In a previous article I wrote about 3 QUIRKY FLICKS WITH 70s FLAIR. Here are 2 more films to be added to that list.
Michael Jai White, who donned the mantel of Spawn in the 1997 film of the same name, stars as the greatest 70s action star to ever walk the Earth. This 2001 spoof of all things blaxploitation wrapped shooting in just 20 days. It was shot in Super 16 for that authentic feel, and followed the exploits of a Vietnam veteran and former CIA officer. After his younger brother is killed by a mysterious syndicate, Black Dynamite is brought back onto the scene to hunt his brother’s killer down one body at a time.
The purity of 70s action flicks comes from the solitary aim of the main character. Most of these films are either heists gone bad, or quests for vengeance. Black Dynamite falls into the latter, and accomplishes this task well.
Everything about the film takes its cues from movies that made the era great. Particle board walls bad guys are hurled through, women of all varieties oozing femme fatale sexy, a soundtrack that plays like it came fresh out of the studio of a young Herbie Hancock. This is one film that pays homage to its subject matter with calculated mayhem.
Taking of Pelham 1-2-3
It would be difficult to discuss the 70s without touching upon the Taking of Pelham 1-2-3. The film was timely for the period. It came out during a time when crime was escalating and joblessness was abound. Entire sections of the city seemed to be rotting, and in the midst of it all was Lieutenant Zachary Garber. Portrayed by Walter Matthau, this film captured the essence of a crime-riddled city, and its effect on the innocent inhabitants.
What makes this film so unique was its ability to capture New Yorkers at their core. Matthau’s character is gruff and salty. His adversary is abruptly cruel, and both of them are surrounded by a side cast that grows into performances that feel true-to-life.
The Taking of Pelham 1-2-3 is proof that you don’t need a flashy heist to capture the moment and make something intriguing.