Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Mack

The Mack (1973)
Dir:Michael Campus (The Education of Sonny Carson)
Starring: Max Julien (Cleopatra Jones/The Black Klansmen/Psych-Out)
Richard Pryor ( Moving/Uptown Saturday Night/Car Wash)
Carol Speed (Disco Godfather/Black Samson/Abby)
Roger E.  Moseley: (Sweet Jesus, Preacher Man/ Magnum P.I.)

So in order to end my reviews for Blaxploitation History Month I decided to take on a true classic in the genre with The Mack. Following the trials and tribulations of a young Pimp Goldie as he tries to scratch his way out of the ghetto. The film opens in 1967 with Goldie and his friend Slim in a shootout due to a drug deal gone wrong.After the shots die off Goldie gets in a car wreck which leads to him being arrested by a duo of crooked cops. Five years later Goldie is released and hits the streets again, Shortly after he is talked into the pimp game by a friend and he thinks this would be a good change of pace from his old drug running ways. Quickly Goldies smooth talking nature gains him a tough stable of girls and he rises to the top of the heap of players at a meteroic pace.Unfortunately for him The two officers that arrested him five years prior are breathing down his neck from the moment he hit the pavement.

While Goldie is busy establishing his dominance in the Pimp bracket his Brother Olinga is a well respected Black Activist who is determined to clean the streets of all the drugs and prostitution. This of course causes a conflict of interests between the brothers but Olinga seems to think this is a phase of some sort for Goldie. Fatman ,Goldies former employer sets out to get him back on the payroll and the two sides have some issues. Also Goldie is having problems with other pimps trying to step on his toes as well. The young player keeps his pimp hand strong and asserts his dominance by Kidnapping one rival pimp and feeding him to some rats. at this point Goldie meets a White woman Dianna and starts to fall for her which makes his bottom bitch LuLu jealous, and we see that Goldie is growing less compassionate to the girls as his stable grows becoming dominant in the game, By using some rather odd techniques to control his girls , Like motivational speeches at the planetarium.

Things are looking up for Goldie as his money is coming in and his respect level is rising until after a Playa's Picnic he is picked up by Hank and his Corrupt Partner and taken into custody for seemingly no reason other than to keep him on his toes. While in Jail an odd man that is never seen again arrives claiming to be Jesus Christ in a strange scene. After being released once again , Goldie is approached by Fatman who is dead set on getting him on the payroll but Goldie continues to refuse which does not make the mob boss happy. Now Goldie has more than one set of enemies out to get him as The Crooked cops Threaten to shoot Goldie and Slim one night while playing pool. After all the stress Goldie decides to have a nice night out and attends the Playa's Ball where he wins the award of Mack of the Year. Once again things seem to be getting better for our beloved pimp until Fatman decides it is time to pull the plug on Goldie's little operation and corners Goldie in a parking lot after providing an overdose for his precious white girl Dianna. Luckily for Goldie he seen this coming and sets up an ambush of his own When Slim in disguise opens fire on Fats and they shot the mobster up with battery acid.

Now with Fatman out of the way, Goldie returns to business as usual and he gets some heat with a fellow pimp Pretty Tony after one of Tony's Girls " Chooses" Goldie over him. This raises some tempers and Tony sets out to get even. Shortly after that altercation , Someone arrives at Goldie's Mothers house and attacks her. When Goldie visits her in the hospital she dies in his arms. Olinga blames Goldie for their mother dying and he promises to get vengeance at any cost. Believing that Tony is behind the murder Slim and Goldie manage to snatch up Tony and strap him to a chair with dynamite and light him up. After this fiasco Goldie gets some more bad news while at his Mothers funeral when he gets word that someone has a hit out on him. While Goldie tries to skip town in disguise and escape from the hit men surrounding his house he runs into The two officers that have been on his case since day one,and Hank admits that it was he that killed Goldie's mother. Lucky for Goldie his brother Olinga was not far behind and he comes to his brothers aide.After Olinga disposes of Hank's partner Goldie puts a gun to Hank and takes him out. After all the shit hit the fan Goldie decides it is time to make a change and relocate so he heads off on a bus out of town after he and his brother hug, and the credits roll.

At nearly two hours long there is allot more to this story than I am writing about here but surprisingly for such a long film it is paced tremendously well and does not seem that long at all. Most of the movie breezes by due to the tremendous dialog throughout. All the characters are given just enough depth and are all well casted and well acted. Again another awesome performance by Richard Moseley as Olinga which again begs the question why was he not more prominently featured in more Blaxploitation films? Everyone in this film does a great job and there is not a weak member in the cast at all. One thing I found odd was how little nudity there was in this film since it is about pimping after all. One thing that sets this film apart from other movies of this ilk is that this one really goes in depth into the pimp game instead of just mentioning that Goldie is a Pimp it truly dives into the in's and out's of the occupation and al the up's and down's that come with said profession. I read somewhere that people were begging for a remake to this film and I can see why, But honestly I would hate to see how todays Hollywood would butcher such a deep and serious film. I am always anti remake and my stance is no different on this one, This films is truly a classic and deserves all the praise that it gets, SO truly it should be left alone. I highly recommend this film to any fan of crime films as well as Blaxploitation films. Most fans of the genre have already seen this film most likely but it is definitely a must see for those getting into the genre, I have not seen this film in years prior to reviewing it and honestly I cant remember why I didn't think to check this one out again because it is rally worth replay value. One of the best out there in the genre and definitely in the top ten easily.
Ass-Kickin': 6 ( not heavy on action except a few parts but, That is not what makes this film so special)
Jive:10 (Some of the best dialog ever. Truly too many classic lines to count)
Funk:7 (Not the best but it is Willie Hutch so it's gotta be good)
Ass and Tittay's:1 ( only one breast in the entire film, which is odd in a movie about Pimps and hoes)
Overall on the Funk-O-Tron: 8 out of 10 (Definite Classic)

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