HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
We Need to Do Something
Falbalas
Vanguard
A-X-L
Injustice
Bigfoot Hunters
Armitage III: Polymatrix
Girls Nite Out
Moxie!
Five Women for the Killer
Dolce Vita, La
Pig
I Am Belmaya
Lodger, The
Show, The
Beta Test, The
Medium, The
John and the Hole
Survivalist, The
Ape Woman, The
Black Widow
Cop Secret
Dark Eyes of London, The
V/H/S/94
Fay Grim
Night of the Animated Dead
Freshman Year
Escape Room: Tournament of Champions
Anne at 13,000 Ft.
Even Mice Belong in Heaven
Death Screams
Freakscene: The Story of Dinosaur Jr.
Demonia
East, The
Mandabi
Seance
Green Knight, The
Beasts of No Nation
One of Our Aircraft is Missing
Picture Stories
   
 
Newest Articles
Commendably Brief: Short Sharp Shocks Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Super Silents: Early Universal Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Fable Fear: The Singing Ringing Tree on Blu-ray
Gunsight Eyes: The Sabata Trilogy on Blu-ray
Bloody Bastard Baby: The Monster/I Don't Want to Be Born on Blu-ray
Night of the Animated Dead: Director Jason Axinn Interview
The ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt - Interview with Director/Star Ian Boldsworth
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
70s Sitcom Dads: Bless This House and Father Dear Father on Blu-ray
Going Under: Deep Cover on Blu-ray
Child's Play: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 3 on DVD
Poetry and Motion: Great Noises That Fill the Air on DVD
Too Much to Bear: Prophecy on Blu-ray
Truth Kills: Blow Out on Blu-ray
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
Freewheelin' - Bob Dylan: Odds and Ends on Digital
Never Sleep: The Night of the Hunter on Blu-ray
Sherlock vs Ripper: Murder by Decree on Blu-ray
   
 
  Drum Beat It
Year: 1976
Director: Steve Carver
Stars: Warren Oates, Isela Vega, Ken Norton, Pam Grier, Yaphet Kotto, John Colicos, Fiona Lewis, Paula Kelly, Royal Dano, Lillian Hayman, Cheryl Rainbeaux Smith, Alain Patrick, Brenda Sykes, Clay Tanner, Lila Finn, Henry Wills, Donna Garrett, Harvey Parry
Genre: Trash, HistoricalBuy from Amazon
Rating:  3 (from 1 vote)
Review: In Cuba during the eighteenth century, society lady Marianna (Isela Vega) threatened to bring shame upon herself when she fell in love with a slave and bore his child, although she was also romantically involved with her maid, Rachel (Paula Kelly) and together, after the slave was made an example of, they fled to New Orleans where Marianna became a successful madam. Twenty years later and the child has grown up to be Drum (Ken Norton), who acts as a slave just as his father did, only he works for his Marianna, believing that Rachel is his actual mother. One night, a party is being held at the whorehouse and Drum is serving drinks; however, one of the guests, a powerful French slave owner called DeMarigny (John Colicos) demands that the entertainment should take the form of a fight between Drum and another slave, Blaise (Yaphet Kotto). It is to be a fateful meeting...

If you thought Mandingo was a little too restrained, then perhaps you should try its sequel, named after its title character. Although this is supposed to be the two decades later follow up, it has little in common plotwise with its predecessor other than its historical setting and climate, yet proved no less controversial. Burt Kennedy, the film's original director, was replaced with that paragon of sensitivity Steve Carver, and the Dino de Laurentiis-produced film was released by United Artists after being disowned by the studio that commissioned it. Mandingo, at a stretch, could be seen as a brave try at tackling a shameful period of the past even if it did draw the punters in thanks to its more lurid elements, but here the lurid elements rule the day as we're supposed to throw up out hands in horror while hypocritically indulging the trashy presentation.

Like the first film, it was based on a novel by Kyle Onstott that has not survived with the dignity of Alex Haley's Roots, here adapted as with Mandingo by Norman Wexler. Although Warren Oates receives top billing, you may wonder where he is for the first half hour, as most of this is taken up with Drum's unpleasant encounters with DeMarigny (Colicos way over the top and in possession of an offensive accent). When Drum wins the fight with Blaise he is awarded his own woman, but he shouldn't get too comfortable because the aggressively homosexual DeMarigny has designs on him, and when spurned vows revenge. This means Drum, appropriately played by wooden boxer Norton as if he'd much rather be somewhere else, has to be relocated by Marianna to work for Oates' plantation owner Hammond Maxwell, epsecially after Rachel has been murdered by the Frenchman.

One thing about the film is that at least you couldn't say it was exploiting the African Americans in the cast, who are portrayed as sympathetic in the main - a pity you couldn't say the same for the women in the cast, who are treated as if the best they can offer the story is to take their clothes off. Over half the actresses disrobe for the camera, which exposes the true intentions of the filmmakers, and the most thankless role goes to Cheryl Rainbeaux Smith, as the daughter of Maxwell who is determined to get one of the slaves into bed. But even Fiona Lewis, as the prospective next Mrs Maxwell, has a gratuitous bath scene. So basically, if you're looking for an examination of the last years of the slave trade in America, you will be disappointed, but if you're after sexploitation, then that's what Drum is really all about. It builds to a climax reminiscent of Night of the Living Dead, only with rebelling slaves in place of zombies, and every bit as delicately handled as you'd imagine; otherwise, apart from cheap laughs Drum is pretty tiresome. Music by Charlie Smalls.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 4578 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Steve Carver  (1945 - )

American director B-movie director best known for the popular 1983 Chuck Norris vehicle Lone Wolf McQuade, and for the films he made for producer Roger Corman in the 1970s, Big Bad Mama, Capone and The Arena (co-directed with Aristide Massaccesi).

 
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 probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
   

 

Last Updated: