Review: Sweet Sweetback's Baad Asssss Song

by Winston "Stone" Ford

Melvin Van Peeble's classic, Sweet Sweetback's Baad Asssss Song, is credited with starting that whole “Blacksplotation” genre. After this movie became a success, the character of Shaft was changed from white to black. If it wasn't for this movie, we wouldn???t have a Foxy Brown or a Superfly today.

Van Pebbles struggle to get this film made was chronicled in his son Mario's recent film, Badasssss which hit theatres earlier this year. Naturally, I wanted to see this movie, which fundamentally changed the way that African Americans were portrayed in film.

Too bad this movie sucked.

In the beginning of the movie we???re treated to some interesting child pornography. Seriously, we were looking at this movie like ???is this shit legal???? Yes, Melvin thought it was cool to use is 13 year old son Mario for a graphic sex scene at the beginning of the movie. I???m not talking about one of those scenes where they might do some fancy camerawork so we won???t see 13 year old boy ass. No, this is a sex scene that would make Michael Jackson press rewind 50 times on a Saturday night.

And it???s all downhill from there. This movie was supposed to be about a male prostitute who is on the run from the man because he killed two cops who were beating up a black panther. But you really wouldn???t know that from the plot. The movie just felt like a collage of scenes sort of thrown together at the last minute.

Well, that???s really how this film was made, and I won???t fault Melvin for that. But still, this script was completely terrible. Melvin does get to do about 4 females in this movie, which is not bad and might inspire more young directors. According to IMDB, Melvin contracted gonorrhea from one of those sex scenes, but got workers compensation from the Director???s Guild. He then used that money to finance his movie. Now that???s pimpin??? the system.

Anyway. The only thing I actually liked about this movie was the phrase at the end: ???Watch out ??? a baad assss nigger is coming to collect some dues.??? That should be John Kerry???s campaign slogan in 2008.