Thursday, January 28, 2010
BLACK CAESER (1973) - FILM
One of the greatest blaxploitation films of all time.
Fred Williamson stars as a slightly moral gangster (No drugs) who crawls up from the gutter to put himself on top - where he finds that he may not be as different as the jive turkeys before him. Williamson brings a lot to the role, actual emoting at times, instead of only relying on the gruff 'take no shit attitude' he usually wears as a suit. Plus, he kicks a lot of ass. He ain't no a saint (There's an uncomfortable pseudo-rape scene) but he tries.
The rest of the cast do their grind house best, with only Williamson's on-screen wife stinking up the screen every time she's forced to wine and cry. Director Larry Cohen knocks it out of the park with a gritty hand held style, ultra violence (Especially for an early 70's corker) and a clever editing scheme that rockets the picture along without ever losing sight of its center. It all builds to an ending that will have even the meekest audience member standing up to cheer. Cracking stuff.
NOTE/SPOILER: The original downer ending of BLACK CAESER was trimmed from all theatrical print at the director's behest. It was only re-inserted in the DVD version because they went straight to the negative for the transfer. It makes the first few moments of the follow up mighty confusing.