American History Ex is an exploratory examination of exploitation film, a continuing column celebrating “low culture.” This month is Blaxploitation History Month.
After the amazingly ridiculous Three the Hard Way and it’s pseudo-Neo Nazi antagonists, I was inspired to check out a film that I was extremely wary of, initially. As intriguing as it is, it seems so… wrong… in so many ways. But still, how could you not watch a Blaxploitation movie called The Black Gestapo.
Yeah… just dwell on that for a minute…
Blaxploitation and Nazisploitation, together… maybe a little sexploitation thrown in for good measure, like a cinematic gift you never knew you always wanted. Fortunately, the titular Black Gestapo are not the protagonists of the film, cause that would be a bit much to get behind.
The film follows General Ahmed’s “People’s Army,” think Black Panthers meets The Salvation Army. Based out of Watts, the “People’s Army” is less a militant group and more of a charitable organization, providing food, medical care and general assistance. But, after some violent encounters with the local mob, General Ahmed’s second in command, Colonel Kojah, convinces the General that the “People’s Army” should have a protective paramilitary element as well.
Once his forces remove the mob from Watts, Kojah immediately steps in, replacing the mob with his own fascist criminal organization, unbeknownst to Ahmed, tarnishing the name of the “People’s Army.” When Ahmed finally finds out, he plans to take back control of his Army… by any means necessary.
Now, I have to admit… this was actually pretty good movie. Ridiculous, disturbing, odd… but good nonetheless. I was surprised. The Black Gestapo is entertaining on its own, without being amazingly bad a la Abby. Even more surprising, the despotic leader of the Black Gestapo is played by Charles Robinson, who you might remember as Mac from long-running TV series, Night Court.
Do I really need to tell you to see this movie? It’s called The Black Gestapo… that must pique your interest a little. Just in case you need a bit more goading, it’s an interesting film. Filmmaker Rod Perry is clearly trying to say something, with all the subtly of a 2×4 to the head. Still, there’s some nice action and the acting isn’t terrible. Seriously though, it’s a movie called The Black Gestapo… see it!