Sunday, March 24, 2013

Black Snake (1973)

Director: Russ Meyer

Starring: Anouska Hempel, David Warbeck, Percy Herbert, Thomas Baptiste, Milton McCollin, Bernard Boston, Vikki Richards, David Prowse, Bloke Modisane, Anthony Sharp

More info: IMDb

Tagline: No man escaped her island -- or her whip!

Plot: The film, shot in Barbados, stars Fulci regular David Warbeck as an English gent trying to discover what had happened to his brother after he married plantation owner Lady Susan Walker. A vicious whip wielding dominatrix who rules her black slaves with a vicious lash of her whip or her tongue, even Snoop Dogg and Tarantino would baulk at her vigorous use of the 'n' word. The sugar cane plantation is run by a drunken Irish bigot and a gay Frenchman, and by the end of the film the brother has made an appearance in the form of a zombie like Dave Prowse. Meanwhile, after many whippings, crucifixions and other bodily abuses the slaves rise up against their tormentors in a bloody orgy of revenge and Walker is left fighting for her life, screaming racist rhetoric until her very last breath.

My rating: 7/10

Will I watch it again? YES!

#9 on Drive-In Delirium Volume 1 (part of the TRAILER TRASH PROJECT)

After you've seen your first Russ Meyer picture, you know what you're in for before you watch your second (and hopefully the rest of his catalog).  I've seen a few of his movies but I never expected to see him as restrained as he was in BLACK SNAKE.  For the most part, I wouldn't have known he directed it by watching it.  There's one scene (during the movie proper) where Lady Susan Walker, the plantation owner played by Hempell, is nude (there's next to no nudity in this picture, unusual for Meyer) and it's only when the camera zooms into and focuses only on her bare breasts that I could tell Russ Meyer was behind the camera an I laughed out loud.  Outside of that, this plays like a serious slave drama, hitting all of the beats you would expect in a picture like this.  I reckon you could say it's Slavesploitation but it's less exploitation than you would think considering who created it.  ??? is a mean sumbitch and you just know he's going to get his before it's over.  The same goes for Lady Walker.  The acting is good and so is everything else.

David Prowse shows up in a surprise roll.  I'll keep the spoilers to a minimum but the future Darth Vader has his moment in the sun...

Remember that scene in DJANGO UNCHAINED (2012) when Django shoots that broad and she goes flying straight back?  Get a load of this...

So that's where Tarantino found his 'inspiration' for that bit.  Nice. 

I don't get the low score on IMDb.  I thoroughly enjoyd it, even if it does skimp on the 'sploitation.  Ooh.  I almost forgot one hilarious bit of Russ Meyer goodness.  The story ends and Meyer's voice over (done with pretty good posh British accent) talking about how much more developed the human race has become and about racial equality, etc.  While that's going on we see sugar cane fields being harvested by large, modern machinery followed by...

I miss you so much, Russ Meyer.  Please come back from the dead and make big boobed zombie movies.

1 comment:

  1. I'm surprised you like this film so much. I'm a BIG Russ Meyer fan, but this film doesn't do it for me. It's not Russ Meyer enough. My review is here.