Showing posts with label pam grier. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pam grier. Show all posts

21 June 2013

Jack Hill's Foxy Brown / Spider Baby BluRay Review

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The fantastic Arrow Video has released 2 films by Jack Hill films Spider-Baby and Foxy Brown on blu-ray. Jack Hill has been by called “The Howard Hawks of exploitation filmmaking” by Quentin Tarantino. Jack Hill like many directors of his generation worked for Roger Corman in the 1960s he made such films for Roger as Pit Stop, The Big Doll House and the notorious The Terror (which Francis Ford Coppola directed bits of as well as Monte Hellman and even Jack Nicholson). Spider-Baby however was Jack Hill’s first real film but wasn’t released for years and was never properly released till the 80s/90s.

Spider-Baby is a rare slice of “California Gothic”, very few films are with only Psycho and some of Tim Burton’s films. The film is about these 3 children in puberty who are regressing the evolutionary ladder if you will; a backwards Darwinism if you will. They have a chauffeur Bruno played by Lon Chaney Jr. (the one who played The Wolf Man). The title Spider-Baby refers to Virginia because she is obsessed with Spider and hunts and bills bugs and her spider like movements. The film starts with them killing off an innocent postman. Bruno has mean able to keep the dark family secrets hidden all these years but when some cousins Emily and her brother Peter with their lawyer come it is all revealed over a grotesque dinner.

The film is a predecessor to something like Texas Chainsaw Massacre, which it’s depicted of inbred cannibalistic family even though the cannibalism is all implied. It’s a very strange film with a dinner scene reminiscent of the one in Eraserhead. It’s shot in glorious black and white, which really adds to the gothic weirdness of the whole thing. The film starts a hilarious parody of the Monster Mash sung by Lon Chaney. The film also has an early role for Sid Haig as one of the inbred kids. It has in recent years even been adapted into a musical.

Foxy Brown is a very different film to Spider-Baby. It’s a quintessential piece of Blaxploitation and it stars the queen of Blaxploitation Pam Grier as its title character. Jack Hill is known for many things but probably most for discovering Pam Grier with his film The Big Doll House (which like Lon Chaney sang the title song in that film). Pam’s star making role was in the classic Coffy that Jack Hill also directed.

Foxy Brown was originally meant to be a sequel to Coffy due to its surprise success but American-International Pictures at the last minute decided they didn’t want a sequel. The film is some ways is rewrite the Coffy. Pam Grier plays a foxy mama who seeks revenge on some criminals on what they did to her loved one; in Coffy it was her sister. Foxy Brown it’s her boyfriend who is witness protection (he has had cosmetic surgery) who is shot down by a drug syndicate. She poses as a prostitute to infiltrate the organization. She helps one of the prostitute from a life drugs and sexual exploitation. The rest of the film is all revenge themed set pieces including one of castrating.

The film as expecting is a total hoot from start to finish with Pam Grier killing everyone; she literally hides a gun into her Afro in the climax. It’s normal case the soundtrack for Blaxploitation films to have a great soundtrack and it’s certainly the case this time with music by Willie Hutch who also did the score for the pimpin’ classic The Mack. The film is certainly on par with its predecessor Coffy, it may not quite reach the dizzy heights of that film but it’s a blast. The film like Spider-Baby and Coffy also features a supporting role by Sid Haig who Jack Hill knew since his student days. Tarantino famously adapted the title for his masterpiece Jackie Brown that of course stars Pam Grier.

Arrow Video has put lots of love and care into these releases which a wealth of bonus material with a doc on Blaxploitation, a doc on Spider Baby, interviews with Sid Haig, commentaries by Jack Hil on both films, one of Jack Hill’s short films. Arrow is rapidly becoming one of the best home video companies in the UK and look out for more by them in recent months and maybe some day they can release Coffy.

★★★★

Ian Schultz


Spiderbaby (1968)
Rating: 18
BluRay Release Date: 24th June 2013(UK)
DirectorJack Hill
CastLon Chaney Jr.Carol Ohmart,Quinn K. Redeker,Sid Haig
Buy Spider BabyBlu-ray




Foxy Brown (1974)
Rating: 18
BluRay Release Date: 24th June 2013(UK)
DirectorJack Hill
Cast:  Pam Grier
Buy Foxy Brown: Blu-ray / SteelBook [Blu-ray]


28 May 2013

The One Hit Chick Squad Foxy Brown Finally Getting Her Blu Ray Release!

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She's back to do a job on the mob and finally give fans what they want Blu-Ray version of her film and Arrow Video is pleased to confirm the highly anticipated Blu-ray &Steelbook release of Jack Hill’s landmark Blaxsploitation classic FOXY BROWN on Monday 24th June.

Finally available on Blu-ray for the very first time anywhere in the world, this stunning version of FOXY BROWN features a beautifully restored high-definition transfer, the super-deluxe edition comes approved by Jack Hill himself.

A true innovator of America’s exploitation genre, Arrow will also release another of his trademark films, Spider Baby, on Blu-ray in the coming weeks.

The super-deluxe package, which is available both as a standard Blu-ray and as a limited edition Blu-ray steelbook, is LOADED with special features and bonus material.(full details below trailer)

Featuring audio commentary with Jack Hill, three new and exclusive featurettes, a gallery of behind-the-scenes photos and publicity images, original Foxy Brown theatrical trailer (as part of a comprehensive Jack Hill trailer reel) and an in-depth collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Blaxploitation expert Josiah Howard and an interview with Pam Grier by Calum Waddell.

Keeping with what is a now a fan-favoured tradition of Arrow Video restorations, FOXY BROWN will come complete with a reversible sleeve, featuring the original 1974 artwork and a stunning new illustration from The Red Dress.

Quentin Tarantino is a fully-fledged member of the Foxy Brown fan club. He counts Jack Hill as one of his favourite American film directors and biggest influences. Tarantino’s 1997 film "Jackie Brown" pays homage to both Jack Hill and Foxy Brown, and features Pam Grier in the lead role (“Jackie” is a reference to Jack Hill, and “Brown” is a reference to Foxy Brown).

Synopsis

When Foxy Brown’s undercover-agent boyfriend is gunned down on the orders of evil drug kingpins, she stops at nothing to exact a thrillingly brutal revenge. This is one of the all-time great Blaxploitation films, pulling out all the stops at a time long before anyone had thought of political correctness.
After linking her boyfriend's murder to a so-called "modelling agency", Foxy poses as a prostitute to infiltrate the company, saving fellow black women from a life of drugs and sexual exploitation in the process.
Pam Grier was given the role of a lifetime as the street-smart yet intensely sexy Foxy, modelling a stupendously varied range of Seventies threads while righteously kicking villainous white butt at every opportunity.

With an incredible supporting cast, a suitably funkadelic soundtrack and just the right balance of sex and violence, Foxy Brown is still, undisputedly, the meanest chick in town.



The director-approved Special Features included on the deluxe editions of FOXY BROWN are as follows:

- Restored High Definition presentation (1080p), on Blu-ray for the first time in the world!
- Optional English SDH subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing.
- Original Uncompressed PCM Mono 2.0 Audio.
- Audio commentary with director Jack Hill.
- "From Black and White to Blaxploitation" – Actor Sid Haig speaks about his long and influential friendship with Jack Hill.
- "A Not So Minor Influence" – An Interview with Bob Minor, the first African-American member of the Stuntman’s Association, and co-star of Foxy Brown.
- "Back to Black" – Legendary actors Fred "The Hammer" Williamson (Black Caesar) and Austin Stoker (Sheba Baby, Assault on Precinct 13), alongside Rosanne Katon (Ebony, Ivory, and Jade) and film scholar Howard S. Berger speak about the enduring popularity of the Blaxploitation film.
- Photo gallery of behind-the-scenes and publicity images.
- Original Theatrical Trailer.
- Trailer Reel – Trailers for all the major works by Jack Hill including Foxy Brown, Coffy and Switchblade Sisters.
- Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by The Red Dress.
- Collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Josiah Howard, author of Blaxploitation Cinema: The Essential Reference Guide, a new interview with Pam Grier by Jack Hill biographer Calum Waddell, illustrated with original archive stills and posters.

Pre-Order-Buy Foxy Brown: Blu-ray / SteelBook [Blu-ray]