Blerd Film Club: Black Dynamite


Blaxploitation films were popular in the 70s. These films had casts that were almost entirely black, directed, written and produced by black people as well. Often times these films focused on pimps, drug dealers, voodoo, were heavily religious or portrayed black people in other stereotypical roles. They were backed by white studios and thus deemed exploitative. Thus, the origins of the Blaxkploitation name, a combination of black and exploitation. Despite what many people had to say about the negative portrayals, the films deemed popular as they were some of the only films featuring black people in main roles at the time.

In 2009 Michael Jai White brought us a love letter to these films with Black Dynamite. The film is named after the main character, Black Dynamite, a pimp, owner of an orphanage, former military, former CIA, martial arts expert, and anti-drug dealer. Essentially, he hits all the points of the classic blaxploitation film. Most of the comedy in the film relies on satire of the genre. You don't need to know much about the genre to laugh at it, but if you do, a lot of the jokes have extra layers of comedy.

Black Dynamite finds out that his brother Jimmy has been killed over drugs. Black Dynamite promises himself that he'll clean up the streets of drugs as he blames himself for his brother's death. A former army and CIA buddy O'Reilly, no first name, shows up to reinstate Black Dynamite. The CIA doesn't want Black Dynamite on a revenge mission without help. Soon Black Dynamite finds out that his brother was also a CIA agent. After finding out that someone is selling heroin to orphans Black Dynamite officially declares his war on drugs, at the only place he knows. The Pimp Counsel.

During his pursuit of justice he meets Gloria, a woman inspired by The Black Panthers and is pushing for a more pro-black community. Black Dynamite puts together his own team to assist him. First he consults his long time friend Bull Horn who speaks only in rhymes. Bullhorn suggests they can get information from Cream Corn, a failed pimp turned hustler. This leads Black Dynamite and Bullhorn to a showdown with gangster, Chicago Wind, which has Bullhorn in one of the funniest fight scenes ever. After a car chase, Black Dynamite learns someone has put a hit out on Gloria, so he takes her to his whorphanage (an orphanage that also keeps whores) where Honey Bee promises she will keep Gloria safe.

Meanwhile Black Dynamite goes to team up with Shaheed, a black militant and his team. Shaheed knows Black Dynamite's record but his team isn't exactly thrilled. Together with Cream Corn and Bullhorn they work together to steal a congressman's ledger. They use it to learn about Operation Kansas which they believe to be drugs. They attack the warehouse and only find Anaconda Malt Liquor, which has commercials through the film. They go to Roscoe's to figure out how this all makes sense. Why the government is sponsoring malt liquor. They come to the conclusion that Anaconda Malt Liquor gives you woo, Little Richard goes Woo and Dick is a nick name for Richard so Anaconda Malt Liquor gives you little dick.Their suspicions are confirmed when they go check on their friend gunsmoke who is staring at his now micro penis with a bottle of Anaconda Malt Liquor.

This leads Black Dynamite to Karate Island where Anaconda Malt Liquor is being created by Chinese scientists who also practice Martial Arts. Black Dynamite fights his way through and prevails by throwing a knife before he even walks in the room. Saheed is killed in the battle and they discover who is really behind this, The White House.

The group travels to The White House which leads to Secret Service killing Cream Corn. In the final show down Black Dynamite discovers this was Rirchard Nixon, AKA Tricky Dick's, plan the entire time. The two get into a kung-fu battle before Nixon pulls a gun. However the ghost of Abraham Lincoln attacks Nixon forcing him to drop the gun and allowing Black Dynamite to win.


The entire film is ridiculous. As I typed out the plot I realize none of it makes any sense at all when written or spoken aloud. The fact that they solve Anaconda Malt Liquor by starting with waffles that melt in your mouth is just ridiculous. That entire scene is a play on numerology or sacred geometry which is really common in some pro black circles. It's the idea that numbers reveal everything. There's the entire hypocrisy between running an orphanage, but combining it with a whore house.

The super human feats performed by Black Dynamite such as throwing a knife before he walks in the room. Bullhorn slapping a man so hard his actor is replaced mid scene, the mandatory pimp counsel scene and more are all callbacks to classic blaxploitation films. Despite being filmed in 2009 it was filmed in the Super 16 format to give it more of a classic styling. There's scenes when characters stare directly into the camera and it's clear they're just having fun with it. It's a love letter to Blaxploitation and it's a great film for it. Blaxploitation films were terrible and exploitative as the name implies, but they were necessary no matter how problematic. Black Dynamite pays homage to it and does so beautify and tastefully.

Download a free copy of Darrell's book Phantasmagoricalread some of his other work at 12AMFiction.com and hear him on the Powerbomb Jutsu Podcast
Blerd Film Club: Black Dynamite Blerd Film Club: Black Dynamite Reviewed by Blerds Online on Sunday, February 10, 2019 Rating: 5

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