Blaxploitation Cinema


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Blaxploitation Cinema: The Essential Reference Guide by Josiah Howard

Hardcover – Fab Press – May 2021 – 240 pages

Dazzling, highly stylized, excessively violent and brimming with sex, blaxploitation films enjoyed a brief but memorable period in motion picture history. Never before – and never since – have so many African American performers been featured in films, not in bit parts, but in name-above-the-title starring roles.

Half a century after they first thrilled audiences the body of films known as blaxploitation are enjoying a renaissance. Not only do the pictures continue to captivate film fans, but the entire genre, with its bevy of colourful, utterly-contemporary film characters, irresistible soundtrack albums and catchy film titles, is finally taking its rightful place among the entertainment industry’s most enjoyed, and influential, movies.

Directly answering the call for a new and appreciative look back at a distinctly American motion picture phenomenon, Blaxploitation Cinema: The Essential Reference Guide is the first truly comprehensive examination of the genre, its films, its trends and its far-reaching impact, covering more than 240 blaxploitation films in detail.

Blaxploitation Cinema: The Essential Reference Guide will become the primary reference book on the genre, covering not just the films’ heyday (1971-1976) but the entire decade (1970-1980). From Aaron Loves Angela to The Zebra Killer, they’re all here in one indispensable volume.

Complimenting the text of Blaxploitation Cinema: The Essential Reference Guide are many of the vivid, highly-theatrical, motion picture posters and ads that promoted the films. Blaxploitation’s rich and colourful poster art has been the sole subject of a number of coffee-table books. The hand-painted, elaborately illustrated posters and ad campaigns associated with the genre represent a now-gone golden era of sensational motion picture representation. Also features page after page of stunning action stills and original newspaper admats.

In addition to the A-to-Z reviews of blaxploitation movies, this book features interviews with ten great blaxploitation movie directors:

– Halls of Anger, The Skin Game, Mr. Ricco

– The Black Six, Candy Tangerine Man, Lady Cocoa

– Black Caesar, Hell Up in Harlem

– Fight for Your Life

– Welcome Home Brother Charles, Penitentiary

– Coffy, Foxy Brown

– The Slams, Truck Turner

– Detroit 9000, Friday Foster, J.D.’s Revenge

– TNT Jackson, Ebony, Ivory & Jade, Death Force

– Ginger, A Place Called Today, Girls Are for Loving

  • A comprehensive introduction to the genre.
  • A complete filmography of blaxploitation’s golden age (1970-1980).
  • More than 250 movie listings, which include director, producer, screenwriter and actor credits along with a full synopsis.
  • Vintage and contemporary film reviews, critiques and commentary plus movie taglines, ratings, and extensive cross-referencing.

From the super-successful blaxploitation blockbusters like Shaft and Super Fly to little-known gems such as The Guy from Harlem and Velvet SmoothBlaxploitation Cinema: The Essential Reference Guide is your one-stop source of information on the intriguing, controversial and thoroughly entertaining world of black-cast films.


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