Friday, February 6, 2015

Topical V. Movie?: The Black Klansman

You have to be curious now, right?  You have to be!  Well, let me leave you in less suspense.  Today's Film is The Black Klansman, a Film by the *great* Ted V. Mikels.  If you are new to the site (or have selective amnesia), he is the Director of such Classics as The Corpse Grinders, Mark of the Astro-Zombies, The Corpse Grinders II and the MST3K favorite The Girl in the Gold Boots.  Great Director, right?  In 1966, he decided to make something topical- this Film.  In it, a man from Alabama returns there for personal reasons: to take down the Klan.  Okay- he really wants to just kill one guy.  Even the Characters in Ted V. Mikels Films set their standards low!  The key thing is that the guy is part-Black and can pass for White if he covers is somewhat-curly hair.  I won't question that!  Is this pure exploitation or...okay, is this good?  To find out, read on...
In 1966, Alabama is not a good person to be a Minority.  They won't let you vote, you are treated like an inferior/sub-standard person and the Klan might kill you.

As opposed to now when they...well...I mean, the Klan gives money to Charity, so...progress?
This is our Hero.  He is part-black and has a Daughter in Alabama, who he left with Grandma-in-Law while he is in Los Angeles.
After this guy below dares to sit at a Diner, he is killed by the Klan.  They aren't satisfied with just murder, so they decide to fire-bomb the only Black Church in town to boot.

However, things turn even worse when a kid walks out the door as the Molotov is tossed.  It is our hero's daughter!
Now upset even more, he uses his resources as a part-time Investigative Reporter (which are told about, but not shown) to disguise himself as a white person to join the local Klan.
His plan actually works pretty well, but his girlfriend (who is white) and fellow Musician (he's also that, by the way) follow him to Town unaware of the plan.

On the plus side, our Lead is the Master of Emoting!
Can he get his revenge and stop the Klan?
Well, he can.

Instead of talking more about this Film, how about some of the stuff that Google gives you when you search for 'The Black Klansman.'  Stuff like this...
...this great picture of two totally-not-opposite people...
...and an actual Black Klansman- albeit one who joined for the FBI to get information on them.  That should be a movie too!  The End.
Alot of sensationalism, but not much substance.  I know what you're thinking- I thought Ted V. Mikels Films are known for their substance!  Sorry.  This is one of those Films where I think the idea of it is just supposed to carry it.  The Acting, Story and Direction certainly don't.  Our Lead tries to act at times, but then doesn't doesn't at other times.  I'd love to know why.  In his first big Scene, he underacts and then follows that up with SUPER HAMMY Over Acting!  It is a sight to behold!  For the rest of the Film, he mostly plays it cool, which sort of makes sense for the Story.  I don't think that this is totally a crutch though, so I'm not going to give him a pass.  The presentation as far as Production Values and Direction are passable, but nothing more.  Ted V. Mikels is behind both of these things- as the Producer and Director-, so that's no surprise.  Like other Films from around this time like The Trial of Lee Harvey Oswald, it is a sub-standard Film that sounds more interesting in historical context.  It is an interesting idea, but it was done better in real life (see above).  On the plus side, this Film has an even trashier alternate Title out there...
Next up, let's take a short break from anything topical or controversial.  I haven't decided what yet, so enjoy the suspense.  Stay tuned...

No comments:

Post a Comment