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  I'm Gonna Git You Sucka Black Comedy
Year: 1988
Director: Keenen Ivory Wayans
Stars: Keenen Ivory Wayans, Bernie Casey, Antonio Fargas, Steve James, Isaac Hayes, Jim Brown, Ja'net Dubois, Dawnn Lewis, John Vernon, Clu Gulager, Kadeem Hardison, Damon Wayans, Gary Owens, Clarence Williams III, David Alan Grier, Chris Rock, Tony Cox
Genre: ComedyBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: In Any Ghetto U.S.A. there has been another death as one more young black man falls prey to an O.G. He was just wearing too much gold, and all the metal weighing him down in chains and medallions was what killed him; at least that was able to pay for his funeral, but as the day arrives when the reverend mentions his name all the mourners apart from his mother, Ma Bell (Ja'net Dubois) his wife Cheryl (Dawnn Lewis) realise they are at the wrong one, and promptly get up and leave, taking most of the floral tributes with them. Ma isn't really surprised because as she says the deceased wasn't shit, but when his brother Jack Spade (Keenen Ivory Wayans) arrives from the Army, there will be trouble.

Nowadays Black Dynamite is the spoof to go to for all your blaxploitation send-up needs, but back in the eighties and nineties your one stop shop for guaranteed laughs at the expense of that genre and its dubious conventions was I'm Gonna Git You Sucka, which was writer/director/star Keenen Ivory Wayans' deliberate effort to bring African American humour to the mainstream. He would go further in that manner with his hit television comedy show In Living Colour, and the Wayans brothers (who all show up here, some in bit parts) would continue an assault on white dominated Hollywood for years to come, but there were a hardy few who recalled this and were of the opinion they never bettered it.

It was true that many of the jokes here were corny, even obvious, yet the fact nobody had carried out such a sustained assault on the presumed cool of blaxploitation until this came along marked it out as something worth catching. Crucially, while there had been moves towards this in The Kentucky Fried Movie, it was Airplane! which appeared to have been the main inspiration to Wayans, delivering joke after joke without allowing the audience to catch their collective breath. If one gag made you groan, there were sure to be two taking its place that were hilarious, and everyone who's a fan of this will have their favourite scenes or lines: truth be told there were a plethora to choose from.

What made this so winning was that Wayans had secured the services of black celebrities who had starred in these films to return to show they had a sense of humour about their status (notably Fred Williamson was asked to be in this and was not shy about telling the producers he wasn't keen, to say the least). So Bernie Casey was admirably straightfaced as Ma Bell's old flame and former no-nonsense clean up the ghetto cop, responding to her pleas that now her family is in crisis she needs him with "Yeah, I've been pretty horny myself", and Truck Turner Isaac Hayes teams up with Slaughter Jim Brown as Hammer and Slammer, breaking out of the restaurant business to see off the film's main villain, Mr Big (John Vernon, who excuses his presence amusingly).

It helped to be some way familiar with the movies they parodied, but it wasn't essential as more often than not the jokes were easy to get (though the likes of the Abby spoof might be more obscure). The low budget nature of many of these was taken aim at, with a stuntman standing in for Spade's mother who not only has a moustache, but is a white man wearing a wig, and ridiculous aspects to modern eyes such as the fashions were sidesplittingly rendered as Antonio Fargas' former Pimp of the Year gets out of prison in his old funky threads and ends up laughed down the street (he's so good you'll wish they found him more to do). Then there's Steve James as the Jim Kelly-alike Kung Fu Joe, who finally gets what every martial arts hero probably had coming when he strikes a pose against impossible odds and is gunned down in a hail of bullets. But for all the lampooning, you could tell everyone here had a genuine appreciation of the genre, so while this was obsessively silly, it only enhanced the next blaxploitation flick you'd watch. Music by David Michael Frank.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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