HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn
Gentlemen Broncos
To the Stars
Lady Godiva Rides Again
Angelfish
Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ
Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, A
This is a Hijack
Loved One, The
Jumanji: The Next Level
Krabi 2562
Call of the Wild, The
Diary of a Country Priest
Sea Fever
Throw Down
Grudge, The
Green Man, The
Specialists, The
Convoy
Romantic Comedy
Going Ape!
Rabid
Infinite Football
Little Women
Camino Skies
Ema
Another Shore
Cry Havoc
Legend of the Stardust Brothers, The
Mystery Team
Westward the Women
Demonwarp
Man Who Killed Don Quixote, The
Chloe
Jojo's Bizarre Adventure
Murder Inferno
Extraction
Overlanders, The
Can You Keep a Secret?
Women in Revolt
   
 
Newest Articles
Who Watched The Watchmen?
The Golden Age of Colonic Irrigation: Monty Python Series 4 on Blu-ray
Lady of Pleasure: Lola Montes on Blu-ray
Take You to the Gay Bar: Funeral Parade of Roses on Blu-ray
Hit for Ms: Mark Cousins' Women Make Film on Blu-ray
Look Sinister: The 1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse on Blu-ray
Star Wars Triple Threat: The Tricky Third Prequel and Sequel
I Can See for Miles: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes on Blu-ray
Too Much Pressure: The Family Way on Blu-ray
The Alan Key: Alan Klein and What a Crazy World on Blu-ray
A Japanese Ghost Story: Kwaidan on Blu-ray
The Zu Gang: Zu Warriors from the Magic Mountain on Blu-ray
Reality TV: The Year of the Sex Olympics on DVD
The Young and the Damned: They Live By Night on Blu-ray
Mind How You Go: The Best of COI on Blu-ray
Der Kommissar's in Town: Babylon Berlin Series 3 on DVD
The End of Civilisation as We Know It: The 50th Anniversary
The Whalebone Box: The Andrew Kotting Interview
Being Human: The Elephant Man on 4K UHD Blu-ray
It's! Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 3 on Blu-ray
Put the Boot In: Villain on Blu-ray
The Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 2: Vic Pratt Interview
All the Lonely People: Sunday Bloody Sunday on Blu-ray
Desperate Characters: Beat the Devil on Blu-ray
Chansons d'Amour: Alfie Darling on Blu-ray
   
 
  Shaft in Africa The Brother Man In The Motherland
Year: 1973
Director: John Guillermin
Stars: Richard Roundtree, Frank Finlay, Vonetta McGee, Neda Arneric, Debebe Eshetu, Spiros Focás, Jacques Herlin, Jho Jhenkins, Willie Jonah, Adolfo Lastretti, Marne Maitland, Frank McRae, Zenebech Tadesse, A.V. Falana, James E. Myers, Nadim Sawalha
Genre: Action, Thriller, AdventureBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: In Paris, a young man has tried to escape the criminals who have captured him; he was working undercover to bust a slavery ring but was exposed and as he awaits his fate, he writes a message in his native Ethiopian language on the wall with his handcuffs, but the order comes through from the boss Mr Amafi (Frank Finlay) to have him killed. While all this is going on, the New York City private detective John Shaft (Richard Roundtree) is jogging when he notices some young punks stealing the hubcaps from his car, so he chases them off and returns to his apartment. However, as he does so he is confronted by a large African gentleman who demands he accompany him - Shaft resists, and ends up with a tranquiliser dart in him.

The first two Shaft movies were very much part of the blaxploitation scene, with their urban settings, African-American performers featured more prominently than the white ones, and funky soundtracks they more or less set out the rules for such productions for others to follow, and in some cases better. When it came to the third instalment before some TV executives decided the character was ideal for a series of watered down weekly adventures in a shortlived show, there was the not quite like the others African excursion. Creator Ernest Tidyman had nothing to do with the storyline this time around, as the script was penned by Stirling Silliphant, a writer no stranger to camp.

But there was a more serious tone to this than say, the Dino De Laurentiis King Kong remake which both Silliphant and director John Guillermin worked on, which may have been surprising when the main inspiration was more James Bond than the private eye source had been, and that franchise was known for its leaning towards the humour, especially in the nineteen-seventies. Indeed, while Shaft was going back to his roots in Ethiopia, Bond was clashing with blaxploitation figures in Live and Let Die, yet they were not quite interchangeable as you couldn't envisage Roger Moore, for example, appearing quite as nude as Roundtree did here, nor as often. This was assuredly a grown-up thriller, with the language and the action hewing close to the R rating.

And also the sex scenes, as Shaft could get away with a lot more in that department than 007, which led to him bedding the daughter of the Colonel who hires him, Aleme played by Vonetta McGee right after Blacula had fallen for her. She also mentions she will be subjected to female circumcision which she seems surprisingly blasé about, though one night with our hero and she sees the sense in having the pleasure of an untampered with clitoris, so hooray for that champion of international women's rights John Shaft. But there was another woman he gets up close and personal with, a curious individual named Jazar, played by Yugoslavian actress (and future politician) Neda Arneric who is Amifi's ladyfriend and also a nymphomaniac aroused by the sight of slaves working in the hot sun with their shirts off.

The sort of character only a mainstream thriller from the seventies would be able to get away with, basically, and though she's nice enough to Shaft it's no surprise how the film deems her fate should be, which is a bit much. There was a tendency for everyone Shaft got close to aside from Aleme to meet some dire peril, even the dog he befriends on his African quest which in disquieting scenes of authenticity ends up a floppy corpse: who knows, maybe they just drugged the pooch to get it to comply? If you could put up with the kind of dubious taste this decade would serve up as entertainment, then Shaft in Africa wasn't so bad, it certainly had a valid point to make about the issue of people trafficking and Roundtree was obviously relishing the chance to do something different with his role, even if it was taking his clothes off. Yet there were still aspects that verged on the unpalatable, take the Colonel for instance, played by Marne Maitland, patently a white actor in brown makeup and looking nothing like McGee. A weird time for movies. Music by Johnny Pate; The Four Tops do the theme.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1418 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
Enoch Sneed
  Hannah Prosser
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Butch Elliot
  Rachel Franke
Paul Smith
   

 

Last Updated: