Sunday, January 25, 2009

Run, Just RUN!!!

The Black Connection Or Run Ni**er Run! (1974)
D. Michael Finn
Something Weird Video

Full Frame

This Las Vegas based blaxploitation anti-epic released by Box Office International Pictures is a riot. It appears to have been made as a vanity project for the R&B soul group The Checkmates limited who do all the funkadelic music for the flick as well as star in most of the lead roles. Anytime there is a lull in the action, which is about every three to five minutes their music kicks in to fill in the gaps. One viewer on IMDB mentioned that this makes the film the perfect late night viewing with your sweetheart because it gives you perfect time to cuddle up and kiss on your sweet heart with great soul music in the background every few minutes without missing any important action! The music is fantastic imitation Motown with a heavy (and I do mean HEAVY) layer of keyboards and moog synths mixed in. You can groove hard to The Checkmates man. And you get plenty of opportunity to do it too.

The plot is a confusing mess, and it seems that a bunch of the movie is missing as characters are introduced and never figure back into the action at all. But the gyst of it is the Miles Carter (Bobby Stevens) is a big time black Pimp/Dope pusher on the West Side of Las Vegas. He has made a deal with the Don, the big Italian mafioso who runs the rest of Vegas, but the deal has gone sour because somewhere along the line half a key of dope has gone missing. It is never explained where that dope went by the way. So various allegiances are made and broken, double crosses are planned and carried out, and a couple of honkies who hate Miles are pretending to be a Hooker and John to get close to the man to rub him out. Then there is the pudgy, and possibly gay, hitman on his case, who stands around in the background and smokes a lot. As the film progresses the cast gets whittled down in various shotgun rubouts until the almost Greek tragedy style ending that quotes the bible!

This is the typical no budget regional filmmaking from the 70's that made the era great fun. Yeah it is a bad movie, the acting is atrocious, the filmmaking technique is pretty rotten. But it is filled with enough charm to carry it through ten Hollywood blockbusters today. Just the dialogue alone in this movie demands a viewing. Take for example the whore who is describing her run in with the lesbian bodygaurd of the Don "that bitch don't understand what to do when she runs into a lady, and make no mistake I'm a motherfuckin LADY!" while sitting topless in bed with a nerdy white nebbish guy. And naturally this prostitute character is one that doesn't come back. Or the junkie white whore who calles Miles on the phone to get her fix "You know why I called, and its not because I miss your big black swinging dong, though it is good baby!" She doesn't show back up either. Sometimes the characters don't even have to say anything to be entertaining like Mile's girlfriend who is the most serious looking woman I have ever seen. She has painted on eyebrows that go half way up her forhead that Divine would applaud, and a look on her face at all times like someone in the room just farted. This woman is severe! No matter what is being talked about she looks like she is gonna cut some motherfucker at any moment. She's not unattractive, just mean looking. I was afraid of her. Then there was the chubby white hitman. He has probably the film's best scene when he springs into action with a totally unexpected kung fu fight scene where he totally obliterates a Mafia guy with ease. It comes out of nowhere, you don't expect it, and frankly it aint all that convincing. But after a half hour of this guy just walking around smoking cigarettes and looking at people it was refreshing to see him go into action. And I haven't even mention the mafia guys yet. In a movie that wears its racial stereotypes with pride, these guys are the top of the line. Greasy, with frightening combovers, always stuffing their faces with food and wine, smoking cigars and talking in wiseguy speak that makes Goodfellas look tame. There's a Cuban guy too but you can't really understand him at all. But he doesn't live very long anyway.

The movie is mercilessly padded with long scenes of people driving around, or shots of locations. When Miles goes to a resort town there is loooong montages of him riding a ski lift up and mountain and then back down the mountain. All so they can pad the movie out and wedge in some more of the smooth ass Checkmates limited music. So that's your cue to grab your sweetie and get some quick lovin in before the next round of action.

This is low end stuff that makes Dolemite look sophisticated and well made. But if you are in the right mood, it is a whole lot of fun. A real case of they don't make 'em like this anymore.

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