Sunday, August 28, 2016

The Black 6 (1973)

AKA: The Black Six

Director: Matt Cimber

Writers: Matt Cimber, Mikel Angel

Composer: David Moscoe

Starring: Robert Howard, Cindy Daly, Mikel Angel, John Isenbarger, Gene Washington, Carl Eller, Lem Barney, Mercury Morris, Willie Lanier, Joe Greene, Garnett Higgens, Bill King, Marilyn McArthurs

More info: IMDb

Tagline: See the 6 biggest, baddest and best waste 150 motorcycle dudes!

Plot:  A gang of six black Vietnam veterans fight white racists in a Southern town to avenge their dead friend.

My rating: 6.5/10

Will I watch it again?  Maybe.

On paper, this sounds like a great revenge, action-filled, Blaxploitation picture that would be awesome to see as a drive-in double feature.  While it does have those elements, there's a lot more attention paid to the social race aspect than anything else.  It's half exploitation and half social issues and, to a large degree, it works.  The Black 6 are made up of real life NFL players, many of whom made their acting debut here.  I like them and I dig that they're not seasoned actors because they bring something authentic to the role that you wouldn't get otherwise.  That also means it gets a little amateurish but it's in a good way.  If I had to single out my favorite performance it would be Hannah Dean who plays the lead's mother.  She's about as genuine as it gets and this is only her first of four films she made.  The low budget nature suits this film just fine.  I wasn't once bored, even if there's very little action (which most of it was saved for the big fight at the end).  The plot moves nicely even if it doesn't fit a conventional mold.  For instance, we're a long ways into the picture when Bubba (Washington) investigates his brother's unsolved murder which doesn't take as long as you'd think before the big fight at the end.  There's not much time spent with the bad guys.  But then we don't have to hang with them long.  We know from the opening of the picture that these guys are bad and they need to be dealt with.  This isn't Shakespeare.  I've seen this twice now and it's one of the better low budget Blaxploitation pictures to come out of the 70s.  It's a fun ride that has be benefit of inexperience from different aspects to the cast and crew.

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