A beautiful and charming betrothed is promised to a beautiful woman. But it is a completely insane killer and it will be his next victim. Everything that follows the wedding ceremony will be a carnival of wickedness, sadism and brutality.
An Australian woman arrives in London to search for her sister who she finds is involved with a heroin smuggling gang. The gang itself is under attack from an unknown rival, who is methodically assassinating them with a shot to the head.
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When an newlywed American couple goes to India on their honeymoon, little do they realize that they were about to go on the adventure of their life time. A ruby, back from the ages of the ... See full summary »
A federal agent whose daughter dies of a heroin overdose is determined to destroy the drug ring that supplied her. He recruits various people whose lives have been torn apart by the drug ... See full summary »
Sidney J. Furie
Billy Dee Williams,
Young boy Dino has several imaginary friends, who like to play cruel pranks on the staff in his house. When the new maid, Mara, arrives, Dino bonds with her, but his jealous imaginary friends come up with the cruelest prank yet for her.
Far more than the majority of exploitation-oriented releases that defined "blaxploitation," this 1972 is inspired by the prior "Sweet Sweetback" in its flashback structure and overt Black Power agenda. It's not primarily about violence and T&A, though there's some of both. Billy Dee Williams (in a role strikingly different to his in "Lady Sings the Blues" that same year) plays an angry young man gradually radicalized by racial injustices, leading to his being besieged by police as a Panthers-type leader in the present-tense framing sequences.
"Final Comedown" is no zenith of the cinematic arts--it's dated and crude at times. But it also makes an effort not to be cartoonish: There are scenes in which some white people (notably a Jewish couple, an employment-office secretary, and some SDS types) are outraged by the racism of other white people. There are also scenes that rather charmingly exist just to promote local (I'm presuming L.A.) black-owned businesses, a diner and Africanist clothes store included.
The film touches on a lot of then (still?) relevant points, from Vietnam War post-traumatic stress to drug addiction. It's not subtle or slick, but it really tries to articulate all complicated causes for Black Power rage, not just exploit them as a trendy attitude a la Superfly, Slaughter, Shaft, Rudy Ray Moore (much as I love that guy!), etc. Some eventual cruel ironies are well-judged, though it must be said the overall narrative shaping as well as the huge death-toll shootout sequences are pretty clumsy.
This isn't exactly a good film, but it reflects its precise cultural moment in ways more mainstream films seldom did/do. Despite all rough edges it's a more complicated and intelligent narrative airing of U.S. racial tensions circa 1972 than many better-known films. In that sense it's the antithesis of the terrific current parody "Black Dynamite," which made fun of the period's tritest "blaxploitation" films. This one isn't laughable--it's a serious statement. (Though the major histrionics by veteran actress Maidie Norman as Williams' mother are pretty humorous.)
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