HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Whoopee Boys, The
Set, The
Cyrano de Bergerac
Death Walks in Laredo
Gemini Man
End of the Century
If Beale Street Could Talk
Raining in the Mountain
Day Shall Come, The
Scandal
Buzzard
Race for Your Life, Charlie Brown
Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon, A
Sons of Denmark
Light of My Life
Umbrellas of Cherbourg, The
Jerky Boys, The
Chambre en Ville, Une
Joker
Relaxer
Mustang, The
Baie des Anges, La
Ready or Not
Seven Days in May
Bliss
Hollywood Shuffle
Uncut Gems
Wilt
Daniel Isn't Real
Presidio, The
Curvature
Puzzle
Farewell, The
Challenge of the Tiger
Ad Astra
Winslow Boy, The
Pain and Glory
Judgment at Nuremberg
Rambo: Last Blood
Sansho the Bailiff
   
 
Newest Articles
Godzilla Goes to Hollywood
Demy-Wave: The Essential Jacques Demy on Blu-ray
The Makings of a Winner: Play It Cool! on Blu-ray
Sony Channel's Before They Were Famous: A Galaxy of Stars
Start Worrying and Hate the Bomb: Fail-Safe on Blu-ray
Completely Different: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 2 on Blu-ray
Bash Street Kid: Cosh Boy on Blu-ray
Seeing is Believing: Being There on Blu-ray
Top Thirty Best (and Ten Worst) Films of the 2010s by Andrew Pragasam
Top of the Tens: The Best Films of the Decade by Graeme Clark
Terrorvision: A Ghost Story for Christmas in the 1970s
Memories Are Made of This: La Jetee and Sans Soleil on Blu-ray
Step Back in Time: The Amazing Mr. Blunden on Blu-ray
Crazy Cats and Kittens: What's New Pussycat on Blu-ray
No Place Like Home Guard: Dad's Army - The Lost Episodes on Blu-ray
A Real-Life Pixie: A Tribute to Michael J. Pollard in Four Roles
We're All In This Together: The Halfway House on Blu-ray
Please Yourselves: Frankie Howerd and The House in Nightmare Park on Blu-ray
Cleesed Off: Clockwise on Blu-ray
Sorry I Missed You: Les Demoiselles de Rochefort on Blu-ray
Silliest of the Silly: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 1 on Blu-ray
Protest Songs: Hair on Blu-ray
Peak 80s Schwarzenegger: The Running Man and Red Heat
Rock On: That'll Be the Day and Stardust on Blu-ray
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
   
 
  Bucktown Hammer To CallBuy this film here.
Year: 1975
Director: Arthur Marks
Stars: Fred Williamson, Pam Grier, Thalmus Rasulala, Tony King, Bernie Hamilton, Art Lund, Tierre Turner, Morgan Upton, Carl Weathers, Jim Bohan, Robert Burton, Gene Simms, Bruce Watson, Jody Maxwell
Genre: Drama, Action, Thriller
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Duke Johnson (Fred Williamson) has arrived in Bucktown tonight, because he received word that his bar-owning brother who lived there has died, and he felt he had to be present for the funeral. On stepping off the train, the first thing he sees is a white cop beating up a black guy, which doesn't give him much optimism about the place, then the taxi driver he hires to take himself to the bar neglects to mention that it's been closed since his brother passed away a couple of days ago. Duke decides to set off for the nearby hotel alone, and when he gets there and checks in he finds himself offered the services of the local prostitutes. No, it's not a great town, but Duke will be drawn into it further than he ever expected...

By 1975 the Blaxploitation phenomenon was winding down, but it had created some stars who would continue to bring in audiences no matter that the idea of films created for African American audiences was beginning to evolve, or run out of steam, depending on your perspective on the whole genre (if a large group of films with such diverse examples could be termed a genre). It would find a new lease of life as hip hop culture began to establish itself in the nineteen-eighties, but leading men like Fred Williamson were not going to roll over just because popular tastes were changing, and he carried on his career wherever he was wanted, which included Europe where he was a fairly substantial exploitation star.

Bucktown showed up just at the point where Williamson was finding his American movies were not the moneyspinners they once were, and accompanying him was perhaps the most admired Blaxploitation celebrity of the era, Pam Grier, who played Aretha (thus making her... the actual Queen of Soul Cinema?), single mother widow of his brother. She was well appreciated for taking what could be stock roles and making a little something special out of them, and so it was here as she could have been the regulation love interest and left it at that, but instead provided a genuine, righteous anger to her performance that assisted in keeping it clear why Duke should hang around in this hellhole and try to clean the town up, almost solo as it turned out.

He did have the backing of Aretha, her young son Steve (Tierre Turner) and in a part that may surprise fans of cop show Starsky and Hutch, Bernie Hamilton as local drunk Harley. He would make his name ordering Paul Michael Glaser and David Soul about on TV, but this demonstrated he had more range than that would indicate as he played a rather pathetic, put upon character who was intended to elicit sympathy as the representative of the townfolk who were being oppressed and taken advantage of without seeing any way out of it, so they just keep gambling, drinking and whoring to keep the reality of their situation at bay. Initially, it is the Sheriff's department that is responsible for this prevalence of crime, and when Duke twigs that it was they who murdered his brother (he was told he died after falling ill) he is on the vengeance trail.

What was interesting was that Bucktown was not content to leave it as a Western in Blaxploitation dress and spend the rest of the film seeing Duke get the better of the corrupt police, for he brought in his big city chums to help him. Led by Thalmus Rasulala as Roy (and including a young Carl Weathers among their number, the year before Rocky), they seem like decent chaps until one of them disrespects Aretha, at which point your ears may prick up and you can see where this was heading. Basically, once Duke's associates take over the town they are just as bad as the cops were, and he must contend with the knowledge he has unleashed a monster of his own making, leaving him as the last good man who can actually make a difference as opposed to joining the bad guys or allowing them to do as they will. This culminated in a lot of violence as you might expect, with an armoured car coming in handy for memorable scenes and a huge man on man brawl to finish things off with a flourish. As a Blaxploitation Animal Farm, it was more intelligent than some of its lowest common denominator contemporaries, and delivered with the over the top action too. Music by Johnny Pate.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1533 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
  Butch Elliot
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
Paul Shrimpton
   

 

Last Updated: