HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
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
Iron Fury
Ride in the Whirlwind
Deathstalker II
Cloak and Dagger
Honeyland
Love Ban, The
   
 
Newest Articles
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
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
   
 
  Top of the Heap Life's Hard And Then You're FlyBuy this film here.
Year: 1972
Director: Christopher St. John
Stars: Christopher St. John, Paula Kelly, Florence St. Peter, Leonard Kuras, John Alderson, Patrick McVey, Allen Garfield, Ingeborg Sørensen, Ron Douglas, John McMurtry, Damu King, Ji-Tu Cumbuka, Brian Cutler, Jerry Jones, Willie Harris, Almeria Quinn
Genre: Drama, Thriller, Weirdo
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Officer George Latimer (Christopher St. John) is hurtling towards a crisis in his mind. For a start, his mother died recently, which has sent him into a turmoil, but there are other things that have been bubbling up in his thoughts that render his days something of an ordeal, not least because as a cop, his job is not allowing him any respect. He has been passed over for promotion too many times to be a coincidence, and as an African American he is accused of letting down his race over and over in a community that regards the police as the enemy. To add to that, his daughter has hit puberty and brought with that a whole host of issues, including underage sex and possible dealings with drugs. What is a man to do?

Christopher St. John's claim to fame in 1972, when this, his directorial debut, was released, was that he had played the leader of the black power activists in that groundbreaking detective movie Shaft, out the year before this. Someone must have been impressed with him there as he got the chance not simply to direct his pet project, but write and produce it into the bargain, as proudly announced in the opening titles which constituted a freeze frame of him looking suitably heroic as his character is about to wade into a riot. A riot that while chaotic, appears to be a fight between hippy protestors and construction workers that included a tearing up of an American flag, an image he returned to.

Indeed, the flag and all it represented was very much on St John's mind, on this evidence at any rate, as he introduced it to a collection of shots which brought into question his personal place in the nation, as well as that of those of his race. If this is sounding rather dry, then there was another, parallel story to Latimer's anguish, which was either his fantasies or really happening in another dimension where his counterpart was an astronaut, among the three-man team about to be the first on the Moon. Yet these sequences were frequently surreal, as if wish fulfilment were clashing with harsh reality and conjuring up a jumble of conflicting emotions, so we see Latimer in his suit on the satellite, then it is farcically revealed to be on a sound stage in a studio.

Either the director had recently seen a certain, unexplained scene in Diamonds are Forever, or he had begun to read a bunch of conspiracy literature, and the movement to disprove the fact that mankind had made the Moon visit had started earlier than often supposed. Whatever, that cynicism, that jaded rejection of the truth in favour of a surly belief system where little was to be trusted outside of your own experience which may be far from reliable was part and parcel of the astronaut sequences, but there was a hint at comedy too when for example spaceman George takes out a joint in the middle of a press interview and begins smoking it, or when he has escaped a capsule that exploded a minute before thanks to a disembodied voice telling him to "Get out of the machine!" and he is in a hospital room that sees him catered for in a sexual manner by the nurse (a former Miss Norway).

Back in this dimension, Latimer is trying to juggle his hectoring home life with his working environment, both of which have him insulted at every turn and seriously doubting his worth and vocation. He also has a mistress, played by Paula Kelly but not given the benefit of a name (she's merely credited as playing "Black Chick"), who he would love to run away with until the implications of that dream intrude and serve to ruin that fantasy as well; plus the other fantasy where he and his mistress run through a forest naked and smash up a watermelon to rub all over their bodies. Whatever turns you on, man. This was all painfully sincere, which kind of took the ridiculous edge off what was blatantly a deeply personal statement, but there was so much here that was absurd purely because of that single-minded vision it kept you watching to see what St. John would come up with next. What he actually came up with were a smattering of acting roles and a belated second film, a documentary about his experiences in a controversial cult in India. Quite a life. Funky music by J.J. Johnson.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 937 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: