a cocaine dealer and a ladies man who is looking to get out of "the life". In other words, he wants to go straight, except he'll need one more big score to garner enough cash to retire and live happily ever after. that's what he does. Look, there's really not much to it, guys. Youngblood goes to one of his old, dope dealing cronies and manages to talk him into selling him 30 kilos of cocaine and in turn, Youngblood partners up with fellow drug dealer, Eddie (Lee). It all boils down to the end, with the cops on their tail and still a little bit of product let to unload before Youngblood can sail off into the sunset.

Before I tear into THE BOOK for including this piece of garbage, can I just say, one more time, how grateful I am that the GREAT people over at Barron's Educational have been so kind & generous to me over the years, sending me approximately $105 in free 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die books. They're shelved with barely a scratch on them and though I'm not a braggart, if I were to boast about anything, it would be about how my reviews gained enough attention to be sent review copies of the very BOOK I'm writing about. Thank you Eric and company, you are all fantastic people and I'll always recommend your book to any prospective film connoisseur or potential film buff. Now then...

First of all - they misspelled the title, Literally every other site I've looked at (Netflix, IMDb, Wikipedia, iCheck) has it listed as "Super Fly", not "Superfly" as THE BOOK has it. Even the poster to the film CLEARLY says "Super SPACE Fly". (That just gave me a fantastic idea for a movie of my own where a superhuman Jeff Goldblum manages to exist in space....I digress). It reeks of amateur hour when the title of the movie you're PRAISING is misspelled. Speaking of amateur hours, let's move on and talk about the film itself.

Seriously? Seriously? I "MUST" see this? Seriously? I mean, this is the very definition of "amateur hour", with no name actors struggling to put on a "little show" has a pencil thin plot. The acting was awful, the story was bush league...seriously, are there any GOOD blaxploitation movies? or are they just all the same film? Super macho guy has lots of sex and always comes out at the end smelling like roses, despite optional drug use or pimping? Is that the long & short of it? Should I bother to rent Coffy or some other unnamed Pam Grier, Fred Williamson movie? (Seriously though - I could totally go for a good Fred Williamson/Pam Grier vehicle right now).

Alright, alright, I had my fun. Actually this wasn't as bad as all that. Sure, it will garner a the lowest rating I've given out all day, but to be honest, I got into this more than either of the other two movies I watched today. It's just that, I can freely admit that while I jived with this one the best, it was clearly bad filmmaking. And, you know, it got me to thinking - maybe that's why I love Quentin Tarantino. Here's a guy who took the genres that I detest and showed me a shining example. It's like he's saying "No man, you just don't get the greatness of these genres - here, I'll show you a gleaming example and sort of spruce it up a bit and I think you'll get it!". Every time I start a blaxploitation film, I think of Jackie Brown, every time I start a martial arts film I think of Kill Bill. I'm kind of getting way off topic here, but it popped into my head during the viewing of this, so I'm laying it out on the table.One last thought: did Tarantino get the bag swap at the end of Jackie Brown from this movie or was that from Elmore Leonard's original material?

Yeah, this was shit, even though i could totally dig the music and the scenes of the times,

RATING: 3.5/10  Let me say it again...AMATEUR HOUR! Clearly Fantastic Planet was the best movie I watched all day, even though I gelled with it the least of the three. Hard to explain.


October 24, 2015  7:40pm

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