Newest Reviews
Watch List
Kat and the Band
Perfect 10
Red Penguins
China Syndrome, The
Round-Up, The
Around the Sun
Once There Was Brasilia
Dead Pigeon on Beethoven Street
She Demons
Good Girls, The
Hail, Hero!
Faces in the Crowd
Traitor, The
Third Generation, The
Saxon Charm, The
Spy Intervention
Killer with a Thousand Eyes, The
Vigil, The
Liberation of L.B. Jones, The
Wizard of Baghdad, The
Good Manners
Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo
Sweet Home
Big Score, The
Three Outlaw Samurai
Echoes of Fear
Guinea Pig, The
Newest Articles
For God's Sake Strap Yourselves Down: Flash Gordon on 4K UHD
Party Hard: Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights in with ABC 2 - Your Faces are All Blurred!
Eve Knew Her Apples: The Lady Eve on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Tempo - Gallery One
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 1 - Welcome Once Again to Manchester!
Transformative Apocalypses: Phase IV and Southland Tales
The Happiest Days of Their Lives: The Guinea Pig on Blu-ray
Faced Poe: Three Edgar Allan Poe Adaptations Starring Bela Lugosi on Blu-ray
Hard Luck, Buster: The Cameraman on Blu-ray
At the Hop: Mr. Vampire on Blu-ray
Divine Madness: Female Trouble on Blu-ray
Country Matters: Further Out of Town on Blu-ray
Bat-Damn: Was Joel Schumacher's Batman Really That Bad?
The Beat Goes On: Takeshi Kitano Collection on Blu-ray
Dream Treats: Scorsese Shorts on Blu-ray
It's Only Money: Laughter in Paradise on Blu-ray
A Regular Terpsichore: Dance, Girl, Dance on Blu-ray
Teenage Trauma: Baby Love on Blu-ray
The Happening: Pet Shop Boys It Couldn't Happen Here on Blu-ray
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
  Darktown Strutters Fast Food Nation
Year: 1975
Director: William Witney
Stars: Trina Parks, Roger E. Mosley, Shirley Washington, Bettye Sweet, Stan Shaw, Norman Bartold, DeWayne Jessie, Christopher Joy, Charles Knapp, Milt Kogan, Sam Laws, Edward Marshall, Dick Miller, Frances E. Nealy, Edna Richardson, Gene Simms, Charles Woolf
Genre: Comedy, WeirdoBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 2 votes)
Review: Syreena (Trina Parks) is the leader of an all-girl motorcycle gang - or should that be a motortricycle gang? - and not a day goes by where they don't get hassled. For instance, the four of them stop at a diner to pick up some lemon meringue pie only to receive the unwanted attention of some soldiers, one of whom begins climbing over their vehicles. The girls soon put a stop to that and the pies end up in the soldiers' faces, but later on a patrol car full of racist cops stops them to question the bikers about various spurious charges, ignoring the bank robbery going on across the street. Syreena can tolerate this, but when someone kidnaps her mother, it's the last straw...

Highly individual would be a way to describe Darktown Strutters, a blaxploitation item from New World and produced by Roger Corman's brother Gene Corman. It was directed by William Witney, a veteran of series television and a fair few movie serials as well, and the outlandish script was by minor cult director George Armitage. One thing distinguishes these men in creating this film: they were all white, which when you see some of the racial elements implemented here, made you wonder whose side they were on if it hadn't been for the total lack of sympathetic white characters.

One look at this film and it is impossible to mistake for anything else, as with its colourful costumes and over-the-top design and props it's like someone tried to transplant the world's most inappropriate childrens' cartoon to the big screen. Nothing appears real here, in fact surreal is the order of the day to tell what could have been a simple story in other hands, but here descends into a lack of coherence that will occasionally surface from its weirdness to make its own kind of sense. Parks was best known, perhaps still is, for playing Thumper in Diamonds are Forever, but it is here her talents really get a workout.

The villain of the film is Commander Cross (Norman Bartold) a Colonel Sanders-style fast food manufacturer of pork treats who may well be the one who has kidnapped Syreena's mother. But our heroine's gang also have to contend with a rival group of Ku Klux Klan members who ride around causing trouble, and gang of black bikers led by future Magnum P.I. co-star Roger E. Mosley who turn out not to be such bad fellows after all. Not that there's any hint of romance, chances are that nobody in the film would take anything like that the remotest bit seriously.

Among the plethora of baffling sights in Darktown Strutters are the police car of the racist cops (who include Dick Miller) which sports an enormous flashing light and falls apart like a clown's car when it crashes, or the white, middle-aged inspector who dresses as a black transvestite to catch a gay rapist only to be gunned down by the cops who are thirsty for blood. As you can see, the law are not flatteringly depicted in this one. And did I mention this was a musical as well? And that Cross has devised a cloning machine for reasons which escape me, but appear mainly to provide the film with a punchline? There's a line between identity and sterotype, and this movie doesn't seem to know which it's on so that the scenes of Syreena and her allies putting it to the Man are mixed up with crass and outrageous racial humour. Basically, it's a mess, but not one you can stop watching simply to see what they're going to come up with next. It's imaginative, I'll give it that.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


This review has been viewed 4223 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

Review Comments (2)

Untitled 1

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
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
  Lee Fiveash
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg


Last Updated: