HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
1 chance sur 2
Betterman
Scooby-Doo! Abracadabra-Doo
Yin Yang Master, The
Hail, Mafia!
Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase
Mirai
Strange House, The
Morfalous, Les
Dreambuilders
Everything Went Fine
Lux AEterna
Rum Runners
Fairy and the Devil, The
Mad God
Outside the Law
I Remember Mama
Superman Unbound
Lawrence of Belgravia
House Across the Lake, The
Wonder Park
Hornsby e Rodriguez
Operation Mincemeat
5 Kung Fu Daredevil Heroes
Scoob!
Earwig
Offseason
Peau Douce, La
Double Indemnity
Na Cha and the Seven Devils
Deep Murder
Superman vs. the Elite
Adam Project, The
Osamu Tezuka's Last Mystery of the 20th Century
Horse, La
Buffaloed
Train Robbers, The
Let Sleeping Cops Lie
Abominable
Funeral, The
   
 
Newest Articles
3 From Arrow Player: Sweet Sugar, Girls Nite Out and Manhattan Baby
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
   
 
  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 2542 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 probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Mary Sibley
Enoch Sneed
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M
  Sheila Reeves
Paul Smith
   

 

Last Updated: