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Black Mama White Mama
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Reviews & Ratings for
Black Mama White Mama More at IMDbPro »

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20 out of 24 people found the following review useful:

Dig It!

Author: Fanon from Boston
12 June 1999

Dig it! You've got your black mama. You've got your white mama. You've got your lesbian prison guards. You've got your female prison shower scene. (That lasts about 5 minutes). You've got your tough Filipino gangsters. You've got your corrupt police man. You've got a Che Guevara like revolutionary leader. Put this together and what do you get? Pure cinematic goodness. This isn't a great movie. But hell, its a lot of fun. Pam Grier is great as usual as one of the mama's.(I'll let you guess which one.) Plenty of violence and nudity to spare. Don't go looking for this in the family section of your video store. Oh yeah, the story was written by Jonathan Demme. (Seriously!)

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16 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

great sexploitation film of the 70s

Author: bosscain from USA
24 March 2004

If you like early 70's sexploitation films,woman in prison,cat fight,or are a fan of Pam Grier then this movie is worth a watch

good action,plenty of nude women,and cat fights,

although this movie is very bad acted and cheesey,

Its not boring and not sooooo dumb that you cant watch it. The action is smooth and not hard to follow with a major gun fight climax. overall 7 out of 10 ..

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12 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

Mindless, cartoonlike fun and frolic!

Author: JohnnyOldSoul from Here
13 May 1999

Wow, this one just about defies description! Although the filmmakers seem to take the project a bit too seriously, our stars (Pam Grier and Margaret Markov) seem to be enjoying themselves. There's sadistic female guards, showers, a prison break, shootouts between revolutionaries and police. This film really typifies the genre.

Despite some of the dire happenings (blood flows like water) the film has a light-hearted feel. It's pure entertainment material, and doesn't pretend to be anything else. The heroines, Grier and Markov, really are the shining lights of this piece. One wonders how they could roll in the mud and catfight their way cross-country without mussing their uniforms. Talented women, they are. A funny note, at least in my opinion, is that Grier's character wears black underpants, and Markov's white.

See it, enjoy it, have a good giggle.

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15 out of 19 people found the following review useful:

Whoa mama

Author: movieman_kev from United States
5 November 2003

Pam Grier and Margaret Markov are the Black Mama and White Mama respectively, Two escapees from a womens' prison, in this exploitation flick. Actually pretty good in a B-movie way. It's not Jonathan Demme's best writing credit ( that would be Caged Heat), and not Pam Grier's best movie (or 5th best movie... or 10th best movie.. or even.. well you get the gist), but it IS Margaret Markov's best film AND it does have Sid Haig (who's good in anything,pretty much the ONLY actor i liked in that "House of 1,000 Corpses" travesty)

My Rating: B-

Eye Candy: shower scene, Pam & Margaret topless in the "hot box", Various hookers, & a 3-way

Where i saw it: TMC Extra

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9 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Classic exploitation

Author: rosscinema ( from Oceanside, Ca.
11 November 2003

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I don't understand anyone who says that this is one of the worst exploitation films they have ever seen. Just the title alone gives this cult status and all the ingredients are here for it being an extremely fun film to watch. Film starts out in a Filipino womans prison where a bunch of new inmates are put through orientation and they soon meet Warden Logan (Laurie Burton) and Matron Densmore (Lynn Borden) who are lesbian lovers but Densmore likes to bed the pretty new inmates. She has a secret peephole by the shower where she watches the ladies and masturbates. One night inmate Lee Daniels (Pam Grier) is propositioned by her but Lee tells her no. Later Lee meets a tall blond named Karen Brent (Margaret Markov) who is part of a bunch of revolutionaries and they plan on busting her out. While on a bus being transported to a work detail the Rebels ambush the bus and after some gunfire Lee and Karen escape. They are shackled together but don't like each other and they quarrel about which direction to go. The Rebels are headed by Ernesto (Zaldy Zschornack) and he tells his men that they must find Karen and will stop at nothing to get her back. Lee and Karen keep running and they knock out some nuns and steal they're gowns to try and sneak around the police. Meanwhile, Captain Cruz of the police makes a deal with a ruthless bounty hunter named Ruben (Sid Haig) to help get the girls in exchange that the police will leave his illegal operations alone. Also, Lee's ex-boyfriend is a gangster named Vic (Vic Diaz) and he wants Lee badly because she stole 40,000 dollars from him.


Finally the Rebels catch up with them and they are reunited with Karen. They give Lee a ride to a pier where a friend is going to get her out of the area with his boat but when they get there Vic and his men are waiting and a vicious gun battle ensues. This film was directed by a pretty popular "B" movie director named Eddie Romero and he helmed many low budget horror films in the Phillipines. The story is written by a very young Jonathan Demme who two years later would direct his first film "Caged Heat". This film is of course inspired by "The Defiant Ones" but the fun of these exploitation flicks is that they take on a popular theme and add all sorts of sleaze and mayhem. The characters are all written well and Haig steals the film with his cowboy-like Ruben. He dresses like a cowboy and in one scene he threatens to shoot off the smallest penis between two men. Grier displays some of her tough quips to fellow inmate Markov like "I don't care about that jive ass stuff" referring to Markov's revolutionary politics. Markov's character is reminiscent of Patty Hearst and in one scene she tells Grier that she always had everything but wants to stay with the rebels. Film is full of gratuitous nudity and the shower scene at the beginning of the film lasts at least 5 minutes. They're is no quick glimpses here, plenty of time for an eyeful! As far as exploitation films go this delivers the goods and the cast is excellent.

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7 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Fun Women's Prison Exploitation With Pam Grier

Author: Bensch from Salzburg, Austria
30 November 2006

Eddie Romero's "Black Mama, White Mama" aka "Chained Women" of 1972 is a stylish and funny 'Women in Prison' exploitation flick full of the usual ingredients like violence, catfights and shower- and lesbian scenes. The movie's highlight is, of course, the great Pam Grier.

Locked up in a brutal prison camp on a tropical island, blonde revolutionary Karen Brent(Margaret Markov) and former black prostitute Lee Daniels (Pam Grier) are constantly having beef with each other. Chained together by the sadistic lesbian prison wardens, the two escape from a con transport. Chased by henchmen of the drug-lord who used to have Lee locked up as a harem-girl, gangsters and the police, the two fugitives have different destinations. While Karen has to find her guerrilla friends, Lee must reach a boat with a case full of cash. On the run, the two have quite some fights, but since they are chained together, they have to get along.

"Black Mama, White Mama" is pretty violent and a typical exploitation flick, lots of shootouts, occasional torture, many catfights and naked breasts. The acting in this movie differs. Pam Grier is great as always, and so is sexy Margaret Markov as Karen. Sid Haig's performance as Ruben, a slightly insane gangster in a cowboy outfit, is another highlight in "Black Mama, White Mama" and makes the movie a lot funnier. The rest of the acting is nothing special, typical B-movie performances, some better some worse. A fan of Pam Grier and lover of blaxploitation classics like "Coffy" as well as films like "Jackie Brown", I found "Black Mama, White Mama" very entertaining. Not one of Pam Grier's best movies, but better than most 'Women's prison' flicks, this is a violent and fun film and definitely worth watching.

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6 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Grier and Haig a winning combo

Author: Andrew Leavold ( from Brisbane, Australia
8 October 2003

Hellcats/The Hot Box duo Viola and Demme next paired the winning combination of Pam Grier and Sid Haig in yet another prison film, Women In Chains/Black Mama White Mama. Blonde revolutionary Margaret Markov and sworn enemy Grier, who thinks Markov's revolution is "jive-ass", bust out of prison chained together in a 70s gender reversal of The Defiant Ones. They continue to bitch and scratch each other as they head across the countryside (at one point dressed as nuns!) to meet up with Markov's bandit buddies. Sid Haig is the comedy relief in a cowboy hat as the lead bandit, and in one scene has two naked women riding him like a horse. Haig continued to work with Pam in Coffy and Foxy Brown, and was much later cast by Tarantino in a fitting touch as the sympathetic judge across from Grier in Jackie Brown.

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Enjoyable trash.

Author: Scott LeBrun (Hey_Sweden) from Canada
2 March 2013

From story authors Jonathan Demme & Joe Viola, screenwriter H.R. Christian, and the prolific Eddie Romero, comes this diverting Filipino chase movie that puts an exploitative spin on the premise of "The Defiant Ones".

It starts out as your average women in prison flick, with blonde revolutionary Karen Brent (Margaret Markov) and black prostitute Lee Daniels (Pam Grier) meeting. While escorted away from the prison, they are shackled together. They soon make their break for freedom, often arguing over methodology and directions but coming to rely on each other and even care for each other.

Director Romero makes this a pretty lively affair, and it's worth noting that things take on a rather tongue in cheek tone at times. The ample humour helps to make this quite easy to watch, with Pams' frequent co-star Sid Haig given a meaty role which he plays with relish: a flamboyant, horny, loud talking dude in a cowboy costume. Romeros' pacing is effective, and the action scenes are fairly intense; there are some brief bursts of bloody violence. The location shooting is excellent, and the supporting cast features some familiar faces from Filipino exploitation cinema: Eddie Garcia, Alfonso Carvajal, Bruno Punzalan, and the always welcome Vic Diaz, who's a hoot as an oily crime lord. Sexy Lynn Borden has the role of a lustful prison guard. Stars Markov and Grier look fantastic and get some great chemistry going.

The true highlight of the movie definitely has to be the sequence where Markov and Grier masquerade as nuns; it provides the biggest laughs. But it must be said that Romero knows how to get down to business, delivering delectable nudity in the obligatory shower scene that occurs no more than four minutes into the movie.

All in all, this is solid entertainment that should please fans of the A.I.P. drive-in flicks of the 1970s.

Seven out of 10.

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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

This movie has it ALL!

Author: franz-23 from Maine
11 April 2000

"Black Mama, White Mama" has something for everyone. Everyone, that is, who walks directly to the "Action/Adventure" section upon entering their local video store. First, it starts out in a woman's prison in some random South/Central American country. Second, the suggestions of lesbianism that this setting offers are set into hyper-warp by the chaining together of the two rivals for the lead, Pam Grier and Margaret Markov, while they wear nothing but skimpy prison tunics. They go on the run together while the film makes various unnecessary-yet-entertaining visits to all of those on their trail: Grier's former pimp, government agents after Markov, and, last but not least, Sid Haig's delightfully flamboyant "cowboy" character. This is a video that's not necessarily fun for ALL, but rather, a video that's fun for all who keep video stores in business.

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5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Started promising, ended so-so

Author: Dr. Gore ( from Los Angeles, California
20 May 2003

*** This review may contain spoilers ***


Speaking as an exploitation movie fan, I have one major complaint about this film: The complete and utter lack of lesbian sex. Women in chains movies should have lesbians. It's in the contract. Black mama and white mama did not get it on. And they were chained together through most of the movie! What a great scene that would have been. Black mama even rejected the lesbian advances of the prison warden. I was dismayed.

Everything starts off good with white and black mama meeting at an island prison and lots of nakedness happening. Then the movie switches gears, dumps the prison scene for a long winded chase through the jungle with the two mamas chained together. Everyone keeps their clothes on except for the occasional topless hooker.

So potential interracial prison sex turns into routine B jungle action movie. Not the turn I was hoping for. It's a fair action movie I guess. I've seen worse. But man have I seen better.

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