The mission of The Department of Afro-American Research Arts and Culture to identify the global significance of the creative contributions pioneered by an international diaspora of Blackness
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Monday, December 12, 2011

Black Snake (1973)


  • Anouska Hempel
  • David Warbeck
  • Percy Herbert
  • Thomas Baptiste
  • Milton McCollin
Outrageously insane film from Russ Meyer, which is best described as Roots as a comedy. An evil blonde woman running a slave plantation beats her slaves at any chance she gets but soon the slaves fight back. This is so incredibly insane and politically incorrect that it's no wonder it bombed at the box office and nearly took Meyer broke. You'd think the film was going after laughs ala Blazing Saddles but that's not the case because the film is actually trying to be serious one moment in regards to racism but the next minute it's trying to be your typical Meyer comedy. I just don't get what the hell he was going for. The stereotypes are in poor taste, everything from the way the slaves talk to the way they behave. With all of that said, the film is unlike anything I've ever seen and there comes a point where you just have to roll your eyes and laugh at how stupid it is. I admit that this thing is so over the top that I couldn't help but laugh. Should I feel bad for that? Perhaps but I really don't know what the hell this film was trying to say or if it was trying to say anything at all. Perhaps it was trying to be like a Mel Brooks film but if so, it certainly crosses the line of good taste. Perhaps blaxploitation? Perhaps Meyer was on drugs at the time? If anyone knows the answer I'd love to hear it.