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Friday, June 4, 2010

Poor Pretty Eddie [A.K.A. Black Vengeance] (1975)


  • Leslie Uggams
  • Shelley Winters
  • Michael Christian
  • Ted Cassidy
  • Dub Taylor
In a decade full of memorable exploitation films, its a shame "Poor Pretty Eddy" doesn't have a larger cult following. Its really a lost gem from that great period of film-making. Its hilarious, demented, bizarre, and actually a disturbing portrait of racism. Whether it was included just to turn in a profit or not, the portrayal or racism in this film is much more disturbing than anything offered by Hollywood today. Its more effective than either "Crash" or "Monsters Ball" in my mind, because it refuses to manipulate the audience. Maybe I'm looking a bit too much into this however. For exploitation fans, it offers plenty of sleazy and depraved delights.

The film is much more well made than any other hicksploitation film. The acting in particular is great and all the characters are memorable. Leslie Uggams makes a great heroine, both strong and sympathetic. Shelley Winters, Slim Pickens, and especially Michael Christian (playing the Elvis impersonator from Hell) are all over-the-top and campy yet fascinating and completely fitting to the material. Ted Cassidy is also a standout as the one likable redneck of the bunch, offering a strong performance (one of the films few flaws is that it doesn't develop some of the characters to their fullest potentials). The dialog is hilariously politically incorrect. "Poor Pretty Eddy" is one of the 70s best exploitation films.

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I would definitely define this film as horror, in the same family as Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Kevin Smith's Red State. I have read reviews that classified it as blaxploitation, or suspense, but this movie is far from your standard blaxploitation in the traditional sense. the film was eerily executed with a sort of voyeuristic realism, at times you feel you are watching something that you should not. it has been recently released on Blu Ray. I don't have a blu ray player at the moment, but I think it deserves a cleaned up version as an upload. that film was creepy as hell.


dj whalee said...

Ha!Love this film!
I saw it a few weeks ago on Turner Classic Movies @ 2:00 am. WTF? This and "Fight For Your life" would make a great politically incorrect double bill.
Love your blog.

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