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
Search DAARAC's Archive
Showing posts with label 1996. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 1996. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 22, 2023

The Substitute (1996)

"The Substitute" (1996) is an action-thriller and cult classic directed by Robert Mandel and stars Tom Berenger and Ernie Hudson. By 1996, Hollywood established that films about white teachers coming to inner-city schools and turning things around were successful enough at the box office to continue to produce. For example, there was "The Principal" (1987), "Dangerous Minds" (1995), "Sunset Park" (1996), and "The Substitute." It was apparent enough that "High School High" was a spoof of those movies. Regardless, "The Substitute" stepped up the level and brought intense action to the inner-city high school theme. Additional cast members include William Forsythe, Marc Anthony, Glenn Plummer, Diane Venora, and Shar-Ron Corley. Inner-city high school-themed movies usually had primarily multicultural student populations. Mandel filmed "The Substitute" at Miami Sr. High School.

Director: Robert Mandel
Writers: Roy Frumkes, Rocco Simonelli, Alan Ormsby

Starring Tom Berenger, Ernie Hudson, Marc Anthony, Glenn Plummer, Diane Venora, Shar-Ron Corley, William Forsythe, Raymond Cruz, William Forsythe, Luis Guzmán, Richard Brooks, Vincent Laresca, Maurice Compte, Beau Weaver, Cliff De Young, Willis Sparks, Noelle Beck, Jody Wilson, Jim Warne, Ian Marioles, María Celedonio, David Spates, David Hayes, Peggy Pope, Rodney A. Grant

Inner-city Miami schoolteacher Jane Hetzko (Diane Venora) gets her knee broken when she stands up to the gang leader, Juan Lacas (Marc Anthony). Her boyfriend, mercenary combat specialist Jonathan Shale (Tom Berenger), goes undercover as a substitute teacher to take down the gang but soon discovers that Lacas is merely an underling for the actual criminal mastermind.

Sunday, July 9, 2023

Spirit Lost (1996)

"Spirit Lost" (1996) was an erotic horror directed by Neema Barnette. BET Films and United Image Entertainment (Tim Reid's production company) produced the movie, a straight-to-home video release by Artisan Entertainment (formerly Live Entertainment). The movie stars Leon, Regina Taylor, Cynda Williams, Tamara Tunie, and Juanita Jennings.

Reid filmed the movie in Virginia, one of many movies he made under his production company. Other films include "Out-of-Sync," "Once Upon a Time... When We Were Colored," and "Race to Freedom: The Underground Railroad." Reid and Neema Barnette worked together in previous films and television shows as far as 1987 when she directed a couple of episodes of "Frank's Place," which starred Reid.

The "Spirit Lost" storyline was unique for black cinema but straightforward—a married couple movies into their new seaside home, where a ghost resides. However, this ghost (Cynda Williams) is seductive and jealous and intends to run off the pregnant wife (Regina Taylor) so that she can have John (Leon) to herself. This film has an artistic nature, even with its B-movie atmosphere. 

In hindsight, Reid had something going for black cinema. He wasn't just producing movies. He was employing black filmmakers while simultaneously worth with T.V. networks. His movies had substance, were thoughtful, and diverse in genre. "Spirit Lost" is an adult movie with sexual nature, but there isn't any blood, gore, or obscene language.

Director: Neema Barnette
Writers: Joyce Renee Lewis, Nancy Thayer, Shirley Pierce

Starring Leon, Regina Taylor, Cynda Williams, Tamara Tunie, Juanita Jennings, Frank Hoyt Taylor, James Avery, Reed R. McCants, Yvonne Erickson, Chris Northup

An artist, John (Leon), and his wife, Willy (Regina Taylor), move to a seaside home that is haunted by a jealous and seductive ghost (Cyndia Williams). As the couple starts to settle in, John begins this supernatural affair that strains the couple's marriage. However, only John can see the ghost, and his behavior grows concerning for his pregnant wife, who hires a nurse (Juanita Jennings) to help around the house as her husband is now unreliable. With John becoming increasingly unhinged, how will the couple survive this terrifying ordeal?