HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Castle Freak
Pinocchio
Brother Bear
Raiders of Buddhist Kung Fu
County Lines
Polytechnique
We Have Always Lived in the Castle
Covert Action
Strangler's Web
Host
Nimic
House of Bamboo
Murder Me, Monster
Hell and High Water
Possessor
Flint
Miserables, Les
Ritz, The
Patrick
Cemetery
Girls of the Sun
Princess and the Goblin, The
Skyfire
Upright
Incredible Kung Fu Mission
Dirty Cops
You Cannot Kill David Arquette
Leap of Faith: William Friedkin on The Exorcist
Son's Room, The
Evil Hits Evil
Agency
Blue My Mind
Thumbelina
Proxima
Aprile
Assassination Nation
Golden Key, The
Image Book, The
On Body and Soul
Unhinged
   
 
Newest Articles
Newley Minted: The Strange World of Gurney Slade on Blu-ray
Bad Love: The Night Porter on Blu-ray
Brevity is the Soul of Weird: Short Sharp Shocks on Blu-ray
Get Your Ass to Mars: Total Recall on Blu-ray
Call the Professionals: Le Cercle Rouge on Blu-ray
When There's No More Room in Hell: Dawn of the Dead on Blu-ray
The Butterfly Effect: Mothra on Blu-ray
Living Room Theatre: Play for Today Volume 1 on Blu-ray
Didn't He Do Well: The Bruce Forsyth Show on DVD
Blood Wedding: The Bride with White Hair on Blu-ray
The Inhuman Element: The Ladykillers on 4K UHD
As You Like It, Baby: Breathless on Blu-ray
Stargazing: Light Entertainment Rarities on DVD
Down to the Welles: Orson Welles Great Mysteries Volume 2 on DVD
Herding Cats: Sleepwalkers on Blu-ray
Confessions of a Porn Star: Adult Material on DVD
They're Still Not Sure It is a Baby: Eraserhead on Blu-ray
Werewolves are Real: Dog Soldiers on Digital
Rose: A Love Story - Producers April Kelley and Sara Huxley Interview
Phone Phreak: 976-EVIL on Blu-ray
Living the Nightmare: Dementia on Blu-ray
Becky and The Devil to Pay: Ruckus and Lane Skye Interview
Big Top Bloodbath: Circus of Horrors on Blu-ray
A Knock on the Door at 4 O'clock in the Morning: The Strangers on Blu-ray
Wives of the Skies: Honey Lauren Interview
   
 
  Shaft in Africa The Brother Man In The Motherland
Year: 1973
Director: John Guillermin
Stars: Richard Roundtree, Frank Finlay, Vonetta McGee, Neda Arneric, Debebe Eshetu, Spiros Focás, Jacques Herlin, Jho Jhenkins, Willie Jonah, Adolfo Lastretti, Marne Maitland, Frank McRae, Zenebech Tadesse, A.V. Falana, James E. Myers, Nadim Sawalha
Genre: Action, Thriller, AdventureBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: In Paris, a young man has tried to escape the criminals who have captured him; he was working undercover to bust a slavery ring but was exposed and as he awaits his fate, he writes a message in his native Ethiopian language on the wall with his handcuffs, but the order comes through from the boss Mr Amafi (Frank Finlay) to have him killed. While all this is going on, the New York City private detective John Shaft (Richard Roundtree) is jogging when he notices some young punks stealing the hubcaps from his car, so he chases them off and returns to his apartment. However, as he does so he is confronted by a large African gentleman who demands he accompany him - Shaft resists, and ends up with a tranquiliser dart in him.

The first two Shaft movies were very much part of the blaxploitation scene, with their urban settings, African-American performers featured more prominently than the white ones, and funky soundtracks they more or less set out the rules for such productions for others to follow, and in some cases better. When it came to the third instalment before some TV executives decided the character was ideal for a series of watered down weekly adventures in a shortlived show, there was the not quite like the others African excursion. Creator Ernest Tidyman had nothing to do with the storyline this time around, as the script was penned by Stirling Silliphant, a writer no stranger to camp.

But there was a more serious tone to this than say, the Dino De Laurentiis King Kong remake which both Silliphant and director John Guillermin worked on, which may have been surprising when the main inspiration was more James Bond than the private eye source had been, and that franchise was known for its leaning towards the humour, especially in the nineteen-seventies. Indeed, while Shaft was going back to his roots in Ethiopia, Bond was clashing with blaxploitation figures in Live and Let Die, yet they were not quite interchangeable as you couldn't envisage Roger Moore, for example, appearing quite as nude as Roundtree did here, nor as often. This was assuredly a grown-up thriller, with the language and the action hewing close to the R rating.

And also the sex scenes, as Shaft could get away with a lot more in that department than 007, which led to him bedding the daughter of the Colonel who hires him, Aleme played by Vonetta McGee right after Blacula had fallen for her. She also mentions she will be subjected to female circumcision which she seems surprisingly blasé about, though one night with our hero and she sees the sense in having the pleasure of an untampered with clitoris, so hooray for that champion of international women's rights John Shaft. But there was another woman he gets up close and personal with, a curious individual named Jazar, played by Yugoslavian actress (and future politician) Neda Arneric who is Amifi's ladyfriend and also a nymphomaniac aroused by the sight of slaves working in the hot sun with their shirts off.

The sort of character only a mainstream thriller from the seventies would be able to get away with, basically, and though she's nice enough to Shaft it's no surprise how the film deems her fate should be, which is a bit much. There was a tendency for everyone Shaft got close to aside from Aleme to meet some dire peril, even the dog he befriends on his African quest which in disquieting scenes of authenticity ends up a floppy corpse: who knows, maybe they just drugged the pooch to get it to comply? If you could put up with the kind of dubious taste this decade would serve up as entertainment, then Shaft in Africa wasn't so bad, it certainly had a valid point to make about the issue of people trafficking and Roundtree was obviously relishing the chance to do something different with his role, even if it was taking his clothes off. Yet there were still aspects that verged on the unpalatable, take the Colonel for instance, played by Marne Maitland, patently a white actor in brown makeup and looking nothing like McGee. A weird time for movies. Music by Johnny Pate; The Four Tops do the theme.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1693 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Enoch Sneed
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
  Lee Fiveash
  Mick Stewart
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
   

 

Last Updated: