Monday, March 27, 2017
Director/animator Ralph Bakshi followed up his classic FRITZ THE CAT and HEAVY TRAFFIC cartoon flicks with this mostly animated, but also some live-action, version of a blaxploitation movie. It starts out with the unforgettable tune "Nigger Man" sung by the great Scatman Crothers, from there we get Scat and a younger buddy attempting a prison break and while this goes on he tells(and we get to see in cartoon form) the old story of Brer Rabbit but updated to a very urban environment with some crazy violence and sex thrown in. The whole film is a statement on being race in America. It is a film that was made in an era when being offensive was not seen as the ultimate sin as it is in these sad days. While it may seem most offensive to black folks on the surface due to the characterization and stereotypes on display it does not give very positive depictions to the white police or the Italian mafioso-types either. In fact I'm pretty sure the design and intent of this film is to offend everyone watching and therefore at least make some people think after viewing. Of course this would be wasted on today's audience which will never lay eyes upon anything that makes them in the least bit uncomfortable.
A couple of stars beside Scatman include Barry White and his smooth deep voice and Philip Michael Thomas(aka that black dude from MIAMI VICE). Give it a watch if you're not an overly-sensitive, politically-correct piece of human-garbage(aka almost everyone still alive in 2017) or you just dig weird psychedelic cartoons. AKA STREET FIGHT and re-released as BUSTIN' OUT
The less offensive title: