Archive for 2009

Oh, How I Miss Thee, Isaac Hayes...

Okay, so I just watched "Truck Turner" for the umpteenth time. Why? Yes, the plot is wholly ridiculous, and unbelievable, but the fact that it is so ridiculous is what makes it watchable to me. It also has a pimp with the worst perm in history (Yaphet Kotto is a pimp as well). That makes me watch, and also the fact that Nichelle Nichols aka Uhura (whose birthday was this week, she's 77) was going around calling everyone "nigga" like she was saying it for the first time. It sounds terrible....but ol' girl was looking great in her forties, yes?

But I really like it because of Isaac Hayes. He just had so much charisma...he was not good looking in any conventional sense at all, but was a master of smoothness, game, and charm. And that voice! He also seemed like a good guy with a genuine sense of humor...I am still lamenting his passing, and when I read who was at his funeral last year, it looked like a who's who list of Hollywood and music; he was obviously loved by many others as well.

For your viewing pleasure--"Truck Turner"--please catch it on cable this month and in January or below...I read that a new Truck Turner is in development--why does Hollywood insist on screwing with perfection?

The trailer:

In A Perfect World....

Here is my Kwanzaa update--I posted this last year, but I still haven't gotten over the sheer audacity and cajones this woman had for even thinking of this. I present to you the most disgusting cake in creation, set forth by one of the whitest women in creation; Sandra Lee's Kwanzaa cake. Who sanctioned this sh*t?

To my City Of Angels folkses, there is a Kwaanza parade starting at Crenshaw and Adams at noon (12/26/09) ending at Leimert Park. At 6pm there will be a candle lighting ceremony and a festival all day long:

Leimert Park Village Vision Lot: 43rd Street & Degnan -2 blocks east of Crenshaw Blvd on 43rd street 4300 Degnan Blvd , Los Angeles , 90008

Phone: (213) 955-5239

Pee Wee + Little Drummer Boy + The Diva That Is Grace Jones = The Alchemy Of My Christmas Wishes And Dreams...beautiful days to everyone!

h/t undercover blackman

How Bout Some Trailers?

Okay, regarding my last post--I thought Darktown Strutters would be interesting based on it's premise, but I must say I did not love it. At all. Any movie that randomly has The Dramatics pop up in a jail cell in full costumes doing a full performance with Temptations-like choreography gets a huge side-eye from me. Why were movies that weren't dramas in the 70's so effin weird? I know it was a time of rampant drug use, and a lot of films from that decade were hard evidence of that...from "Tommy" to "Heavy Traffic" to "Darktown Strutters" just to name a few--they were just so disjointed, so horribly edited and all over the place with zero cohesiveness. *sigh* Thank goodness for Fred Williamson...

Anyway, let's view a few trailers, yes? These films at least have a linear storyline, but let me know if you find them interesting (personally I can't wait to see "Brooklyn's Finest"). I will get around to writing about the zillions of films I've seen in the past month and a half.

First up, Chris Rock's remake of "Death At A Funeral", with Danny Glover, Tracy Morgan, Zoe Saldana, Martin Lawrence, and my next husband, fine ass James Marsden.. I've had the original on Tivo for the longest, but still can't get myself to watch it....I would like to see the original before viewing this one with a Black cast-I'd like to see if they made it any different--or better:

Then we have this one, which is not really a Black film, but Sanaa Lathan (down with the swirl once again) was tweeting about how "proud" she was of it. When I first read about this film a year ago, it also got the side-eye from me, and after viewing this trailer, it now has a bigger one; Michael K. Williams from "The Wire" nonwithstanding. I dunno...:

I will be working with the publicity team on this one, so expect to see more about this film--hope you likey, at least for the novelty of seeing Wesley Snipes with back-length cornrows..."Brooklyn's Finest" (Michael K is in this one too, as well as The Cheadle, who I always like a lot more in crime thrillers):

Btw, here is a clip from Darktown Strutters; watch at your own risk (and yes, that is Roger Mosely...the chick is actually the first Black Bond girl for you trivia buffs):

TIVO ALERT! You want to see this...really!

Hey guys: will be back later today--wanted you all to please, please Tivo this if you can....thanks Dennis from Reelblack!

Turner Classic Movies' UNDERGROUND series shine the spotlight on two long neglected musical comedies from the blaxploitation era. At 2am, they will air DARKTOWN STRUTTERS (1975), which is filmmaker Mike D's favorite guilty pleasure movie from the 70s. At 3:45 they will screen THANK GOD IT'S FRIDAY, a miserable film which featured Donna Summer in her acting debut, and won an Oscar for the disco classic "Last Dance." Between the two films, they will screen a rare featurette starring Redd Foxx about the making of his feature film, NORMAN IS THAT YOU (1976).

From IW: Here is the trailer for "Norman Is That You?" with Redd Foxx and Pearl Bailey. How do you think this movie would fly if it were made today?

Herbert Kosower

The Face (1967)

Herb Kosower taught animation and film graphics in the USC film program in 1960-1907s; George Lucas and John Milius were among his students.

Stop Playin!

See, this is exactly why I don't fux with reality TV:

WTF is Tito doing back there? Where is Randy? Left out again?

Just damn!

Paul Dougherty

White Collar Funk (c. 1970s)

"It was a time when the novelty of having a video camera would stir interest and create interaction. Here on 23rd St. bet Park & Lex, uptown side. Back then I screened a work in progress to a video artist I worked with named Juan Downey. He suggested taking the edit I had and playing it back on the street I made it about to interact with people, which I did. That's the part you see here. I'm not nuts about my manner as an on-the-street reporter but hey, I was fresh out of college. It's called "White Collar Funk" because even though the area was filled with office workers from Met Life etc, it remained gritty and had none of the (then) glamor of midtown office district. Of all the dozens of NYC neighborhoods going upscale now, E. 23rd is still keepin' it real, relatively speaking."
Paul Dougherty

Disturbing Picture Of The Week...

Okay, we all knew the real deal about what when on in the GA with Katt, though not too many wanted to say it: straight cracka-docia moves.

Now I see this sh*t, with the ultra-bailing perm. This latest mugshot is even more disturbing than the last one. A negro that keeps his perm fresh at all times that doesn't bother to get a touch up in weeks? All signs point to not good at all...please Katt, come back up and recognize the gifts God gave you, before we have another Pryor on our hands.

In Praise Of Precious....

This is a repost of a guest blog I did on my blogging brother Rippa, aka Rip Dem Up's spot: "The Intersection Of Madness and Reality". Please check him out...he mixes things up over there on a daily basis. Warning--he may piss you off and he loves to do that! PS Thanks to my new followers for doing so, tho I haven't posted in a millennium--love you!

I haven't blogged in a long time--it's not that I haven't wanted to, or had writers block, but somehow I couldn't seem to make the effort. Rippa challenged me to write my thoughts regarding the movie Precious, and the hoopla surrounding it, after reading my heartfelt tweets/anger about the sad folks that started a website to recruit people not to see the film. I mean WTF??

Listen people. I am what you would call the hugest Black Cinema enthusiast. I am completely involved in it every day, whether directly or indirectly via the internet. And for the life of me I cannot understand this backlash on Precious on any level--especially because the bulk of it seems to come from folks who've never even bothered to see it.

I have a blog on Black Cinema, entitled Black Cinema At Large...and on it we have discussed quite often and many times over the problem with Black film today. Most of the common complaints that I have read on my blog are actually addressed and handled beautifully in this film. Want some examples? Here we go:

All we ever get to represent us on screen is either a Tyler Perry film or a Black man in a dress.

This one is easy. Though Tyler Perry executive produced this film, there is absolutely no whiff whatsoever of any Perryism, and only real women play the women, and even 99% of them weren't wearing dresses.

1) Why can't we have a film starring Black people that is just a story? 2) Why do we always have film that puts our pain on screen?

The themes in Precious are universal. There are far, far too many people in the world that are suffering because of poverty and ignorance, not just us. Incest, poverty, and violence are real, in every culture, and happen every single day. Are they never to be addressed on film? This story could happen to anyone, and director Lee Daniels keeps the scenes involving the incest and violence to a minimum, if only just to show the challenges Precious had to break away from. The very focal point of the story is Precious' journey toward enlightenment from darkness. Would it have been easier to view if Precious was light, or was thin, or had long hair? Be honest when you answer that.

1) We are so tired of rappers and singers instead of Black Hollywood actors getting all of the roles in Black film. 2) We never get to see any up and comers given a chance, we see the same actors over and over.

Okay, so Lenny Kravitz and Mariah Carey are in it. But guess what? Their parts are small, and they actually added some good performances to the story. Lee Daniels made sure that they earned their place in his film--they were not missteps. The main roles are played by someone who has never sang or rapped, Mo'nique, and by newcomer Gabby Sidibe. As I'm sure you've heard or saw by now, both of these actresses put their FOOT in it. Even Paula Patton, who I've never been particularly impressed with as an actress, did an amazing job as Precious' teacher. The students, all unknowns, were completely natural and believable.

When we get a decent Black film made, it never gets any hype or publicity and fades away. All we are left with is coonery.

Ummm...even if you haven't seen this film, you know that it has gotten publicity in a major way, along with tons of major accolades. It broke box office records in it's limited release, and has slowly been expanded it all major markets. This film causes us to actually think, which Americans are probably not used to when watching a movie, and is a Black film that is completely coon free as well--can most wrap their mind around that?

The music and soundtracks in Black film are so awful--what happened to the soundtracks we wanted to buy in the 70's (and 90's)?

When I worked for The Studio That Will Henceforth Remained Unnamed, I was always saying that the soundtrack is an essential tool in creating and effective and compelling film. Daniels seriously knows the value in it as well, and weaves throughout the story added layers of amazing narrative through music; Labelle, Mary J. Blige (produced by Raphael Saadiq), Mahalia Jackson, Queen Latifah; all strong and talented women that came from humble beginnings. And he didn't take the easy way out by filling it with Lenny Kravitz and Mariah Carey.

The Black Hollywood elite never use their money or clout to back Black films.

Oprah and Tyler Perry? Nuff said

The fact is, if you are paying attention at all, you would know that Precious isn't all about pain, or being ghetto, or fathers raping their daughters, or Black stereotypes. It is about Precious breaking through a foundation of generations of ignorance. Her mother has no value for anything but the basest human functions--food, sex, and TV. Her mind cannot expand beyond what is happening inside of her house, and can barely expand beyond her own animal instincts and thought. Precious lives in the peripheral vision of her mother's mind, only to be recognized when she is hungry, angry, or horny.

The sheer weight of the legacy Precious has to handle, not alone her real weight, make her life almost unbearable. The only difference between Precious and her mother is that Precious has a small ray of hope (though she has no reason to), that she desperately clings to like a life preserver, hoping that one day someone will pull on it and lift her up. She escapes her real life through daydreams and fantasies, until the real life and daydreams start to meld. Yes, tragedy does bring her to a place of enlightenment, but isn't that the case with everyone on this planet? Isn't that why we're here? Does anyone learn anything from having it easy all the time? If you know someone like that, I would be interested to hear about it.

The ignorance of parents passed on to their children is absolutely real. I have been blessed in this life to have two parents that both have their master's degrees, and I have had some very hard and severe challenges in my life with both of them and in life, even on that foundation. But doing some volunteer work in West Oakland (historically a poverty ridden area for a few decades) years ago brought my awareness to a new level....I had always taken for granted so many things that the youth in the community had no knowledge of---the level of ignorance was absolutely made me very sad, and very reflective for quite some time. Most of the sadness came from knowing that most of these kids were good, and had so much potential, but it would never be realized because these kids would never be able to move beyond the tools their parents gave them, which was barely above survival level. Most of them had never even been to San Francisco, across the bridge and only 4 miles away.

Precious was able to break free, and the joy of this film is seeing her journey--how when she hears her teacher and her lover speak, she says that "they sound like a channel I don't watch" and instead of being intimidated, strives to be more like them. We see her in a fantastic scene--where the images and sounds surrounding her from all angles; Malcolm X, Shirley Chisholm, the race and civil rights struggle--are slowly but surely chipping away her blindness. Her sheer determination and inexplicable force of will propel her to a life outside of the one she inherited, and though her life does not end up being challenge free, she is a testament that our lives are what we make them to be, and we are the ones solely responsible. And if that is cause for protest, then I got nothin'.

On an added note, anyone who knows anything about producer/director Lee Daniels knows that he consistently and repeatedly steps out of the box. I actually started my blog because of his film "Shadowboxer", because of the unfairness I felt is received from the critics. From that film (with elements of stepmother, son incest), to the very excellent and underrated "The Woodsman" (with pedophilia) to "Monster's Ball" (interracial love and sex) to Precious, Daniels creates images and themes that stir up a myriad of emotions in folks--admiration, reflection, sadness, excitement, anger--everyone has their own interpretation.....and after all, isn't that what art's ultimately supposed to do? If you can't support the content of his films, just be glad that something creative is being done by and for Black people--the studios are watching your every move!

To all of the people who still hate this film, and continue to be vocal about it, I invite you all to marinate on all of the recent studio greenlit Black films coming to a theater near you: Why Did I Get Married 2, Big Mamma's House 3, and Beverly Hills Cop 4---carry on!

For My Mighty Bay Folkes....

Both fantastic and fun theaters....for more info, go to the site for the Oakland Underground Film Festival HERE

h/t yeah i said it

More Halloween Shenanigans...

I'd love to report on some new Black film, but nothing has come directly in my radar. I know there is "Good Hair", but for the life of me, I can't seem to be able to force myself to see it. After being told for most of my life that I have "good hair" by stylists (always making me cringe), I find the subject extremely tired, and wish it would be buried. I wear my hair natural and curly, flat ironed, kinky twisted, weaved, braided--and it has nothing to do with my esteem, just fashion and how I feel like wearing it. Can we just let Black women wear their hair the way they want to and leave it at that? I have met plenty of "natural hair" wearing folks that are perfect a-holes, trust. 'Nuff said (not knocking those with natural locks, btw).

Anyhoo, like I said, I have been on a quest to find some Black film to report. After looking forward to attending the Hollywood Film Festival this weekend, I was extremely disappointed to learn that there were no films featuring Brown people on the program list (at least that I could see). I don't mind seeing all types of film, but I am not down with obvious exclusion. Hey, note to the YT film festivals: do you really still have no clue that your events will be 100 times more interesting and well attended if you have even a smidgen of diversity? Just damn!

So I have busied myself with enjoying the October/Halloween offerings, at the movies and on cable. Along with all of the usual Vincent Price standard fanfare, I went to see "Zombieland". There were tons of plot holes abound, but it was the best fun time I've had at a film in a while...I even bought candy, drinks, and popcorn, something I never do at the highway-robbery prices, cause it was the type of film that made you want to have the full movie experience.

I also saw "Paranormal Activity", the kind of real horror film that Ms. I digs very much. There has been a real dearth of horror films over the past decade...I've said this before--I don't consider slasher films real horror film. How many times can you you see some masked dude use a sickle/ax/knife/whatever to kill stupid teenagers and unsuspecting folks minding their own business? And "Saw" and "Hostel" and it's ilk? Just sick in my opinion.

Real horror films are quieter, more involving, and inspire a great sense of dread...usually based in the supernatural. They make you care about the characters, and are based in realism. "The Blair Witch Project" was great, so was "Signs" and "Cloverfield", cause to me it was how real folks would react in real situations in modern times. "Paranormal Activity" was also a complete and total testament that an excellent film could be made on basically no money ($15,000)....this was the real deal to me as far as what defines horror.

Which brings me to this...a subject that comes up here and in my email quite often is why aren't there more Black horror films? I mean, I don't feel "Somebody Help Me" with Omarion and Marques Houston really counted, cause not only was it completely generic, all of the rest of the cast was non-Black. We have "Tales From The Hood", which was a good try, and slightly amusing, but on the horror scale, maybe about a four. What to choose from? "Vampire in Brooklyn" (which I reviewed here)? Da Hip Hop Witch with Ja Rule, Pras, and Vanilla Ice? Crazy As Hell? Frankenhood?

Yes, pickings are slim for a modern Black horror film. "Blacula", as low budget as it was, was at least involving. It seems like we have go back to the '70's once again to see how it's done. One film I would definitely like to give light to ( I talked about it once before here-please click to see beautiful images) is "Ganja and Hess". This is the synopsis on IMDB:

"Dr. Hess Green, an archaeologist overseeing an excavation at the ancient civilization of Myrthia, is stabbed by his research assistant, who then commits suicide. When Hess wakes up, he finds that his wounds have healed, but he now has an insatiable thirst for blood. It turns out that the knife he was stabbed with carried ancient germs that have turned him into a vampire. Soon after, Hess meets his former assistant's wife, Ganja. Though Ganja is initially concerned about her missing husband, she soon falls for Hess. Though they are initially happy together, Ganja will eventually learn the truth about Hess, and about her husband. Will she survive the revelation? Will Hess?"

In the classic real horror movie vein, this film takes it's time, creates atmosphere, draws you into it's visuals and establishes a real story. My beloved Sergio had this to say on a recent comment:

[To] answer Lenox Ave you ought to check out Ganja and Hess, a very weird vampire film (of sorts) made in the early 70's directed by Bill Gunn, who died 20 years ago. I saw it many many years ago with Gunn in attendance (UH OH! Must Love Loves here I go again showing my age) It was recut and butchered in various forms to make it more commercial but it's been restored to its original version and now available on DVD from Image Entertainment. Thanks for reminding me about it. I've been meaning to get a copy myself.

I encourage all of you that are thirsty for Black horror film to see it--buy the video or rent it online and view on your computer for $2.99 HERE at Amazon. And to to read more about Black Horror Films from the '30's to the present, click HERE for Black Horror Films.Com--probably the most comprehensive online.

And all of you aspiring screenwriters--what's up? How about the horror thing? If you really have it as writer, then guess what? You can do it on a shoestring...just do your research and look around even just a little bit. It's time to redefine the genre--we should not have to back 35 years to find something decent, yes?

Speaking of Sergio, we will be on the infamous Afronerd's podcast tonight (10/24) talking about what else? Black Cinema, after Michaela Angela Davis is on. I will be listening, as Michaela got into an online beef with one of my favorite bloggers that I very much stan for. Sergio posted this:

I know that Tyler Perry will be profiled on this coming Sunday’s 60 Minutes, but do you really think anything is going to be revealed about Perry that we don’t know about already? (But then if he was finally to come out on the show that’s a different matter altogether) However I wanted you folks out there to know that Invisible Woman of Invisible Woman Cinema and I be on tomorrow’s podcast of DBurt’s Afronerd Radio from 7:-8:30PM Eastern time – 6-7:30PM Central . The first half of the show her of the wild wild hair (and I love it) cultural and social critic and fashionista Michaela Angela Davis will be the guest for the first half of the show and IW and I will be on the second half to talk about the state Black cinema in 2009. Hope you can take a listen and of course the show will be available for playback anytime after that broadcast on Afronerd’s website,

Feel free to call in at: 646-915-9620 or via email/

7 Questions With Actress Jazsmin Lewis....

OK, Ms. Invisible is the first to admit she can be a bit critical at times (but that's why you love me right?). I have made light of this young lady's talent with the flat iron a couple of times...she is definitely the master of 100 hairstyles.

But what Jazsmin Lewis is (besides an excellent hairstylist) is a thoughtful, down-to earth, ambitious, and focused Black woman, who definitely seems to have her head straight and in the right place. She is a lover of classic film, which I'm never one to be mad at, for sure. And, even more importantly, she seems to be the first female that I have interviewed (lol), but certainly not on purpose. So here is Miss Thing letting you know where she's coming from, the first lady of interviews on Black Cinema At Large:

Question 1

You seem to be everywhere lately; stage plays, television, and film. Which is your favorite medium and why?

I love all forms of acting. They all serve a different purpose to me and in my life. When I do a film, I get the chance to spend a month or two getting to know and grow a character. I get to take the time to develop the nuances of human characteristics. So, Film is a immersion into humanity and who doesn't love that. However I also love Television. TV shows your skill as an actor because many times you only have minutes to bring a character to life and deliver an interpretation of what you feel. It's fast and sometimes frenetic but always fun. And stage plays are the closet you can get to an audience and feel that energy with transforms every night into something new and many times beautiful. So, it would be hard for me to choose just one form of acting. I love them all.

Question 2

I have read that you've started a production company. What projects can our readers look forward to?

I started my production company the same year I started acting back in 1995. I knew I had to create projects in order to get to play the characters that I wanted to play. I have quite a few films in development now and have already produced other feature films. But keep looking out
in 2010 and you'll see Feline Entertainment in the forefront.

Question 3

There are many very pretty Black actresses in Hollywood not getting enough work, which doesn't seem to be a hindrance for women of other cultures. Do you think that being considered a Black woman that is beautiful can sometimes be a detriment in being taken seriously in Hollywood?

There's always someone willing and able to discriminate in Hollywood against women of color. Either your too beautiful or not beautiful enough. Beauty is subjective. I've been told that I was "too pretty" for some role that I really wanted but all it did was make me more determined to control my own destiny. I think being a woman of color can be a frightening thing for some
people in our industry. Our strength can be scary.. So, I don't allow anyone to use that excuse with me. It just makes me more driven.

Question 4

What are your top 5 favorite films?

Wow, there are so many. But I love the old ones: "All about Eve", "Hush, Hush Sweet Charlotte", "Boomerang", "Lord of the rings" movies and "Mildred Pierce".

Question 5

A subject that comes up here quite often is the dissatisfaction with what "The Hollywood Machine" is producing in the way of Black Cinema. What, in your opinion, can the public at large do to change things? (Everyone gets asked this question, btw)

I think the public has to get involved with what they want to see. Write your Studios, stop paying money to see what you don't like just because Black people are in it if you don't believe in it, and support the actors making the films that you approve of. Don't wait till it comes out on DVD to support it. Show the numbers for the movies that you like.

Question 6

I have a few readers who have emailed me about the TV show "Brothers". They feel that it is positive step in Black television. Will you be a regular on the series?

I was a guest star on the show and as far as I know, that's about it. Although I never close a door... But I have a series that I will be a series regular on starting in November and will release all the info to the press as soon as the ink gets dry on the contract. I have 4 films that I'll be
working on between now and March 2010 along with the series so I'll be busy. Best way to stay up on all that I'm doing in find me on Twitter/@Jazsminsworld. I give constant work and personal updates for films, tv and appearances.

Question 7

Any thoughts or advice you would like to leave for the readers?

Always follow your dreams. Even when it feels like nothing is happening, that just means work and believe harder. Keep God before you and let faith be the gasoline in your engine of life.

From IW: Co-sign!

big up to the folks on "grapes on a vine" a blog about indy Black film...check it

For Halloween: "The Black Exorcist"....

I've heard of this movie, "Abby", aka "The Black Exorcist" (not to be confused with "The Blaxorcist") for years, but have never been able to find it. I've learned you can watch some very classic and rare Black films online (though I can't say where, I don't want them to be taken down). If you snoop even a bit, I'm sure you can find them.

So I watched "Abby", and it is an absolute miracle that they did not get sued by anyone and everyone associated with "The Exorcist". Made in 1974, it was snapping on the heels of the original. But maybe once they saw the film, and how horribly ridiculous it was, they probably just sucked their teeth and kept on stepping. Carol Speed's laughable demonic "possession" and preschool lip-syncing is source of hilarity, as well as making the viewer indulge in much lip twisting and head shaking at the scenery chewing performances.

William Marshall, better know as "Blacula" (who would have absolutely been my husband had I been of age in the 70's), tries to keep the proceedings above middle school stage play level, but unfortunately, fails miserably. The 4th rate acting, paper thin plot, mangled editing and cinematography, and rip-off storyline are beyond saving. But I say watch it anyway, just to see what Black horror films were about back in the day. This is the synopsis from IMDB:

"A possession film about a marriage counselor who becomes possessed by a Demon of Sexuality, when her father in law, an Exorcist, freed it while in Africa. He returns home, along with his son and a policeman to perform an African Exorcism on her."

Alrighty, then. Here is a sampling:

UPDATE: Just read this from You Tube...

Obscure 1974 blaxploitation "Exorcist" rip-off flick from Kentucky-bred zero budget auteur William Girdler ("Grizzly"). Warner Bros sued over the similarities, and the movie was quickly withdrawn from circulation shortly after its release. Jesus, what a bunch of killjoys! Starring blaxploit regular Carol Speed as Abby, and co-starring William Marshall - esteemed African American stage actor, Mr. "Blacula", and future "Pee Wee's Playhouse" King of Cartoons (one of 'em, anyway). The movie may be no great shakes, but it beats the hell out of 99% of the leaden Italian "Exorcist" rip-offs that followed and where were the damn lawyers then, huh?

Bloodbath at the House of Death

If you’ve ever wanted to see Vincent Price bang his hand on an axe-head and shout “Oh shit!” then this British horror spoof is the movie for you. Price appears as “The Sinister Man”, parodying his roles in various Roger Corman films, and is for a while the best thing about Bloodbath at the House of Death (1984), until his unceremonious exit about halfway through. Amongst the rest of the cast – most of whom play scientists and other experts investigating the titular mansion – Pamela Stephenson (Not the Nine O’Clock News) probably comes off best, despite enduring copious fart gags, Kenny Everett’s dubious attempts at physical comedy, and being stripped naked by an invisible force à la The Entity.

Yes, the standard of jokes in Bloodbath is about on a par with The Kenny Everett Television Show, meaning that you’ll likely either love it or hate it depending on your taste for innuendo-strewn, frequently incoherent grossness. If anything, however, the freedom to push the gore and nudity to the limit results in a lazier approach, meaning that the writers are too often content to rely on the aforementioned fart gags, while anything approaching a clever spoof of horror clichés falls by the wayside.

Bloodbath works best through a haze of nostalgia, recalling a time in British history when increasing permissiveness on TV collided head-on with escalating concerns over violent “video nasties” – and this feels like the bloody aftermath. Call an ambulance... Or, better still, a coroner.

Rating: 1/5

An Open Letter From The Invisible One...

Hello my wonderful and very, very appreciated readers:

Maybe it's the fact that I am wearing a dashiki today, or maybe it's the Ciroc cocktail, or maybe it's because I have been listening to The Beastie Boys "Ill Communication" all day that I feel the need to let this out. I tweeted about this the other day, but I don't feel satisfied that it was enough. Lots of folks aren't bothered with the Tweet thing, and I want to make sure my feelings are known. My blog sis said that when you engage in things like this you are seen as petty. Unfortunate, but true. But Madame Invisible has to be petty at some point; everybody's allowed at least one.

When I very first started blogging 2 years ago, I was stunned to find out that people would repost, or take an idea of mine, and write it as their own, with not even a smidgen of acknowledgment to me. And some of the sites were very big and well read. I didn't know whether to be flattered that people were taking notice and imitating, or be pissed off. What can you do anyway, as the internet is not like the bookworld, with copyrights and things?

Well here it is 2 years later, and people are still plagiarizing, and now I am pissed when it happens. It's not as bad as before, cause most people have the good sense to realize that Ms. Invisible has a style all of her own that is very recognizable. Except for one blogger, it seems, that should definitely know better by now.

I put great thought into what I write. Even if it's an idea that I came up with quickly, it came from my brain and my heart, my intellect and experience. I also think about things like is it funny? Is it informative? Will my readers find it interesting?

So much of ME goes into what I write, that it is tired, tacky, lazy, trifling, and honestly downright f*cking disrespectful to take my ideas, not even change the freaking labels of them, and pass them off as your own, as if it was public property and you have the right to do so, with absolutely no thought whatsoever. WTF?

I don't believe in burning bridges, as Black Hollywood, and especially the Black blogging world regarding it, is too small. Plus my mother taught us to be unfailingly polite, which can sometimes be the bane of my existence. I noticed every single time, but grinned and bore it in silence. But there are times in life where folks put the dynamite down, and then light it or push down on the detonator themselves. They leave you no choice. This is a person I bigged up on this blog, even through their envy, and this person was also the target of my one other rant besides this one. I am sick and tired of this person using my ideas and (not so) secretly hating on me. Hey, try this, hater. Come up with some amusing/readable/original stuff of your own! And if you can't? Wait till you f*cking can!

I'm not telling you all to choose one blog or the other, like in a divorce, cause there is room for everybody. But what I am telling you is that any time I see somebody using my sh*t like it's theirs, with no credit and absolutely no respect,
I WILL call you out, and I WILL ROAST YOUR ASS! I am a QUEEN, o foolish hateful one, and if you don't have any inkling of that by now, then you have no right to even a smidgen of space in my gone, parasite!

That is all. Now back to our show, and enjoy the post below from Madame Invisible's original series from Soul Sis-Star Reviews....thanks! Love You! -Ms. Invisible

Movies Revisited: CB4

This is a cross-post from my resurrected blog "Soul Sis-Star Reviews":

Do you remember a time when people still wore Jheri Curls? When women loved Allen Payne with a passion? When Chris Rock had his original teeth and crack body, and looked like he had 15 cents to his name? When Stoney Jackson was still occasionally working (Theresa Randle too)? When Charlie Murphy was not even close to being as funny as Eddie? When Khandi Alexander looked 20 years older than she does now? When no one knew who Deezer D was (nothing's changed on that one, btw)?


Well I do. And all of that comes together in the 1993 hip-hop/rap spoof "CB4". When this first came out, I was totally unimpressed---it starred Chris Rock , who I thought was unbearable to look at the time, and was directed by Tamra Davis, whose ghetto pass has always been a constant source of wonder and disappointment to me. People were still completely enamored with the South Central phenom Dr. Dre ("The Chronic") and "Doggystyle" by Snoop Dogg was still absolutely HUGE and a must have and play in everybody's car. It was also written by Nelson George, whom I still till this day don't understand why was deemed the voice of hip hop culture.

So of course, no one was tryna see or hear a project that dissed that whole genre. Everyone was buying into into it, so if you were going against the grain, you were instantly wack. And I think that is the exact reason it did not do well on all fronts at the was too soon to make a satire of the scene. It just seemed like a weak, uninspired diss (but probably not to those who knew better). Like I said, no one was trying to hear that, only Dre's beats at maximum bass and treble capacity.

But not having seen it since it came out, I realize that is was an amazing statement on the fakeness of gangsta rap, and the whole concept of the "South Central" culture, which, if you are truly living that life, is absolutely nothing to be glorified. There is even dialogue alluding to that in the film. But it also skewers commercial sell-out rappers (a la Hammer), video hoes, slimy record execs, so-called hip hop early staples like 40 ounces, and so-called "militant" rap (a la Public Enemy and it's offshoots).


It is the story of a group of 3 buddies, toiling in their ordinary dead end lives, decide to form a rap group, going through several different transformations (one a hilarious PM Dawn-like riff), until they hit pay dirt with a not too thinly veiled imitation of the ghetto super-group NWA. They go through their breakup and eventual reunion, learning life lessons along the way, with the inevitable YT groupies hanging on to every detail.

This film was ahead of it's time, and I actually laughed out loud a few times, something that definitely didn't happen the first time around. Some of the ideas were just so absurd and funny to me; Wacky D and his parachute pants and one leg in the air dancing, the musclebound sidekick talking through a voicebox, the heightened sleaziness of Khandi Alexander's Supahead-like groupie. It was all so ridiculous and on point all at the same time.


This is a spot on spoof of what was really going on in that scene in the early nineties, but we were too mesmerized by the head nodding to notice. I hope films such as this have a chance to come back in a real way, cause they actually have a sharp eye for human comedy and tragedy melded into one-- it's all the same parts of the pie, and what lies beneath in Black love and culture is much more than meets the eye.

Madame Invisible is presently lamenting all the Black writers, directors, and projects that were given visibility in the 90's, and seem to have disappeared of the face of the planet. Can someone please help?

I couldn't find the trailer, so here is the scene of Dead Mike in his pseudo-Chuck D video "I'm Black Y'All", and that's all he says, over and over again...hilarious!

Wet Gold

Does DVD picture quality reflect the quality of a film? I’ve often wondered, but no more so than when I got about halfway through Wet Gold, a 1984 TV movie that tries to do for underwater adventure stories what The Deep did for underwater adventure stories. And fails. (I’d like to say “spectacularly” but putting that word anywhere near a review of this film would be misleading.)

So, anyway, the DVD’s picture quality – if you can call it that – is not good, but that’s not always a problem. A bigger one for Wet Gold is the fact that it very quickly descends into a quagmire of dull double-crossing between people you care very little about. There’s Brooke Shields as a Florida waitress who dreams of bigger things (shame she turns out to be so lazy and self-centred, then); Burgess Meredith as a drunken seadog who knows the location of a fortune in sunken gold; and Thomas Byrd and Brian Kerwin as the deckhand and diver competing for Shields’ affections.

The four of them head out to sea, they find the treasure, they see a SHARK! (at this point, I thought things were going to get interesting... alas not) and they have a run-in with some pirates. But mostly they go skin-diving and argue about their shares in the loot. It’s all quite dreary, really, although there is a nice moment involving the underside of a boat and the topside of a character’s skull that redefines the term “propellerhead”.

I’m easy to please when it comes to underwater action movies. There simply aren’t enough of them (unless you count submarine flicks, which to me are as interesting as films set in warehouses) but Wet Gold isn’t a good example of one, despite some decent scenes inside a sunken shipwreck. If you’re looking for a schlocky oceanic crime story along the lines of The Deep and Into the Blue, try Shark or Night of the Sharks instead. This one sunk without trace for a reason.

Rating: 2/5

I Heart Bokeem Woodbine....

Yes, I never, ever, ever thought I would actually have that phrase in my life in any capacity, but after reading his Twitter page, and LMMFAO for about 20 minutes, he just may have to replace Terrence Howard as the beloved to warm the cockles of Ms. Invisible's semi-cold heart.

Perusing his love for such fine cuisine as steak-um burgers, White Castle, spam and eggs, hot dogs and eggs, fried eggs and Carolina sausage, and hot dogs and cheese whiz, I came upon gems like this (sorry so low-tech can't do screenshots):

I just ate a mayo sandwich and kool-aid water. We dont have no sugar n shit. I took a Now and Later and put it in the bottom of the glass

From IW: Love it! He is real with his, and I am now, and forever will be, a stan. Check these others out--I almost choked on my Chardonnay....

I was at Jimbos last night and I seen Tommy Davison tweekin out. Being loud and sweating all nasty. He was rubbing his nipple and shitI scowled at that fool and he yelled at me in his Sammy Davis voice. Lay off the drugs. Tell Rosie Perez that shit too. She a bag lady on41st. She be out there holding doors askin for change. I told her ass to get a job. No one wants to hear her talk though she sound likeAn episode of the nanny dubbed over with that SAP telemundo shit. Ondelay your ass to an agent and do some work. No I can't spare changeJust for jokes I called Jada P and asked to be on Hawthorne. She hung up on me. That's why her shit is tanking. I could save that shit.Call me cap'n save a show. No one wants to see her in that bad hair track and her 90 degree angle chin "acting". I got skills dammitMan screw Chris Brown and his nations of Islam bean pie ass bowtie. He's not a real man. You're told from jump not to hit girls. You knewI cant stand these damn skinny jeans guys are wearing today. I dont need to see your ball sac in 3D nigga! 1 cat had on pants so tightI think i saw the hair on his balls as well. That's some nasty shit. Making me feel all unsure about myself because I couldnt take my eyesOff of that shit. He gonna ask me for an autograph next. I gave that mothafucka the scowl of death. I been working on that shit likeZoolander. He backed the hell up off me, him and his balls. I think i could actually see the sperms swimming around and shit.I'm finna call up Allen Payne and see if he wanna use some of that house of Payne money to take a nigga to Tavern on the Green.

and finally this:

I just searched my name on here and I/m mad as hell. Scowling so hard my lips hurting and shit. People got nerve.

Now THIS Is What I'm Talkin' Bout!

Usually it takes my beloved Mr. Howard (aka Terrence) to wake me out of my blogging beauty sleep, but even his laughable "Cleanse And Protect! You Gotta Wash Your Hands!" public fuckery campaign in Philly that takes his love for baby wipes to the next level couldn't wake me this time. I love you guys to death, and have wanted to share a bunch with you, but could not seem to put fingers to keyboard.

Until the very lovely Jez at "Shook" Magazine from in UK sent me this amazing 2 CD masterpiece "Can You Dig It? The Music and Politics of Black Action Films, 1968-75".

Oh. My. God. Let me tell you this--I was in a Radiohead stupor for the past 2 weeks--literally I have listened to nothing but Radiohead very single solitary day at home, at work, and in the car. Only a small miracle could have moved me from Radiohead and my blogging slumber, and that is what I consider this compilation--a small miracle. The gatekeeper of this blog, Pam Grier, graced the cover of the CD, piquing my interest, and I was absolutely hooked from the very first song--Roy Ayers' "Coffy". Need I say more? Well, maybe for the young folk I do, lol. But I don't think I can ever say enough about this spectacular collection.

Blacula, Black Belt Jones, Trouble Man, Cleopatra name it, all the classics are here repped by some of the finest jewels in music; James Brown, Issac Hayes, The Impressions, Joe Simon, The Blackbyrds, Marvin the time I got to "Brothers Gonna Work It Out" by Willie Hutch from the classic Blaxploitation "The Mack", I was completely, thoroughly, and absolutely in love, lol. Did you know Sweet Sweetback's Theme was by Earth, Wind and Fire? I might have, but forgot--it's tidbits like that that make this even more of a treasure. All of my memories of these films came rushing back, and I was very grateful to the people behind this project for having the amazing foresight and what must have been a good deal of patience for licensing. I even loved the fact that they called it a homage to "Black Action Films" as opposed to Black Exploitation, or Blaxploitation, two terms I never really cared for.

I wish I could print the entire site here, but I can't--it might take you a while to read, plus it would take up about three pages of this is a bit more info (trust me, it will be the best gift to yourself you can possibly get all year, for reals!). Purchase and have one of your best parties ever!:

Can You Dig It?’ charts the rise of ‘Black Action Films’ from 1968-75. As well as featuring a double-CD collection of the stunning music from these films, ‘Can You Dig It?’ comes with a 100-page booklet, mini-film poster cards and stickers. For images, more info please call Karen or Angela on 020 7734 3341. Or email us on or

Here is the opening segment to the song "Brothers Gonna Work It Out", taken from an actual scene in "The Mack". Loves it.

Still Fishin'

Still "Fishing" - but not for much longer.  Back with a new post soon.  Happy October!!

A More Than Guilty Pleasure...

Alrighty...I was tagged (challenged) by my blog sis Issa Rae after I gave her a hard time about revealing her guilty pleasure; Damon Wayans' "Blankman", which surely made me give her the serious telephoto side-eye (to read her post, click HERE).

Forgive me Lord for I have sinned; I actually enjoyed "Norbit". *ducks as tomatoes are thrown*

What can I say? First off, how can you not laugh at a character named "Rasputia"? That is comedy. Every time she got into that tiny MG Midget car and her boobs made the horn blow I laughed. Yes, I realize that's sad, but I still think it's funny.

I kinda like it when Eddie plays a nerd. I happen to think his public persona is one of the most arrogant on earth, and it is very off-putting, but I also think it is to hide the real nerd underneath, that he plays so well in this and "Bowfinger" (another movie of his I happened to really enjoy). I also absolutely adore Thandie Newton.

This film was directed by Brian Robbins, who is responsible for 99% of Eddie Murphy's bombs...I still think Brian has a picture of Eddie and Johnny Gill in a compromising position--why on earth else would Eddie still work with him? But this is the one I don't mind, and would watch again--let the mudslinging on Invisible Woman begin. Issa Rae, I hope you're happy!

Here is a scene of Rasputia and Norbit in the car, and I laughed again while watching sue me...haha!

Take A Gander....

How bout a couple of trailers? I wanted to post this last week, as I knew about this film before most (as I usually do) but I was too busy to post, so everyone looks like they have the scoop before me, as usual. I must step it up! For your perusal, "Takers" with Idris Elba, T.I., Chris Brown, Michael Ealy, and Zoe Saldana. Might be fun, but the poster, it's fair to say, is positively atrocious. Michael K. had this to say:

I have no clue what this Takers movie is about, but based on the poster I'm guessing the "something" everyone is after is NECKS! This shit should be called NECK TAKERS, because none of these motherfuckers on this poster have one! Paul Walker sort of has one, but it's hidden underneath that spandex turtleneck(?!!!?). I mean, what in the fuck?! My drunk computer-illiterate uncle, who thinks an ipod is a type of diaphragm (true story), could do a better Photoshop job than this!

I wish Paul Walker would use his GIGANTIC hands to rip that hat off of Hayden Christensen's head, because SamRo has been asking for it.

And part of me hopes the movie is just like the poster. You know, a bunch of cardboard cut-outs hanging around together, boozing, smoking and TAKING!

Saw this over at my blog sis' spot, IssaRae.Com....Barry Jenkins, director of "Medicine For Melancholy" has this new short about interracial love, involving a Black woman and an Asian man:

How about a bit of hilarity, yes? "Tamika The Arrogant African American Professional - Who Cant Keep A Man" featuring some "Waiting To Exhale" concepts:

Oh, I almost is director F. Gary Gray's (Friday, Set It Off) new one with Jamie Foxx, "Law Abiding Citizen::

A Peaceful Journey...

To Zakes Mokae, one of those actors you were extremely familiar with, but never really knew their name. He's been in films forever (he was 75), but I seem to remember him in movies that involved always voodoo, witchcraft, and supernatural shenanigans.

His roots were in South Africa; this from an excerpt from the NY Times:

"Mr. Mokae, who was black, and Mr. Fugard, who is white, were part of a drama collective in South Africa in the 1950s. In 1960, when they performed together in Mr. Fugard’s play about brothers with skins of different hues, “The Blood Knot,” it was the first time, Mr. Fugard said in an interview Monday, that black and white performers had appeared on the same stage in South Africa. The play not only defied a national taboo, but also propelled Mr. Fugard to international fame as a playwright and Mr. Mokae to a rich and varied career in theater, film and television."

h/t: thembi

When Worlds Collide....

Most bloggers live in two worlds, one of the blogosphere, and the one outside of it. How much is spent on one of the other is up to said person, but I have to admit, I worry about some folks. There are those who are on Twitter every single solitary time I log in, and some that I am actually shocked have children or a job, cause they tweet about 20 hours a day. It seems that for a lot of people, the two worlds are in tandem to become one.

Is it a dangerous thing? That is yet to be seen...for me, when True Blood is on, or like last night the Black Blogosphere was tweeting and riding on Republican dickwad Joe Wilson, I felt like I was hanging with some of my greatest is tremendously fun. But is it more fun than hanging with my friends at the beach? No.

But still, great things can come out of being in a certain circle of writers, observants, intellectuals, and out and out funny fools. While shopping in Ralph's yesterday, I saw a guy who looked very familiar to me---I recognized his face from a blog I read regularly. I stopped him and said "Excuse me, do you have a blog?" He said yes, and I exclaimed "Wonderman! I'm Invisible Woman!" I felt almost exhilarated...I know I probably surprised the sh*t out of him, haha. (btw, he is a very interesting and very smart blogger--you can check him out here)

I am also quite excited at the prospect of doing hood rat film stuff with my blogging sis-star Issa Rae, my partner at Soul Sis-Star Reviews...she moved from NY, and is now in LA. One event that I hope she can make (and any of my fellow Angelinos as well) is The Reel Black Men Film Festival, this Saturday the 12th at 6pm at the Chaplin Theater. Visit The Black Hollywood Education and Resource Center for more info, is being moderated by the director of "A Good Day To Be Black And Sexy", Dennis Dortch.

This N' That....

So many much slacking...

Sorry for not posting. I have a sublet in L.A. while I'm looking for a permanent place...with no freakin' air conditioning! Who lives like that here? Needless to say, with 90 and a hundred degree heat, I haven't really felt like blogging.

But the heat has broken, so here I is. I have so much to say, but I know most folks don't like to read long, involved posts (at least here they don't) and frankly, I'm not in the mood to write one. So I'll do some drive-by observations:

Big Mamma's House 3: Why?

Why all the hulabaloo over "District Nine" in regards to racism? I thoroughly enjoyed it...people are never satisfied...jeesh. If you wanna talk about some real BS, see above.

Why are serial mash-on-anything-that-moves Hill Harper and 3 times married Steve Harvey suddenly considered "relationship experts" after writing suspect books? I am seriously scratching my head over that one.

If you are complaining that there is no interesting film out there, and you still haven't seen "Life Is Hot In Cracktown", you have no valid argument right now.

What happened to Andre 3000, Elijah Kelley, and Don Cheadle all doing separate Sammy Davis, Jr. projects?

Speaking of Sammy Davis, why does Nick Cannon dress and act just like him on "America's Got Talent"...velvet jackets and boutineers? Really?

Why did I see a billboard for LL Cool J's TV show, and think "I wonder who that Black guy is?" before slowly realizing that was him? Ummm...Ell--whatever you are doing to that face of yours, now would be a very, very, very good time to stop. And oh--the lip licking thing? Bury that too.

Speaking of burying, what crypt did they finally find his co-star Chris O'Donnell in?

I can't wait to see Lee Daniel's "Precious" even though everybody is referring to it as Tyler Perry and Oprah's film...I'm not surprised, and not amused. I find it interesting, however, that Mo'Nique and Mariah Carey are getting serious Oscar buzz.

And a very special thanks to Ebony Jet for selecting me as one of their favorite blogs, AOL Black Voices for linking me on their main page, and fine, wonderful readers like yourself placing me in the top 50 film blogs in the whole, wide world on Wikio....not bad for a super-slacker, eh? :-) But I know I need to step up my game...working on it (really!)