Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Why Was Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv) Really Replaced on 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'? Buzzfeed Investigates Why Was Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv) Really Replaced on 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'? Buzzfeed Investigates Indiegogo Video: 'Dear White People' Breaks Domestic Box Office Record for a Crowdfunded Film Indiegogo Video: 'Dear White People' Breaks Domestic Box Office Record for a Crowdfunded Film Bring on the Racist Comments - Mehcad Brooks Cast to Play Jimmy Olsen in New 'Supergirl' Series Bring on the Racist Comments - Mehcad Brooks Cast to Play Jimmy Olsen in New 'Supergirl' Series These Films & TV Series Are Leaving Netflix's Streaming Library at the End of This Month (January) These Films & TV Series Are Leaving Netflix's Streaming Library at the End of This Month (January) Say Hello to the Cast of the All-New, All-Female 'Ghostsbusters' movie Say Hello to the Cast of the All-New, All-Female 'Ghostsbusters' movie Review: Nuance-Deprived "Race" Movie 'Black or White' is Actually About White Frustration (Opens Friday) Review: Nuance-Deprived "Race" Movie 'Black or White' is Actually About White Frustration (Opens Friday) Trailer: Musical Take on the Gospel According to John the Apostle w/ a Black Cast (Harry Lennix, Chaka Khan, Mali Music, More) Trailer: Musical Take on the Gospel According to John the Apostle w/ a Black Cast (Harry Lennix, Chaka Khan, Mali Music, More) ABC Picks Up New Pilot From Shonda Rhimes' Shondaland Titled 'The Catch' ABC Picks Up New Pilot From Shonda Rhimes' Shondaland Titled 'The Catch' First 'Fantastic Four' Reboot Trailer Surfaces! Watch It Now! First 'Fantastic Four' Reboot Trailer Surfaces! Watch It Now! Review: 'Girlhood's' Strength Lies in Its Naturalistic Depiction of Young Female Friendship (Opens Friday) Review: 'Girlhood's' Strength Lies in Its Naturalistic Depiction of Young Female Friendship (Opens Friday) Ava DuVernay & David Oyelowo Make It a Trifecta as They Re-Team for Katrina-Set Love Story/Murder Mystery Ava DuVernay & David Oyelowo Make It a Trifecta as They Re-Team for Katrina-Set Love Story/Murder Mystery Review: Lifetime's 'With This Ring' - So What Did You Think of It? Review: Lifetime's 'With This Ring' - So What Did You Think of It? Here Are 10 Reasons Why Many of You Aren't Going to Movie Theaters Anymore, According to a New Study Here Are 10 Reasons Why Many of You Aren't Going to Movie Theaters Anymore, According to a New Study 'Empire' Breaks Fox TV’s 22 Year Old Ratings Record 'Empire' Breaks Fox TV’s 22 Year Old Ratings Record An Open Letter to My Sister, Ava DuVernay An Open Letter to My Sister, Ava DuVernay 'Supremacy' Director Deon Taylor Talks Race, Horror, and Working With Lela Rochon (LAFF Premiere) 'Supremacy' Director Deon Taylor Talks Race, Horror, and Working With Lela Rochon (LAFF Premiere) Macy Gray, Bryshere Y. Gray (aka Yazz The Greatest) Will Have An Affair In Lee Daniels' 'Empire' Macy Gray, Bryshere Y. Gray (aka Yazz The Greatest) Will Have An Affair In Lee Daniels' 'Empire' It's A 'Hustle & Flow' Reunion! Taraji P. Henson Joins Terrence Howard In Lee Daniels' 'Empire' It's A 'Hustle & Flow' Reunion! Taraji P. Henson Joins Terrence Howard In Lee Daniels' 'Empire' Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie... Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie...

Sergio Hosts Screening Of Ultimate Blaxploitation Film 'Three The Hard Way' At Chicago's Black Cinema House, Sunday

Shadow and Act By Sergio | Shadow and Act February 25, 2014 at 3:21PM

O.K. I promise I won't mention this anymore after this, but I really want a packed house
2
Three The Hard Way

Just a reminder...

As you should know by now, I love Blaxploitation films. I was raised on Blaxploitation films and still find them an endless source of excitement and thrills.

Just the image of the seeing a black man conquering all challenges and racist villains still thrills me to no end. Which is why I liked Django Unchained so much, because it was nothing more but a straight up Blaxploitation film writ large on a huge canvas. And the final bloody climax where Django wiped out all those Confederate red necks and slave overseers was just a more expansive and bloodier copy of the similar “wipe-out-every-motherf-----r-in-the-place” climax by Jim Brown in Slaughter’s Big Rip Off.

But I’ve never been exactly fond of the term Blaxploitation, the not-really-so-clever mix of black and exploitation, for those films from the early to late 70s. The word exploitation suggests something minor, cheap and tawdry. And while admittedly many exploitation films were, but it was almost always in an entertaining way. I’ve never found Blaxploitation films to be minor films. In many ways, many of them were more profound and substantial than are given credit for, and they had and still have a major visceral impact on me.

And when it comes to Blaxploitation films, I’ve always strongly believed that the ultimate, most ambitious and most perfect example of the genre was Gordon Parks Jr’s 1974 film Three The Hard Way. It’s a wild, loopy, illogical, James Bondian action adventure, with a great premise, that no Hollywood studio would have the guts to make again now.

The film had a budget of $2 million, which was hyped at the time as the most expensive Blaxploitation film ever produced ($2 million went a lot further in those days), and the film showed off the budget with elaborate stunts and set pieces and location shooting in L.A., Washington D.C. New York and Chicago.

It deals with three friends (or The Big Three as they are so rightfully called in the trailer for the film below), Jim Brown, Fred Williamson and the late great martial arts legend Jim Kelly, who team together to stop a mad plot by a white supremacist millionaire to contaminate the country’s water supply with a special chemical created that will only poison and kill off every black person in the U.S.

You may laugh and call it far-fetched, but who couldn’t resist the basic idea of three black men saving the entire black race? It’s a concept that, in this current troubled day and age, even sounds more relevant since you just know there are some Tea Partiers and rabid white supremacist groups who just salivate at the idea of pulling off a crazy plot like that for real, right now.

The film was the third of only four films directed by Parks Jr., the son of the legendary director, photographer, composer, author and renaissance man Gordon Parks. He had burst onto the film scene with his first feature film, the 1972 near classic Super Fly, and, by the time he made Hard Way, he was solidly establishing a career as a major filmmaker.

However, his career was unfortunately cut short when he was killed in a plane crash in Kenya in 1979, while scouting locations for a new film. Though people will name Super Fly as their favorite film by him,  I still contend that Three The Hard Way id his best film.

And the film gives what I call the "last full bloom" of hard core black masculinity on the screen, with Brown, Williamson and Kelly. And let’s face it, you couldn’t make a film like this today. Where are you going to get three black actors to pull off those roles? Terence Howard, Kevin Hart and Michael Ealy?

See what I mean? It just isn’t the same. If they tried to stop a plot to kill off all black people, we would all be dead by now. O.K. yeah that was cold, but admit it, I’m right aren’t I?

So when I was asked to host another screening at the Black Cinema House in Chicago, I didn’t have to think twice. The screening will happen on this Sunday March 2 starting at 4PM.

And as always seating is FREE, but you have to RSVP HERE.

This article is related to: Screening Sighting


Shadow & ActNewsletter