Wednesday, June 3, 2015

538. Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song

Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song
Directed by Melvin Van Peebles

I thought I had seen every type of movie because of this List.  But no.  Until today, The List hadn't shown me one genre: pornography.  I don't know if everyone will agree with me that that is what this is.  What's that quote about pornography? I cannot define pornography but I know it when I see it?  I have a much simpler philosophy: a pornographic movie contains unsimulated sex.  The fact that the director contracted gonorrhea during filming pretty much sums it up.

Our hero is a prostitute who started working from an extremely young age.  We are shown this is a very disturbing scene that makes me wish Child Protective Services would come and save this poor actor.  Anyway, Sweetback (who acquired his nickname based on his large penis, because of course) is on the run from the police after saving a young black man from being brutally beaten.  Unfortunately, that is the most realistic part of this entire film.

That's my biggest problem with this movie.  It is so absurd that it is hard to see the real truth in it.  Certainly police brutality is a very real problem.  Instead, we get a hero who is forced to have sex with a woman in exchange for her removing his handcuffs.  I also don't want to get too graphic here, but those sex scenes were idealistic at best.  And how annoying were those voiceovers when Sweetback was running through the desert?  I wanted to watch the film on mute but I was already covering my eyes.

I read that this film was important for the black community because it gave them a cool, masculine hero instead of the Uncle Tom type.  This movie isn't for me and I have no idea what it is like to be African American and face that level of oppression.  But this is my blog and I have to be honest.  HATED, HATED, HATED it.

RATING: *----

Interesting Facts:

Partially funded by Bill Cosby.  Oh good, another reason to hate Cosby.

Apparently, this film preceded Shaft.  However, The Book has Shaft first.  Since I must commit the same sins of my fathers, I will go with the order The List has.

Earth, Wind, and Fire were never paid for their contribution to this film.


  1. Yawn.
    Hey, I wonder why we get a racist stereotype that Black Males are violent and sexually incontinent?

    1. Exactly. It's hard to look at this like an improvement.