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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Saturday, November 26, 2016

Ambushed (1988)


A mother and her son is kidnapped by a gang of deserters. The father, calling in his Assistant Ranger, tracks the gang through the treacherous landscape back to their hidden base. The odds are stacked against him, but it is here that he launches a desperate attack in hopes to save his family.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Ed Cobb Featuring Sheldon Lee - The Bad Bunch (1973, OST)

The Bad Bunch [a.k.a. Tom] (1973) is pretty much a five-fist blaxploitation film, not because it was a decent film, but because it embodies all the elements you would look for in a Blaxploitation movie. The soundtracks, which was never officially released was credited to Ed Cobb with some of the vocals done by Sheldon Lee. The soundtrack is fairly groovy with a solid mix of soul, blues, and even some psychedelic funk. Dialect is pretty much throughout the entire soundtrack. It's possible that some of these tracks may had an official release on a 45 or something, so if anyone comes across a familiar track and has the official release, please let us know.

01. N*****r Lover [Theme] (Performed by Sheldon Lee)
02. Interlude
03. Interlude (theme)
04. Honkey Chase
05. Dialog
06. Cops Theme #1
07. Strip Club
08 Makimba Chase
08. Cops Theme #2
09. Interlude (theme)
11. Tina's Apartment #1
12. Jim and Nancy's Ballad #1
13. Tina's Apartment #2
14. Brother's Blues
15. Willie the Pimp
16. Interlude (theme)
17. Love Sure Does Look Good On You
18. Makimba's Irony
19. Jim and Nancy's Ballad #2
20. Hippie Party (I)
21. Hippie Party (II)
22. Hippie Party (III)
23. I Wish For Love
24. 19. Jim and Nancy's Ballad #3
25. Makimba's Vengeance
26. Cops Theme #3
27. Cop Killer
28. A Day For Marriage
29. N*****r Lover [Theme Instrumental]

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Gravel Road Distribution Group | Retro Afrika Bioscope

Mission Abroad

The Department of Afro-American Research and Culture (DAARAC) has built a reputation of discovering and presenting lost treasures of Black Cinema. Our mission is to preserve the history of Black Cinema world wide while educating communities on the accomplishments of Afro-Americans in the film industry. This has been a focus for our organization since 2008. We have helped preserve the Blaxploitation Era, which was the roots of how DAARAC was started. Eventually, the discovery of Blaxploitation films started to slow down, so we decided to help preserve the Race Film Era as well as other eras. While discovering and presenting Race Films of the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s, it was apparent that many of the films we were looking for were destroyed or lost. A huge perspective of Afro-American history was erased. But what was fascinating was how those Race Films were discovered in the first place. You can see from this promotional video narrated by the great Ossie Davis which was released as part of Kino Lorber's Pioneers of African-American Cinema.

It wasn't until 1983 when some of these Race Films were discovered (Dirty Gertie from Harlem U.S.A. and The Blood of Jesus) America. So would this have happened somewhere else in the world? 

Joe Bullet (1973)
There is one thing that the United States of America and South Africa shared in common, which was the violation of Civil Rights towards Blacks through Jim Crow (United States) and Apartheid (South Africa). The cultural response not only echoed through the movements to end these violations, but Blacks found their way into the film industry by making movies for Black audiences. In the U.S., we know that to be the Blaxplotiation Era, but guess what? South Africa had their Blaxploitation Era and it started with a 1971 film called Joe Bullet. Gravel Road Distribution Group and Retro Afrika Bioscope (a restoration division of Gravel Road) has made it possible for the world to see Joe Bullet and several others titles from the South African Blaxploitation Era.

About Joe Bullet (info courtesy of Retro Afrika Bioscope)

Produced in 1971, Joe Bullet was one of the first South African films featuring an all-African cast, and starred Ken Gampu, of the first black South African actors to appear in Hollywood films.

Joe Bullet was independently released in 1973 in the Eyethu cinema in Soweto, and after only two screenings, the film was banned by the then Apartheid government. The film was later unbanned after special appeal and a personal screening to the Minister of Communications. The film was, however, never released again and simply disappeared.

DAARAC's New Partnership with Gravel Road Distribution Group

We are excited to announce that DAARAC will be helping Gravel Road promote their South African Blaxploitation titles to give an international audience outside of South Africa. There will be many films presented here to add an exciting new flavor to Blaxplotiation films. These films have been digitally restored by Retro Afrika Bioscope and we have plenty of titles to present on DAARAC.

As we move forward from here, we will keep everyone updated on the latest releases and provide a master list of South African Blaxplotiation titles as they are presented. Many of these films have been seen by few, but like we did with the Blaxploitation era here in the U.S.A.; we can bring life to a sleeping movement that was similar to the American Civil Rights Movement, but in another region of the world where Black's were fighting against oppression.

Connect With Gravel Road | Retro Afrika

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Sunday, November 20, 2016

South Beach (1992)


Two ex-football players concentrate on living the good life in Miami. In their spare time, they're private eyes, but their partying lifestyles are thrown for a loop when they accept a mysterious challenge from an exotic beauty... Fred Williamson features the action star as a cigar-smoking detective named Mac Derringer. He is enlisted by his ex-wife (Vanity), a phone-sex operator, to catch the masked psychopath who murdered her co-worker.

With the aid of partner Gary Busey and friend Peter Fonda, Derringer closes in on the maniac, but is soon framed for murder. Williamson has an interracial love scene, there's a stoolie who raps, and a subplot involves blackmail and pornography. The Jeffersons' Isabel Sanford appears as Derringer's mother, and the familiar genre cast features Stella Stevens, Robert Forster, and Henry Silva. 

Talons of the Eagle (1992)


After 3 DEA agents are killed by Mr. Li, martial arts champion Tyler Wilson (Billy Blanks) is sent on assignment to Toronto and teams up with Michael Reeds. Wilson and Reeds enter a martial arts tournament, where they end up saving Mr. Li from being killed by a rival crime boss. Li invites the two to join his staff. As Wilson and Reeds get closer to the truth about Li's operation, they gather the needed evidence, but will have to escape Li, alive.