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 Blaxploitation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Blaxploitation. Show all posts

Monday, March 27, 2023

Solomon King (1974)

"Solomon King" (1974) is an action film from the booming 1970s production of black cult movies known as the Blaxploitation era. For the longest, the only thing that ever existed from this film after its initial run in theaters was the rare soundtrack by Jimmy Lewis. Long considered lost, Deaf Crocodile films have brought a piece of 1970s Oakland, California, back to life.

By 1974, the production of black movies was at its highest since the mid-1940s. Moreover, most black films produced came from prominent studio companies like MGM, Warner Brothers, and American International Pictures. However, independent filmmakers were still releasing films too. One of those filmmakers was Sal Watts, an entrepreneur born in Mississippi who eventually moved to California. He had a vision and passion for bringing his ideas to the big screen. In addition, Sal took part in various productions of TV shows, which helped him gain experience in creating "Solomon King."

So, for many people, "Solomon King" is a new-old film. That's different from movies that existed on home media, but you never got to see. If you didn't see this production while it was in theaters in '74 - '76, as well as its retitled run as "Luck Agent (a.k.a. Black Agent)" in 1977, then this is a brand new movie for most. Sal wrote this film with different intentions than many black films saturating the market while simultaneously influenced by famous fictional characters such as "Shaft." The film has a glamorous style of fashion where each character exemplifies the image Sal was conveying. The movie also gives an excellent nostalgic look at Oakland, California. Sal shot several scenes in the film throughout the city, ensuring that he pulls you into the environment.

The actors in the film are primarily novices, but they do a decent job of bringing their characters and the story to life. The storyline is well-thought and promising. This movie isn't an ordinary "stick it to the man" film that was regular during the 70s. There was messaging and righteousness involved, and Sal was making a statement. The action in the movie is fantastic and funny in parts. The action does give off "Dolemite" vibes, but Sal made his movie before Rudy Ray Moore's "Dolemite" conception. In addition, the soulful and funky soundtrack takes this movie to another level.

If you're a fan of those old-school 1970s black movies, then "Solomon King" is the film you need to watch. It's always great to resurface a lost black film so the filmmaker and his family can see their work in a new world. Thanks to Sal's wife, Belinda Burton-Watts, and Deaf Crocodile for bringing this black film history to people. "Solomon King's" release was made possible by Deaf Crocdile's Kickstarter campaign that raised over $50k, resulting in an excellent Blu-ray transfer and clearance granted by Sal's widow, Belinda.

Directors: Jack Bomay, Sal Watts
Writers: Jim Alston (story by), Sal Watts (screenplay by)

Starring Sal Watts, James Watts, Samaki Bennett, Claudia Russo, Felice Kinchelow, Louis Zito, Bernard B. Burton, Richard Scarso, Tito Fuentes, C.B. Lyars, Tanya Boyd

Ex-Green Beret Solomon King, an Oakland, California, club owner, swears vengeance when a former lover, Princess Oneeba, is murdered in his house by agents from the oil-rich Middle Eastern sheikdom she once escaped. With the help of brother Maney King, CIA agent O'Malley, and several fellow Vietnam veterans, Solomon conducts a commando raid into the Arab country and kills the hit man.

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Solomon King (1974) [Kickstarter by Deaf Crocodile Films]

Solomon King (1974) is a 1970s-era Black film that has rarely been seen and was never released on home video. However, the soundtrack to the film was released (a rare find now of days), and it left some folks wondering what the movie was about.

Thanks to Deaf Crocodile Films, we will have the chance to watch this rarely seen Black independent film soon. They have a Kickstarter with great incentives to help get the funding to restore the film and release it on Blu-ray. 

Check out the soundtrack as well. It sounds great!

Kickstarter for the film restoration


Saturday, September 18, 2021

Right on! (1970)

America's cities were caught up in a whirlwind of social protest, turmoil, and change. And on the hot streets of New York, a trio of young black performers, THE ORIGINAL LAST POETS, were creating a hip new form of guerilla poetry woven of soul, jazz, the blues, and gospel. Plus, something new all their own. 

Words syncopated and comic, crackling and potent, set to the very beat of the streets, the works of the Poets, Gylan Kain, Felip Luciano, and David Nelson, are today being credited as the tap-root of Rap. 

RIGHT ON!, the single film of the 60's to have captured the visionary brilliance of their work brings it all forward, from its award-winning bow at the Cannes Film Festival to the video audience of the '90s. Set on the streets, rooftops, and back-alleys of the Lower East Side, the film presents The Original Last Poets in the full range of performance from whiplash satire and power to tenderness and affirmation.