Tagged: african american

VHS Verdict: Roberta Findlay’s 1985 Grindhouse Shocker ‘Tenement’!

‘Tenement’ AKA ‘Game of Survival’ is the third movie from Roberta Findlay I’ve seen and so far she definitely knows how to serve up the grimy goods in true grindhouse flavor. Yeah, Roberta understood how to make a truly sleazy horror flick that’s for sure. Even though Tenement might be considered more of a low budget action/thriller, it’s got plenty of horror and gore to go around. Findlay surely didn’t give a damn if she offended anyone, even though this came out in ’85 it’s jam packed with scenes that you’d likely not see put to screen in 2019.

Playing off a bit like John Carpenter’s ‘Assault on Precinct 13’ except in a run down inner city apartment building, Tenement features a pretty diverse cast of characters who face off in a violent battle of life or death. The bad apples in this one look like they stepped right out of ‘The Warriors’ and are just about the meanest most over the top street gang put to film. These drugged out leather clad assholes are ready kill nearly anything in sight, and when one of the tenants of the apartment complex tires of them hanging around in the basement he calls the cops, all hell breaks loose. Just when the residents decide to throw a party in celebration of the gang’s arrest, they’re let loose into the night by police. Hellbent on revenge they head back to the “tenement” to get bloody revenge on each and everyone who lives within it’s sweaty spray painted walls.

The film moves at a brisk pace and it’s not afraid to get ugly quick. There’s a shocking brutal scene of rape, beatings, drug overdoses, guttings and that’s just the damn start. As crazy as this sounds at the same time the production quality is pretty low, the acting often pretty flimsy/over the top and it’s all sorta hard to actually take seriously. That all being said, for a female film maker back in the 80’s (and especially today) it’s got more bite than most films of this genre made by men. The action and gore is pretty ambitious and luckily the blood here, looking basically like red paint, tames some of the it’s sheer brutality making it a bit more consumable for genre newbies. I really dug a lot of the characters as well, though some may seem a bit stereotyped but the protagonist, a grumpy loner bad ass hero named ‘Washington’ (a cool add to black horror heroes) gets the job done once the gang begins to wreck havoc on his turf, the tenement. It’s quite glorious actually once the surviving apartment tenants decide to band together and fight back, revenge is well served here for sure and it’s quite worth sitting through the earlier nastiness for some sweet revenge. Also never ever underestimate a pregnant woman in danger!

One of the best things about this mean little movie is the actual setting itself. The run down apartment building is a dirty gritty mess of a place. The perfect place for an inner city showdown to occur, with no help of course from the local police. A lot of Roberta Findlay’s movies, at least what I’ve seen so far, have this totally sleezy city vibe going on and it she works that angle quite well. When people bring up grindhouse films this one is actually the perfect example of the genre and for what it is this one’s easily one of the best out there. Her movies feel like they were made a decade earlier as well and have much more of of 70’s feel to them in look and style. A dark yet entertaining action packed urban battle that might not be the most digestible piece of cinema in 2019, but it’s surely something you likely won’t forget anytime soon!

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The Real Controversy: Why Did The MCU Decide to Whitewash Captain Marvel?!!

There’s been all sorts of controversy about Brie Larson lately on the internet in regards to the upcoming Captain Marvel movie. Some people are fully up in arms about her recent statements regarding white males as film critics, not wanting to be interviewed by ‘white dudes”, wanting fewer white males on her Captain Marvel press tour and just wanting more diversity in general. I understand her concerns, but It’s clear that her approach to the topic has clearly triggered some fans. She could have stated her issues in a much smoother way that’d likely have spoke to fans of the comic books, who have ironically been throughout the years mainly white males. Will all of her recent statements about calling hard for diversity in the film biz affect the box office numbers for the Marvel blockbuster? We’ll have to wait and see but one thing I’ve been perplexed about from the initial announcement of Captain Marvel the REAL controversy: the decision to base the character on a white female, “Carol Danvers” and cast Brie Larson at all. I’m ok with the decision but would’ve much rather my era Captain Marvel been given a chance. The one who came before the “Carol Danvers” character way back in the early 80’s. Growing up, my Captain Marvel was first and foremost, Monica Rambeau.

Yep, Monica was the first female Captain Marvel, appearing in The Amazing Spider-Man annual #16 and eventually went on to become the leader of The Avengers in the 80’s. She’s a total badass who harnesses a multitude of energy forms, irradiated with energy blasts from different dimensions that also gave her the ability to move at light speed. Besides being the leader of The Avengers she was also the first black superhero to join the ranks of the team. In my opinion she’s also a much more interesting character in general. Monica was a New Orleans native and worked for the harbor patrol there operating as an ACTUAL captain of ship. At one point she caught wind of a wicked plot to create of a dangerous supernatural energy weapon, Rambeau took it upon herself to try to stop the threat and in turn was exposed to a powerful extra-dimensional energy.

She gained the ability to convert her body to pure raw energy. Soon, the papers began to refer to her as “Captain Marvel”. It wasn’t long after that she’d run into issues controlling her vast new power and her growing energy abilities almost made her a danger to the public. With the help of Iron Man & Spider-man she was able to successfully release the excess of it safely. She made the decision to utilize her powers to fight for the good of the earth under the name she was given by the media. Using the same name of a pervious male super hero Mar-vell, she’d quickly drawn attention of Earth’s mightiest heroes, The Avengers. Joining the team she worked her way up as one of the greatest members in their ranks and eventually accepted the role of leader of the team. Her story is pretty awesome and as a kid growing up she was one of the main superheroes I’d known as the leader of The Avengers along with Captain America & The Wasp.

To me Monica’s Captain Marvel should have been given the chance to front her own MCU movie. As much as I do agree with what the overall points that Larson has been trying to make about “white dudes”, it appears a bit like she’s been trying to exploit the topic of diversity to gather attention for her movie. With the topic being a big part of her MCU campaign, I’ve been perplexed since I’d first heard many of her comments about diversity, just why Marvel chose her character to be the “Captain Marvel” we see in the first female led superhero MCU movie. As a white woman herself and the FIRST female Captain Marvel being ‘Monica Rambeau’, (a character of color who worked her way to the top roster of the Avengers) isn’t it a bit odd to choose ‘Carol Danvers’ who only first took the Captain Marvel mantle as recently as 2012?

I do think Larson should have addressed this, especially with her campaign for diversity in the film industry recently gathering so much attention. She maybe even could have even suggested the character for the movie be Rambeau, in respect to the iconic character and just diversity in film in general. Whatever the case, it’s good to get the history of the female Captain Marvel character out there for discussion, in my opinion Marvel made a HUGE mis-step in not presenting the true original female Captain Marvel, Monica Rambeau for the upcoming movie. 

 

The New Marvel Movie Spider-man and the Great Race Debate!

So the controversy continues to grow around Spider-man and his introduction into the Marvel Universe films-now what we’re hearing is that Spider-man may not be the skinny white dude he’s been in the comic books for, well ever…We’re being tempted with him being African American instead and that he may not even be Peter Parker in this movie universe. Instead we hear he may take on the Miles Morales Ultimate universe persona of the character. So I’ve been thinking what’s the motivation behind mixing things up?

Well first it seems to me that the Marvel Universe films are lacking some awesome black characters. I personally don’t think they need to make any changes to Spider-man. In fact I just want to see Marvel take the character and do it right, showing Sony how to do Spidey the Marvel way. And can we PLEASE get a true representation of the damn Green Goblin already? Pleeeez?!!  I do think it’d be great to get some more characters in the mix of different races focused on-so don’t change Spider-man just give us some cool existing characters of the Marvel universe. Let’s see now, we already have Black Panther in the works, we’re getting Luke Cage and possibly the Falcon donning the Captain America duds after the upcoming third movie. If they really want to bring a little more besides a bunch of white dude superheroes bouncing around all over the place here are just a few ideas:

It’s time to bring back Blade-Give Snipes his role back! He doesn’t always need to fighting Vampires either!

A Brother Voodoo movie would be fucking awesome. Case closed. Better than Doctor Strange.

 

Bring the Bill Foster Goliath into the Avengers! They already fucked up the Hank Pym character, so have Foster take the role again!

 

Yeah a Deathlok movie would be pretty damn awesome…nuff said!

 

Bring Jim Rhodes in to take over for Tony Stark as he did way back in the 80’s. He was Iron man for well over two years!

 

Can we please get a hyper-action superhuman kung fu extravaganza with some Shang Chi on the big screen already?!!

I think it’s a big mistake to put Miles Morales in place of Peter Parker at least at first. Spider-man isn’t broken(besides in the Sony movies), he doesn’t need to be changed. If he is well so be it, maybe it’ll be an awesome movie regardless I’ll be there to check it out either way. But the fact of the matter is that I’m a comic book fan, I want to see Parker, the original Spider-man. I hope to see him first don the suit, then when his time is up feel free to put Miles into the role of the legendary webslinger. In the mean time let’s choose some great superheroes to come to life who deserve a shot, ones that us comic fans spent years following.. what do you think?!  

A Band Called DEATH: The Founding Fathers of Punk Rock!

I just saw the recently released documentary “A Band Called Death” documentary on VOD. Let me guess, you have no idea who Death is? Well that’s not a surprise as the band is only recently getting the recognition they most rightfully deserve and it only took about 40 years! So just who the hell are these guys? Well without spoiling too much of this excellent documentary I’ll say this, they were punk before punk was punk. Yeah Death formed way back in 1971 and they were an all black punk band long long before The Bad Brains. Yep before The Ramones these guys were kicking some serious ass.

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Three brothers all who had the passion for bands like The Who and Alice Cooper got together to make some of the most ass kickin’ punk rock songs of all time. To say these guys were ahead of their time is an understatement as they were turning up loud and fast during a time when the Motown scene was booming. Not a label would touch them with a name like Death but they never faltered for nearly ten years these guys went virtually unheard and only released a 45 record to the public yet had an amazing full album that never saw the light of day until recently. They eventually disbanded and that’s where the story gets real interesting.

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This is easily one of my favorite rockumentaries I’ve ever seen it ranks right of there with ‘The Story of Anvil’ in terms of portraying the true fight of an underdog band. It’s a truly heart warming movie full of some amazing rock and roll and a load of great stories. If you’re a fan of music in general you have gotta check this out. If you thought you knew everything there was to know about punk rock and it’s origins the you need to see this. The unlikely rise of a band called Death who formed over forty years ago proves that dreams really can and do come true…