Thursday, November 25, 2010

The Monkey Hu$tle (1976)

Director: Arthur Marks

Starring: Yaphet Kotto, Kirk Calloway, Rosalind Cash, Rudy Ray Moore

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Meet Daddy Fox, Baby D. and Goldie. They gonna do the Monkey Hustle!

Plot: Daddy Foxx (Kotto) is a natural when it comes to scheming and scamming, and that keeps him one step ahead of the competition in his Windy City ghetto. But he'll need all his wits -- and the help of his neighbors -- to quash the local government's plan to run an expressway through the 'hood.

My rating: 4/10

Will I watch it again? No.

Blaxploitation classic? Nope. Comedy? It looks like it's supposed to be one. Did I laugh? Nope. I love Yaphet Kotto. So far this is the only flick I've seen him in I'll never watch again. He's always fun to watch (he had moments in this one that reminded me of Walter Huston in TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE (1948)). Too bad he's not in it enough to carry the film. There's too much focus on the kids and their dumb shit to make it worthwhile. Then there's the silly and delightful Rudy Rae Moore (DOLEMITE (1975)). He's hardly in it and when he is, he just reminds you that the movies he stars in are far more fun and watchable than this one.

The story is all over the place. It's a comedy and I didn't laugh once which pretty much says it all. There's not much of a linear narrative and the ending nearly comes out of nowhere - especially when the local politician shows up (for the first time) and says they've re-routed the expressway (AT THE VERY LAST MINUTE?!?!?! - you know, because it's THAT easy to do)! The only person that got hustled was me.

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