Monday, February 13, 2012

Five on the Black Hand Side (1973)

Director: Oscar Williams

Starring: Clarice Taylor, Leonard Jackson, Kwasi Badu, Tchaka Almoravids, Bonnie Blanfield, Carl Franklin, Virginia Capers, D'urville Martin, Godfrey Cambridge

More info: IMDb

Tagline: You've been coffy-tized, blacula-rized and super-flied - but now you're gonna be glorified, unified and filled-with-pride... when you see "Five on the Black Hand Side"

Plot: A tale of an African-American family going through changes during the 1970s. The older brother Booker T. Washington Brooks is a socialist who talks the talk, but doesn't walk the walk. His younger brother Gideon, is a black revolutionary who defies the father and everyone around him. Their sister is getting married and the mother, Mrs. Brooks has had it with her husband. She doesn't really want out of her marriage but she wants some change in their marriage, which not only means her, but her husband. Mrs. Brooks goes to war with help from her neighbors and children. Mr. Brooks wants the best for his children but he is too controlling of how they should live their lives which creates a friction between Gideon and him. He is also resistant to change.

My rating: 4/10

Will I watch it again? Noooooo.

#3 on the Black History Month Project 2012

Although I did spend my childhood growing up in the 1970s I did not, unlike Steve Martin, grow up in a black family. I am not the audience for this flick. Not only could I not identify with it (not that I have to in order to enjoy it, mind you) but it bored the piss out of me. It's a Blaxploitation light comedy/drama that just isn't funny nor is it engaging. The themes that are presented in this flick that some households experienced back then have been done many times - some of them worse and some better (I can't wait to tell you how much fun I had with the super low budget ABAR, THE FIRST BLACK SUPERMAN (1977)) but that doesn't matter because I'm not going to be unfair and compare this to anything. The performances are fine I guess but the whole movie is trying to be a social drama but with some eccentric performances that are supposed to be funny. It's in that grey area, walking that fine line of drama and comedy and not succeeding at either. Oh, and before you get all excited that the GREAT Godfrey Cambridge is in's literally seconds and he got the only laugh out of this jolly-ass mother fucker...and at the very beginning of the picture, too. Great theme song and trailer, though.

1 comment:

  1. I remember watching this on Turner Classic last year along with Sweet Jesus, Preacherman. Of the two, 'Sweet Jesus' made me laugh more, though I did enjoy 'Five' as well. You're right, it does kind of walk the line between comedy and drama, but I actually liked that about it. Plus it was nice to see Glynn Turman (J.D.'s Revenge) in a different kind of role.