Darktown Strutters - classic Blaxploitation

Darktown Strutters

By John Saleeby
February 1st, 2009


"Blaxploitation Movie"? "Darktown Strutters" is so crazy we should call it a "Schizoploitation Movie". It's not unusual to find oneself squawking "Huh?" and "What the fuck?" when watching Seventies Blaxploitation Movies but "Darktown Strutters" is so messed up viewers find themselves banging on the screen of their TV set demanding "What the hell are you doing? Are you insane? Gimmee some of that shit you been smokin'!" Until their friends call 911 and have them dragged off to the Psychiatric Hospital - Which is where the "Darktown Strutters" people have probably been ever since they finished making the damn Movie thirty five years ago.

Not that "Darktown Strutters" is a bad Movie - Oh, no! "Darktown Strutters" is a very good Movie that I recommend to everyone who has been able to sit through a Ken Russell, Jerry Lewis, or David Cronenberg Movie without going to Ken Russell, Jerry Lewis, or David Cronenberg's house to perform a lobotomy on them with a pair of hedge clippers. Those Clint Eastwood fans and their stupid hedge clippers! I saw "Darktown Strutters" and had a perfectly good time, didn't catch on to how unusual it was until the next day when I told my co workers about it around the water cooler and they all hid inside the water cooler to get away from me. The Physical Laws Of The Universe had been violated in some mysterious way and the only way to restore order and balance was . . . I don't know. Why are you coming to me with that shit?

"Darktown Strutters" is a Comedy and a very funny one. But most of the "Bits" in this Movie are so silly even the guy who wrote the bits in the Acid Logic Motherfucking Masterpiece article about "Darktown Strutters" can't get over how silly they are. Just take my word on it, guys in KKK robes riding around on motor scooters with goofy electronic sound effects is very entertaining and the fact that you have never seen such a thing in any Motion Picture aside from "Darktown Strutters" merely demonstrates what an unimaginative bunch of dullards we have Producing, Writing, and Directing American Films today.

The Production of "Darktown Strutters" is clearly a case of "Blame The White Man". We all know that many Blaxploitation favorites were Produced, Written, and Directed by white people but the White Men responsible for "Darktown Strutters" were so deranged you could probably get them to take credit for all those John Waters Movies "Oh, yeah - That fat drag queen eating a dog turd? All my idea! Oh, yeah - Sure!" Who were these men or, more importantly, where are they and are they being kept under strict surveilance?

"Darktown Strutters" was Produced by Gene Corman. Corman? Uh oh! He couldn't have been related to Roger Corman, could he? I mean, SHIT! If there is a Gene Corman related to Roger Corman there might be a Gene Russell related to Ken Russell, a Gene Lewis related to Jerry Lewis, a Gene Cronenberg related to David Cronenberg and we might as well give up on Western Civilization right then and there. Osama Bin Laden, you are My Master! What, there is a Gene Bin Laden? Like, I said earlier, SHIT! Bad Google News, Gene is indeed related to Roger Corman, he's Roger's Brother and when Roger quit American International Pictures after AIP bungled the release of "Gas" (' . . . release of 'Gas'" Do you think there might be a joke in that if I worked at it?) he and Gene founded New World Pictures. New World is where being a Roger Corman Fan gets to be kind of a drag so it's nothing short of a miracle that something as fun as "Darktown Strutters" could come out of such a dreary exercise. My Theory is that Gene slept late from staying up all night painting Race Cars and World War One Fighter Planes for "Death Race 2000" and "Von Richtofen And Brown" and sick pranksters around the office Green Lighted "Darktown Strutters" to get him in trouble with Roger. Gene finally came in around quarter to eleven and Hot Black Chicks were riding around on motorcycles, The Dramatics were doing dance steps on the desktops singing "What You See Is What You Get", fat rednecks were running around in funny Latex Rubber Pig Masks . . . "What the hell is going on?" "It's 'Darktown Strutters", Gene! Remember?" "Uh . . . Yeah . . . 'Darktown Strutters'! Yeah! Sure!"

"Darktown in Strutters" was written by George Armitage, a name all you John Cusack Fans out there will recognise as the Writer and Director of "Grosse Pointe Blank ". George Armitage? John Cusack? "Grosse Pointe Blank "? All I can say is "Thank you, Google!" Roger Cormaniacs all know Armitage as the Scriptwriter for "Gas" which I will be Writing a few really funny "release" jokes about if I can get a couple of weeks off from my Day Job and get some really serious Comedy Writing done. Once Corman whipped up New World he had Armitage write "Private Duty Nurses" and "Night Call Nurses" - Movies about Nurses? Movies about Titties, actually. Too bad Corman didn't know about showing Titties in Movies when he filmed that Cute Black Nurse in "The Wild Angels". For a while there New World was making so many Nurses Movies the guys who were making the Women In Prison Movies made a Nurses In Prison Movie until Roger got so depressed about not showing that Cute Black Nurse's Titties in "The Wild Angels" not even jiggling all the spare change in his pants pockets could cheer him up. Why did Armitage Write "Darktown Strutters"? He probably wrote a script about a Super Fine Black Chick to get Roger to stop wandering around the New World office wailing about that Cute Black Nurse in "The Wild Angels". I don't have any evidence to back that up but I've had too much coffee and it just seemed like the thing to do. What's wrong with that? "Darktown Strutters" looks like Armitage had too much coffee and it just seemed like the thing to do so go watch a fucking Judd Apatow Movie and read the Movie articles at Newsweek.com if you don't like it! I'm sorry, I'm kind of depressed about not getting to see that Cute Black Nurse's Titties in "The Wild Angels". I bet nobody at Newsweek.com ever opened up to you like that.

And now we come to the part of the article all the French people skipped right to without reading anything before it - The part of the article about the Director of "Darktown Strutters", William Witney. Or - As all non-French people call him - "William Who?" I never heard of the guy either but Quentin Tarentino has cited Witney as one of his Favorite Directors and even Dedicated "Kill Bill" to him which is even better than winning the Best Director Oscar (Especially since Tarentino didn't win it for "Kill Bill"). Now that I have seen "Darktown Strutters" and have learned of Tarentino's respect for his Work in general I am not embarrassed to come off as a typical Internet Fan Boy and declare Witney as THE GREATEST MOTION PICTURE DIRECTOR EVER!!! Aw, Hell - I was all set to go into a big Comedy Routine where I parody all those dopes on the net who make assholes of themselves carrying on about how something that most people have never heard of is THE GREATEST THING EVER but then I realised that I would have a lot of nerve making fun of those guys after all the stuff I've written for Acid Logic about Movies like "Targets", "The Signal", and "The Virgin Suicides". Hey, at least I'm THE GREATEST INTERNET ASSHOLE EVER!!! But Witney was clearly a very talented Director and if you go to France you can probably find tons of very good books about him which, when translated into English, turn out to be books about Vincent Minelli with Minelli's name replaced with Witney's and the titles of Minelli's Movies replaced with the titles of Witney's Movies. Those French Fan Boys are really weird but they sure work hard.

Look at me, damn near at The End of an article about a Blaxploitation Movie and all I've written about is a bunch of white guys! I'm such a Douche that if I marry Eliza Dushku her name will be Eliza Doucheku! The Star of "Darktown Strutters" is Trina Parks, who earlier scandalized the World Of Cinema with her appearance as one of James Bond's girlfriends in "Diamonds Are Forever". Everybody was like "James Bond with a black girl?! That's not right! That's . . . " until they noticed that they had The Biggest Hard On Of Their Lives and felt so bad they voted for Jimmy Carter. There was another black girl in "Live And Let Die" but that was with Roger Moore and you could make a Movie where that guy fucks a pulled pork sandwich and nobody would give a shit. By Foxy Black Chick standards Trina Parks is hardly up there with Pam Grier in "Coffy" but she never takes anything that happens in the least bit seriously and I dig that in a Female Movie Lead. This girl is so light hearted it's too bad they didn't have her in "Night Of The Living Dead" "Dead people risin' up from The Grave to eat all the Living people? Long as you got some slow jams you can eat Sushi for all I care! But what the hell we doin' out here in the Woods? Pennsylvania!?! SHIT!!" A hot black woman with a Bob Hope attitude? Forbis, remember that one for when we finally get around to making the Acid Logic Movie - With Andy Dick as Wile E. Peyote!

So if you ever get a chance to see "Darktown Strutters" don't be a jerk and pass it up in favor of some White Guy bullshit like Going To Work or Cleaning Up The House - Watch this Movie from Beginning to End and recommend it to all of your Acid Logic Friends! I know I'll watch it again. Hell, I'm just killing Time until that Aronofsky Movie with the Lesbian sex scene with Mila Kunis and Natalie Portman comes out. I hope they play Nurses!

John Saleeby wrote for The National Lampoon while he was in high school, was a stand up comic in New York, and has contributed to the net humor zines Schmuck.com, Campaign Central, and the legendary American Jerk. He's on medication now so he's probably a little nicer now than he was when you met him earlier. Email - goon61_@hotmail.com

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