The word blaxploitation is derived from the words black and exploitation.

It was a film genre that emerged in the 1970s, often depicting Black people as being exploited by white authority figures and/or police officers.

The films were usually low-budget productions with stereotypical portrayals of African Americans, an exaggerated focus on sex and violence, including drugs to make it seem more “ghetto,” rapping for no reason other than its connection to hip hop culture or scenes including Black Power symbols.

 

BEST BLAXPLOITATION MOVIES

What Are Blaxploitation Movies?

Blaxploitation is a genre of films from the 1970s that featured African American actors in lead or supporting roles.

These movies were not only an economic response to white-dominated Hollywood but also served as a form of social and cultural protest against racism.

The Blaxploitation era began with Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song (1971), which was written and directed by Melvin Van Peebles.

The film tells the story of a young black man who starts out as an unemployed ex-convict and eventually becomes a pimp after being introduced to drugs by his girlfriend, played by Vonetta McGee, who works for her mother, Madame Tricksy (played by Estelle Evans).

 

 

Best Blaxploitation Movies

 

 

Best Blaxploitation Movies – The List

Let’s jump right into our list with a cult classic.

Blackenstein (1973)

Blackenstein is a film that is hard to classify. On one hand, it is an interesting take on the classic Frankenstein story, with a unique and daring twist.

   

On the other hand, it is a film that is plagued by poor execution and a lack of focus.

The story follows Dr. Winifred Walker (Ivory Stone) as she attempts to use her experimental techniques to heal her Vietnam veteran fiancé Eddie (Joe De Sue) who lost his limbs in combat.

However, things go awry when her assistant (John Hart) injects Eddie with an experimental serum that turns him into a monster.

The film is clearly trying to tackle issues of race and disability, but it falls short in its execution.

The makeup and special effects used to transform Eddie into Blackenstein are subpar at best, and the pacing of the film is slow and disjointed.

That being said, there are some redeeming qualities to the film. Ivory Stone gives a solid performance as the determined Dr. Walker, and the film’s score is surprisingly effective at setting a mood of tension and unease.

In the end, Blackenstein is a film that is worth watching for its unique take on the Frankenstein story and its attempt to tackle complex issues of race and disability.

 

Blackenstein
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • John Hart, Ivory Stone, Cardella DeMilo (Actors)
  • William A. Levey (Director) - Frank R. Saletri (Writer) - Frank R. Saletri (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

Blacula (1972)

Blacula is a must-see classic for any fan of the horror genre.

William Marshall gives a commanding performance as the titular character, delivering his lines with gravitas and intensity.

The film is a clever mix of horror and blaxploitation, with a funky soundtrack that perfectly captures the mood of the era.

The production design is also top-notch, with the Gothic architecture of the 18th century castle serving as a stunning backdrop for the film’s eerie and suspenseful moments.

The film’s themes of love, identity, and power are explored in a way that feels both timely and timeless, making Blacula a standout film in the genre.

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Petey Wheatstraw (1977)

Petey Wheatstraw is a wild and wacky ride that will leave you gasping for air.

This Blaxploitation classic from director Cliff Roquemore stars the legendary Rudy Ray Moore as a stand-up comedian who makes a pact with the devil to become the greatest comedian in the world.

The film is a perfect showcase for Moore’s unique blend of humor, wit, and irreverence, and his performance as the titular Petey Wheatstraw is nothing short of iconic.

The supporting cast is equally impressive, with notable performances from Jimmy Lynch, Leroy Daniels, and Ernest Mayhand.

The plot is a bit convoluted, with several subplots and twists that can be hard to follow at times. However, the film’s sheer energy and enthusiasm more than make up for any narrative shortcomings.

The action sequences are over-the-top and ridiculous in the best way possible, and the film’s soundtrack is a funky delight.

 

Petey Wheatstraw
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Rudy Ray Moore, Jimmy Lynch, Leroy Daniels (Actors)
  • Cliff Roquemore (Director) - Cliff Roquemore (Writer) - Rudy Ray Moore (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

That Man Bolt (1973)

“That Man Bolt” is a classic 70s blaxploitation film that delivers on all fronts – action, humor, and style.

Fred Williamson stars as Jefferson Bolt, a private investigator who takes on a dangerous case involving stolen diamonds and a ruthless crime syndicate.

   

Williamson’s charisma and physicality make him a perfect fit for the role, and the action sequences are both thrilling and entertaining.

The film also boasts a funky soundtrack and some hilarious moments, including a memorable scene where Bolt uses a pair of nunchucks to take down some bad guys.

While the plot may be somewhat predictable, it’s the execution that makes “That Man Bolt” a must-see for fans of the genre.

That Man Bolt (Soul Showcase)
  • Factory sealed DVD
  • Fred Williamson, Byron Webster, Miko Mayama (Actors)
  • Henry Levin (Director) - Quentin Werty (Writer) - Bernard Schwartz (Producer)
  • Spanish, French (Subtitles)
  • Audience Rating: R (Restricted)

Friday Foster (1975)

“Friday Foster” is a blaxploitation film that packs in action, humor, and style all into one entertaining package.

Pam Grier shines as Friday Foster, a photographer who gets caught up in a conspiracy involving political figures and assassinations.

The film boasts a talented and diverse cast, including Yaphet Kotto and Eartha Kitt, who add depth to the story.

The film’s soundtrack is funky and memorable, perfectly capturing the energy of the era.

While the plot may not be the most original, the film’s commentary on race and politics adds a layer of relevance that still resonates today.

 

Friday Foster
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Pam Grier, Yaphet Kotto, Godfrey Cambridge (Actors)
  • Arthur Marks (Director) - Orville H. Hampton (Writer) - Arthur Marks (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

Black Caesar (1973)

Black Caesar is a gritty and intense crime drama that tells the story of Tommy Gibbs (played brilliantly by Fred Williamson), a streetwise kid who rises to power as a ruthless crime boss in Harlem.

The film explores the themes of power, corruption, and betrayal, and does so with some of the most memorable action sequences and stylish cinematography of the era.

Director Larry Cohen does a fantastic job of capturing the tension and drama of the story, and the film’s soundtrack, composed by Brown, adds an layer of energy to the already intense scenes.

The performances are also top-notch, with Williamson delivering a standout performance as the charismatic and cunning Tommy Gibbs.

While some may find the film’s violent and graphic scenes difficult to watch, they are integral to the story and add to the film’s overall impact.

Black Caesar is a must-see for fans of crime dramas and classic cinema, and is a testament to the talent of everyone involved in its creation.

Black Caesar
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Fred Williamson, Art Lund, Gloria Hendry (Actors)
  • Larry Cohen (Director) - Larry Cohen (Writer) - Larry Cohen (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

Willie Dynamite (1974)

As a film aficionado, I recently watched the blaxploitation classic “Willie Dynamite” from 1974 and was thoroughly impressed by its gritty and unapologetic portrayal of a pimp’s rise and fall in the streets of New York City.

Roscoe Orman delivers a standout performance as Willie Dynamite, a smooth-talking and stylish pimp who rules his territory with an iron fist, but soon finds himself in hot water when he crosses paths with a determined social worker.

The film’s cinematography is impressive, capturing the seedy underbelly of the city with a raw and unflinching eye.

The soundtrack is also a highlight, featuring funky and soulful tunes that perfectly complement the film’s 70s aesthetic.

While some may find the film’s subject matter controversial, “Willie Dynamite” serves as a time capsule of a bygone era and a reminder of the harsh realities faced by those living on the margins of society.

 

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Willie Dynamite
  • Roscoe Orman, Diana Sands, Thalmus Rasulala (Actors)
  • Gilbert Moses (Director)
  • English (Subtitle)
  • Audience Rating: R (Restricted)

Truck Turner (1974)

“Truck Turner is a gritty, action-packed blaxploitation film that delivers on all fronts.

Isaac Hayes shines as the titular character, a tough-as-nails bounty hunter who will stop at nothing to get his man.

The film is filled with car chases, shootouts, and plenty of one-liners that will have you laughing and cheering along with the action.

But what really sets Truck Turner apart is its portrayal of the African American experience in 1970s America.

The film doesn’t shy away from the realities of racism and police brutality, and Hayes’ character is a powerful symbol of resistance and justice in the face of oppression.

Truck Turner
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Isaac Hayes, Yaphet Kotto, Alan Weeks (Actors)
  • Jonathan Kaplan (Director) - Oscar Williams (Writer) - Paul M. Heller (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

Three The Hard Way (1974)

Three The Hard Way (1974) is a high-octane action film that delivers on its promise of non-stop thrills and excitement.

This Blaxploitation classic stars Jim Brown, Fred Williamson, and Jim Kelly as a trio of badass heroes who team up to stop a white supremacist group from poisoning the drinking water of three major American cities.

The film is filled with intense car chases, explosive shootouts, and bone-crunching fight scenes that will leave you on the edge of your seat.

The chemistry between the three leads is palpable, and their on-screen camaraderie is a joy to watch.

What sets Three The Hard Way apart from other action films of its time is its unapologetic celebration of Black power and resistance against white supremacy.

The film’s opening scene, which depicts the brutal murder of a young Black boy by a group of white supremacists, sets the tone for the rest of the movie and establishes its powerful message of Black solidarity.

 

Three the Hard Way
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Jim Brown, Fred Williamson, Jim Kelly (Actors)
  • Gordon Parks, Jr. (Director) - Eric Bercovici (Writer) - Harry Bernsen (Producer)
  • (Playback Language)
  • Audience Rating: NR (Not Rated)

Cooley High (1975)

Cooley High is a timeless coming-of-age film that captures the essence of adolescence in way that few films do.

Set in Chicago’s Cabrini-Green housing projects, the movie follows the lives of two high school seniors, Preach and Cochise, as they navigate the challenges of growing up in a tough neighborhood.

The film is a beautiful blend of humor and heartbreak, showcasing the joys and sorrows of teenage life.

The characters are authentic, relatable, and endearing, from Preach’s witty humor to Cochise’s charming charisma.

The film’s soundtrack, featuring classic Motown hits, adds an extra layer of nostalgia and emotion to the already powerful storytelling.

Director Michael Schultz masterfully captures the essence of 1960s Chicago, immersing audiences in the sights and sounds of the era.

The film is a time capsule of sorts, transporting viewers back to a simpler time when life was all about school, friends, and first loves.

Cooley High is a must-watch for anyone who appreciates a good coming-of-age story.

It’s a film that will make you laugh, cry, and ultimately leave you with a renewed sense of hope and appreciation for life’s simple pleasures.

Cooley High [Blu-ray]
  • Glynn Turman, Lawrence-Hilton Jacobs, Garrett Morris (Actors)
  • Michael Schultz (Director)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • Audience Rating: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)

Coffy (1973)

Coffy is a classic blaxploitation film that is not for the faint of heart.

Directed by Jack Hill and starring Pam Grier in the titular role, this film follows a nurse who takes matters into her own hands after her sister becomes a victim of drug dealers.

Grier is an absolute force in this film, delivering a performance that is both fierce and vulnerable.

As Coffy, she is a woman on a mission, willing to do whatever it takes to bring down the drug underworld.

The film’s gritty depiction of violence and drug use may be jarring for some viewers, but it is an important commentary on the social issues of the time.

Despite the film’s low budget and occasional rough edges, Coffy is a thrilling and entertaining ride from start to finish.

With its characters, pulse-pounding action, and social commentary, this film remains a standout in the blaxploitation genre.

If you’re a fan of classic exploitation cinema, Coffy is a must-see.

 

Coffy
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Pam Grier, Booker Bradshaw, Robert DoQui (Actors)
  • Jack Hill (Director) - Jack Hill (Writer) - Salvatore Billitteri (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

Uptown Saturday Night (1974)


Uptown Saturday Night is a classic comedy film that showcases the chemistry between two of the biggest stars of their time, Sidney Poitier and Cosby Directed Poitier himself, this film follows two friends who find themselves in the middle of a heist gone wrong.

Poitier and Cosby’s comedic timing is impeccable, and their banter is a joy to watch throughout the film.

The supporting cast, including Harry Belafonte and Flip Wilson, also deliver great performances, adding to the film’s overall charm.

While the plot may be a bit thin at times, Uptown Saturday Night more than makes up for it with its energetic and entertaining approach.

The film’s soundtrack, featuring the likes of The Staple Singers and The Spinners, is also a standout.

Uptown Saturday Night
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Sidney Poitier, Bill Cosby, Harry Belafonte (Actors)
  • Sidney Poitier (Director) - Richard Wesley (Writer) - Melville Tucker (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

The Spook Who Sat By the Door (1973)

“The Spook Who Sat By the Door” is a powerful and politically charged film that has been overlooked for far too long.

Directed by Ivan Dixon and based on the novel by Sam Greenlee, this 1973 gem tells the story of Dan Freeman (Lawrence Cook), the first black CIA agent who is recruited as part of a token integration scheme, only to be passed over for promotion and ultimately fired.

Freeman then returns to his hometown of Chicago and uses his training to organize and lead a group of black militants in a daring revolution against the white establishment.

The film is a raw and unapologetic portrayal of the anger and frustration felt by many black Americans during the Civil Rights movement.

It’s a film that doesn’t pull any punches, and its uncompromising approach may be hard for some viewers to swallow.

But for those willing to take the journey, “The Spook Who Sat By the Door” is a powerful and thought-provoking film that deserves to be seen.

The performances are excellent across the board, with Lawrence Cook delivering a standout turn as the charismatic and determined Dan Freeman.

The film’s action sequences are also well executed, with the revolution scenes feeling particularly tense and realistic.

 

The Spook Who Sat By the Door [DVD]
  • Lawrence Cook, Janet League, Paula Kelly (Actors)
  • Ivan Dixon (Director) - Melvin Clay (Writer)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • Audience Rating: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)

Cotton Comes to Harlem (1970)

Cotton Comes to Harlem is a classic Blaxploitation film that is a must-see for fans of the genre.

Set in Harlem in the late 1960s, the film follows two detectives, Gravedigger Jones and Coffin Ed Johnson, as they investigate a robbery that has left the community reeling.

The film is a perfect blend of action, humor, and social commentary, with a strong cast led by Godfrey Cambridge and Raymond St. Jacques.

The chemistry between the two leads is electric, and their banter is both hilarious and poignant.

Director Ossie Davis does a fantastic job of capturing the vibrant energy of Harlem, and the film’s soundtrack is a funky delight.

The film also tackles important themes such as police brutality, gentrification, and the struggle for black empowerment.

Cotton Comes To Harlem
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Godfrey Cambridge, Raymond St. Jacques (Actors)
  • Ossie Davis (Director) - Ossie Davis (Writer) - Samuel Goldwyn Jr. (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

Ganja and Hess (1973)

Ganja and Hess is a mesmerizing and haunting film that defies easy categorization. At its core, it’s a vampire story, but it’s also much more than that.

Director Bill Gunn explores themes of addiction, spirituality, and Black identity in ways that are both subtle and powerful.

The film follows Dr. Hess Green, played with quiet intensity by Duane Jones, as he becomes entangled with the mysterious and alluring Ganja, played by Marlene Clark.

What follows is a slow-burn exploration of desire and temptation, as Ganja introduces Hess to a world of blood and addiction.

Gunn’s direction is dreamlike and surreal, with stunning cinematography that captures the beauty and horror of the film’s themes.

The performances are equally impressive, with Jones and Clark delivering nuanced and layered portrayals of their characters.

While Ganja and Hess may not be for everyone, those who are willing to take the journey will be rewarded with a thought-provoking and unforgettable film.

 

Ganja & Hess
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Duane Jones, Marlene Clark, Bill Gunn (Actors)
  • Bill Gunn (Director) - Bill Gunn (Writer) - Chiz Schultz (Producer)
  • Audience Rating: R (Restricted)

Dolemite (1973)

Dolemite is a blaxploitation classic that’s both incredibly entertaining and historically significant.

Directed by D’Urville Martin and starring the irrepressible Rudy Ray Moore, the movie follows the exploits of a pimp named Dolemite who’s released from prison and seeks revenge on his enemies.

What makes Dolemite such a joy to watch is the sheer energy and charisma of Moore’s performance.

He’s a force of nature, spouting rhymes and insults with equal aplomb and always ready for a fight.

The film’s fight scenes are a particular highlight, with Dolemite dispatching his foes in a flurry of kicks, punches, and acrobatics.

But Dolemite is more than just a showcase for Moore’s talents.

It’s also a celebration of black culture and a response to the racism and oppression faced by African Americans in the 1970s.

The film’s soundtrack, featuring soul and funk tracks by artists like The Pointer Sisters and Marvin Gaye, is a testament to the richness and vitality of black music.

Of course, Dolemite is far from perfect. The acting can be wooden at times, the pacing is uneven, and the production values are decidedly low-budget.

But these flaws only add to the film’s charm, giving it a rough-and-tumble feel that’s impossible to resist.

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Trouble Man (1972)

Trouble Man is a gritty and stylish crime drama set in the seedy underworld of 1970s Los Angeles.

Directed by Ivan Dixon and starring Robert Hooks as the enigmatic anti-hero “Mr. T”, the film is a thrilling ride filled with action, suspense, and a killer soundtrack by legendary jazz musician Marvin Gaye.

The story follows Mr. T, a freelance agent who specializes in resolving “troubles” for the criminal underworld. When a powerful gangster hires him to protect his girlfriend, Mr. T finds himself caught up in a dangerous game of double-crosses and deception.

As the body count rises and the stakes get higher, Mr. T must use all his street smarts and cunning to survive.

Hooks delivers a standout performance as the suave and ruthless Mr. T, exuding charisma and cool with every line of dialogue.

The supporting cast is equally impressive, including Paul Winfield as the conflicted detective trying to bring Mr. T down, and Paula Kelly as the gangster’s girlfriend caught in the middle.

But perhaps the biggest star of the film is Gaye’s unforgettable soundtrack, featuring hits like “Trouble Man” and “Don’t Mess with Mister T”.

The soulful and funky score perfectly captures the mood and atmosphere of the film, adding an extra layer of cool to an already badass movie.

 

Trouble Man
  • Paul Winfield (Actor)
  • Ivan Dixon (Director)
  • Audience Rating: R (Restricted)

Black Belt Jones (1974)

Black Belt Jones is a classic martial arts film from the 70s that is sure to satisfy any fan of the genre.

The film follows the titular character, played by Jim Kelly, a skilled martial artist who is tasked with protecting a karate school from a group of ruthless gangsters.

The film is filled with high-flying action sequences and impressive fight choreography that will leave you on the edge of your seat.

Kelly’s performance as Black Belt Jones is charismatic and engaging, and he effortlessly portrays both the physicality and the humor of the character.

The supporting cast is also strong, with Gloria Hendry delivering a standout performance as the tough-as-nails Sydney, and Scatman Crothers bringing a sense of levity to the film as Pop Byrd, the owner of the karate school.

While the plot may be somewhat predictable, the film’s energy and style make up for any shortcomings in the story.

The soundtrack, featuring funky and soulful tracks, is also a highlight of the film.

 

Black Belt Jones
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Jim Kelly, Gloria Hendry, Scatman Crothers (Actors)
  • Robert Clouse (Director) - Alex Ross (Writer) - Fred Weintraub (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

Across 110th Street (1972)

Across 110th Street is a gritty crime drama that takes place in the heart of Harlem, New York City.

The film follows the lives of three men – a cop, a crook, and a mafia boss – as they navigate their way through the dangerous streets of the city.

The performances in this film are top-notch, with Anthony Quinn delivering a standout performance as the ruthless mafia boss, and Yaphet Kotto giving a powerful portrayal of a hardened criminal.

However, it is the late great actor, Paul Benjamin, who steals the show with his unforgettable performance as a small-time crook caught up in the middle of a violent turf war.

The film’s use of location and music is also worth noting.

The sound of Bobby Womack’s soulful “Across 110th Street” sets the tone for the film, while the grimy streets of Harlem serve as the perfect backdrop for the gritty crime drama.

 

Across 110th Street
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Anthony Quinn, Anthony Franciosa, Antonio Fargas (Actors)
  • Barry Shear (Director) - Luther Davis (Writer) - Anthony Quinn (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song (1971)

Across 110th Street is a gritty crime drama that takes place in the heart of Harlem, New York City.

The film follows the lives of three men – a cop, a crook, and a mafia boss – as they navigate their way through the dangerous streets of the city.

The performances in this film are top-notch, with Anthony Quinn delivering a standout performance as the ruthless mafia boss, and Yaphet Kotto giving a powerful portrayal of a hardened criminal.

However, it is the late great actor, Paul Benjamin, who steals the show with his unforgettable performance as a small-time crook caught up in the middle of a violent turf war.

The film’s use of location and music is also worth noting.

The sound of Bobby Womack’s soulful “Across 110th Street” sets the tone for the film, while the grimy streets of Harlem serve as the perfect backdrop for the gritty crime drama.

Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song [Blu-ray/DVD Combo]
  • Melvin Van Peebles, Simon Chuckster, Hubert Scales (Actors)
  • Melvin Van Peebles (Director)
  • English (Subtitle)
  • Audience Rating: R (Restricted)

Super Fly (1972)

Super Fly is a classic blaxploitation film that has become a cult favorite over the years.

Directed by Gordon Parks Jr. and starring Ron O’Neal as the titular character, Super Fly tells the story of a cocaine dealer who is looking to make one last big score before getting out of the game for good.

What sets this film apart from other blaxploitation movies of the era is its stylish direction and excellent soundtrack by Curtis Mayfield.

The film is a gritty and realistic portrayal of life in the inner city, with O’Neal’s performance as the cool and collected drug dealer being a standout.

The film’s themes of power, corruption, and redemption are still relevant today, and its influence can be seen in countless films and TV shows that have followed in its footsteps.

While some may criticize Super Fly for glorifying drug use, it ultimately serves as a cautionary tale about the dangers of the drug trade and the harsh realities of life in the inner city.

 

Super Fly
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Carl Lee, Sheila Frazier, Ron O'Neal (Actors)
  • Gordon ParksJr. (Director) - Phillip Fenty (Writer) - Sig Shore (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

Foxy Brown (1974)

Foxy Brown is a classic blaxploitation film that packs a punch from start to finish. Pam Grier stars as the titular character, a strong and sexy woman seeking revenge after her boyfriend is murdered by a drug syndicate.

The film is filled with action, violence, and some truly memorable one-liners.

Director Jack Hill does an excellent job of capturing the gritty and dangerous world of the 1970s, and Grier’s performance as Foxy is truly iconic.

The film also features some great supporting performances, particularly from Antonio Fargas as the flamboyant and villainous Link Brown.

While some may find the portrayal of women and the use of racial stereotypes problematic, Foxy Brown remains an important and influential film in the blaxploitation genre.

Foxy Brown
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Pam Grier, Antonio Fargas, Peter Brown (Actors)
  • Jack Hill (Director) - Jack Hill (Writer) - Buzz Feitshans (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

Shaft (1971)

“Shaft” is an iconic film that has stood the test of time.

This gritty, action-packed crime drama is a classic that paved the way for the blaxploitation genre in the 1970s.

Richard Roundtree delivers a dynamic performance as John Shaft, a private detective who is hired by a Harlem crime boss to find his daughter, who has been kidnapped.

The film’s soundtrack, composed by Isaac Hayes, is unforgettable and became a hit in its own right.

Director Gordon Parks captures the energy and spirit of the era, showcasing the vibrant culture of Harlem and the struggles of its residents.

While the film does have some dated elements, “Shaft” remains a gripping and thrilling ride.

The action scenes are intense, and Roundtree’s cool and confident portrayal of Shaft is captivating.

The film’s themes of racial injustice and police corruption are still relevant today, making “Shaft” a timeless classic.

 

Shaft (1971)
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Richard Roundtree, Moses Gunn, Charles Cioffi (Actors)
  • Gordon Parks (Director) - Ernest Tidyman (Writer) - Joel Freeman (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

The Mack (1973)

“The Mack” is a gritty and unapologetic blaxploitation film that takes us on a journey through the seedy underbelly of Oakland’s criminal underworld.

The story follows Goldie (Max Julien), a charismatic young man recently released from prison, as he navigates the dangerous world of pimping and drug dealing in an effort to make a name for himself and help his struggling family.

The film is a fascinating snapshot of the time period, with its bold fashion choices, funky soundtrack, and unflinching portrayal of the violence and corruption that plagued inner-city communities.

Julien delivers a standout performance as Goldie, commanding the screen with his raw charisma and swagger.

While the film does have its share of problematic elements, including its portrayal of women and its glorification of illegal activities, it ultimately succeeds in capturing the spirit of the era and delivering an entertaining and thought-provoking viewing experience.

The Mack
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Max Julien, Don Gordon, Richard Pryor (Actors)
  • Michael Campus (Director) - Robert J. Poole (Writer) - Harvey Bernhard (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

The Best Blaxploitation Films That Helped Defined The Genre

The blaxploitation era lasted from the late 1960s to the mid-1970s, but there are still films being made today. These movies were not only entertaining for audiences, but they also helped define an era.”

Blaxploitation films are a subgenre of exploitation films that emerged in the early 1970s.

They were generally released by black filmmakers for an urban audience and featured large numbers of African-Americans in starring roles, usually as criminals or gangsters.

The genre was chiefly characterized by having black actors play characters who are streetwise, self-sufficient, and sexually aggressive.

These films offered both an alternative to popular Hollywood fare and a way for social messages to be communicated through cinema.

The 1970s was an interesting time for film. It was the era of blaxploitation films, which were often low-budget exploitation movies aimed at depicting black people as strong and heroic.

These films helped shape a new generation of African American filmmakers that would go on to create some of Hollywood’s most defining moments.

They also gave birth to a slew of memorable characters such as John Shaft, Foxy Brown, Coffy, and Boss Hog – all who had their own unique struggles with trying to live in America while being black or female.

Blaxploitation Horror Movies

Did you know that there are horror movies released in the 1970s? They were called blaxploitation and they tended to be more violent than your average horror movie.

Blaxploitation horror movies typically had strong female leads who would fight back against their attackers with whatever weapon they could find (such as guns).

They also frequently featured scenes involving nudity or other sexual activity; this may be because sex was considered taboo at the time, but it still made for interesting viewing.

I’ve compiled a list of some of the best blaxploitation horror movies from this era for you below. Let me know which one is your favorite!
 

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