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Before the opening credits we see real footage of the Nazi army marching
chants of "Sieg Heil". Hitler walks by and the frame freezes. Lettering,
"The Black Gestapo", pops up on the screen in old English and the funk
kicks in. Oh my, very weird and sure to ruffle a few feathers.
The first half of the film is the better with the evil white crime syndicate going to war with The People's Army. All too soon though, The People's Army is exploiting it's own people in the exact same manner the driven out whites did. No, we can no longer root for the Black Gestapo since they are shown doing or saying the exact same horrible things the whites had previously done in at least three scenes. The point, very much the same as that of the novel "Animal Farm", is really driven home so that even the least sharp viewer could grasp it. Those who overthrow the oppressor are doomed to become oppressors themselves. Sad to say, my mind was not blown.
Well, as I said, the early battles in the film are sick. The whites have to pack up and leave, threatening to return during one long scene of dialogue, yet they never do. I was left waiting for an awesome climactic gang war, but instead only got a mediocre battle between the one time People's Army leader and his organization gone bad. Yeah, there are some novel deaths, but nothing like the brutality of earlier scenes. One the whole there is some mean stuff in this picture, lots of abuse, and black people in Nazi type uniforms. It won't be forgotten.
BLACK GESTAPO is a hoot. I mean it's funny and entertaining and never bores. It keeps clicking along right until the very much unbelievable end. You got 'nads being chopped off, naked women all over the place, black men dressing up like nazis and a mean,nasty vibe this picture just can't shake. I suggest buying it. Today.
Hmmm, I bought this flick for $1.99 in the used bin at a local video store,
that being said, I don't think I wasted the money.
It's pretty indicative of the Blacksploitation ouevre. Highlights include Mack from Night Court as a militant terrorist and would be ghetto fuhrer, nekkid women for no good reason, and fight scenes that look like guys rough-housing on their lawns after a few too many, (if you know what I mean,).
It's not a great exploitation flick, it's not a horrible exploitation flick, best viewed with a few cold ones and some buddies. Peace.
A funky 1970's blacksploitation film with Charles Robinson, probably best known for playing the fileperson Mac on "Night Court". Robinson plays an officer in the "People's Army", a group of blacks given a grant by the white community to help the disadvantaged in a section of L.A. Following the assault of a nurse working at the Army hospital and some violence in local African-American-owned businesses, Robinson asks the general of the People's Army (Rod Perry) for a few men to embrace violence against a white crime syndicate operating in the city. He then takes the group in his own direction, dressing them up in Nazi uniforms and training them in all levels of combat, finally running the syndicate out of town. However, the group becomes a bit mad with power and ends up simply taking over the duties of the syndicate, abusing the community even more. Perry, who plays the general of the less radical People's Army, now must break into the compound of Robinson's Black Gestapo alone and use his wits to put an end to the mayhem. While the plot seems okay, what makes this a "bad" movie is its production. Most of the actors fall short of adequate in believability, and the movie seems more interested in showing off nudity than talent anyway. The individual members of the white crime syndicate are hilariously bad, as are the comparisons the film tries to make between the Nazis and the black militant group, such as when the entire group is raising their fists and repeatedly shouting "Vengeance!", the movie overdubs a sound clip of Hitler's Nazis repeatedly screaming "Seig Heil!". The boo-chikka-boo-chikka guitar music kind of completes the picture. Also, it seems like when the Black Gestapo gets together, all they really want to do is have sex with white women, which was kind of puzzling. There is absolutely nothing of any value to this movie, unless you like watching prostitutes get abused, black people marching around in Nazi uniforms shouting "Vengeance!", and a gangster's genitalia being cut off with a razor while he takes a bath. Actually, based on that, it's probably worth seeing. Watch it for a laugh, if you can stand it.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
In this movie, the army formed by a Black community fail to accomplish
its purpose because some of the leaders don't give a damn about the
good cause. They just think about making money (except the main
character)... just like White gangsters! This is a real anti-racist
movie, because it shows that in both White and Black races,there will
always be goddamn gangsters who don't care about the color of their own
skin, of the meaning of their own culture, and of fighting with their
community for a real purpose, for a good cause. Savage capitalism and
profit just haven't got any color! This film shows in every race, there
will always be people who will sell their own color and culture for
money... (Am I right Will Smith?)
Very interesting film! I recommend it (I rate it 9 out 10)
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Humanistic General Ahmed (well played by the charismatic Rod Perry) forms the People's Army so he can protect the citizens of the blighted Watts area in Los Angeles from criminals. Ahmed's angry second-in-command Colonel Kojah (a fierce portrayal by Charles Robinson, who later became a regular on the hit sitcom "Night Court") starts his own squad and declares all-out war on local gangsters. Unfortunately, the increasingly arrogant and megalomaniacal Kojah and his men take over the crime rackets and prove to be even worse than the previous hoods they bumped off. It's up to Ahmed to stop Kojah before it's too late. Director Lee Frost, who also co-wrote the sharp and witty script with frequent collaborator Wes Bishop, delivers an extremely harsh and entertainingly trashy rough'n'dirty flick that offers a pleasing plenitude of raw violence (the definite brutal highlight occurs when a slimy rapist has his penis cut off and flushed down the toilet!), coarse language, and gratuitous nudity (the ever-delectable Uschi Digard shows up so she can display her awesomely ample figure in all its eye-popping full frontal glory). Perry and Robinson turn in fine work as bitter adversaries; they receive solid support from Angela Brent as sweet nurse Marsha, Phil Hoover as vicious strong-arm thug Vito, and Frost as crabby mob leader Vincent. Derek Scott's plain, scrappy cinematography, Allan Alper's groovy diggin' funk score, and a potent central message on how power corrupts are all crudely effective. A real scuzzy treat.
The Black Gestapo (1975)
** (out of 4)
General Ahmed (Rod Perry) forms a black power group that wants to handle their own people peacefully but first they must get rid of the evil white people. Once this is done Ahmed has another issue come up and that's a former friend (Charles Robinson) who is now former his own group who are bent for violence and destruction. If you're looking for some sort of drama that talks about hard-hitting issues about the ghettos of America then this here is certainly not that film. If you're looking for a pretty bad but entertaining Blaxploitation flick then this one here is about as good as you're going to get. THE BLACK GESTAPO isn't a "good" movie like certain films in the genre (FOXY BROWN) but it's more of a really bad movie that's so politically incorrect that you can't help but enjoy it. I thought the film certainly had a few messages throughout but for the most part director Lee Frost just kicks back and throws all sorts of trash at the viewer. There's some violence throughout, plenty of naked women as well as several other exploitation moments including white women being offered up for black soldiers who join the bad guy's party. As you'd guess from the title, this bad guy is taking a page from Hitler but these elements really aren't explored that much and for the most part this thing stays pretty far from the Naxiploitation genre. Director Frost actually manages to keep the film moving at a very fast pace and I give him a lot of credit for at least making sure the entertainment level never went down. Still, there's no question that we're given some bad moments throughout but thankfully a lot of them turn to camp. Just check out the sequence where one of the white guys gets driven off the road and what happens is just priceless. I will say that both Perry and Robinson were entertaining in their parts and you can keep your eyes open for Uschi Digard in a small role.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"Black Gestapo" (1975) is an exploitation film that manages to both
rise above its material and sink beneath it. The film features a group
of black men who call themselves the People's Army, funded by the state
of California, who engage in acts of community goodwill. Unfortunately
the local white mafia corrupts the community with drugs, gambling, and
prostitution. A faction of the People's Army, enraged by the rape of
black women and the violence against black men, take matters into their
own hands. As a viewer, I must admit that I found these scenes of
vengeance quite satisfying--and therein lies part of the film's power.
The film raises questions and provides some troubling answers. We want
to side with the peaceful solutions of the helpful People's Army, but
we also want bloodshed--racial bloodshed. We feel conflicted.
Sadly and predictably, the black avengers, after driving the white mafia from the area, become worse than the white mafia, running more drugs, more prostitution, more gambling. In a particularly painful scene, they beat a black storeowner because he doesn't make enough money to pay their protection prices. In the end, the peaceful general of the People's Army takes matters into his own hands and destroys the Black Gestapo.
As I mentioned, while the film raises important questions about white exploitation of black poverty--and how blacks should respond to that exploitation--the film also falters as the viewer is overwhelmed by tawdry scenes of violence against women (usually naked), and one wonders if the director is interested in making a point or just peddling trash to the dumbest drive-in voyeur.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I really don't know what to think of this little piece of celluloid. At
first, I kind of liked it. The black army group starts taking the
streets back from the mafia hoods, they kill a couple of racists and
even cut one guy's balls off. Then the movie, where it got it's title
from, took a crazy turn. The off shoot of the black army group becomes
the black gestapo headed by Mack from Night Court. I can accept the
overall poor film quality and low production value (it is a budget film
after all), but a black fascist group? I think they were trying to make
a commentary about the problems of the inner-city and how there would
be gangs (regardless of color) there to exploit the vices of the under
privileged. But it still missed the mark by a lot. They could have done
this quite a few other ways, for example having a black gang that isn't
The movie wasn't that bad, but it still seemed to be a little confused.
Well, the version of this film that I own comes in a 4-pack of Black
Vengance, found at Best Buy's bargain movie bin, it contains other genere
winners like Black Fist 2, and The Black Six. Its a re-release of the
material originally done in the early 1970s firmly rooted in the black
social movement, utilizing the film Blacksploitation title with
The film its self runs something like 90 minutes, contains several scenes of pointless nudity, poorly coreographed violence, and multiple overdubs of Hitler-era Germany. Language is also a mix of obscenities and jive-lingo. Children really shouldnt see this movie until they are old enough to understand the historical context that produces it.
It centers around General Ahmed's creation of a Black People's Army [read: Brownshirt revolution], that aims to end the gross injustices exercised on the local black populace by a half-assed white 'mob,' interested in extortion money, and beating up prostitutes. After a black nurse is raped by the 'mob', Col. Kojah enters to recruit a special black response unit of commands that begin extracting militant revenge on the white community. Soon after, Kojah's group overpowers everything else Ahmed's ideas stand for, and the Black Gestapo militant unit superceeds it. Most of the movie then focus'es on Kojah's unit [read SS], bedecked in the finest Nazi wears [yes, explicitly done], and the struggle of pressure versus resistance to impose societal justices.
Several themes are somewhat interesting, including the increased violence towards women by both repsonse units, the characterization and sexuality of the women [with unnecessary nudity and sex scenes] as well as a theme of mans' degenerative nation, once given a sip of power. All in all, I'd never pay money to see this in a theater, but for comedic relief it is quite funny. Several social issues can be extrapolated, and I could see how the political/social movement of the times had strongly impacted the final version of the film. Even the end of the film, culminating in the assination of Kojah's soldiers and he himself, appear to summarize the views of the then powerful movement that was destined to implode.
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