Editor's note: Because the remake of 1972 Blaxploitation classic Superfly was released this week, it seems fitting to bring back a story the staff wrote when Blaxploitation spoof Black Dynamite was released. This story was originally published Jan. 15, 2010.
The News' movies staff offers 10 films you need to see in the blaxploitation genre.
Black Caesar (1973, directed by Larry Cohen): James Brown's soundtrack is better than the movie (no big shock), but Fred "The Hammer" Williamson does get to strut his stuff in this blaxploitation take on the classic gangster movies. Love the ear-in-the-pasta scene. -- Chris Vognar
Cooley High (1975, Michael Schultz): "It's so hard to say goodbye to yesterday." Boyz II Men's monster hit brought fans right back to Glynn Turman's and Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs' starring roles as best friends "Preach" and "Cochise," who run a little wild through their city in the weeks leading up to graduation. -- Dawn M. Burkes
Cotton Comes to Harlem (1970, Ossie Davis): Godfrey Cambridge and Raymond St. Jacques star as Gravedigger Jones and Coffin Ed Johnson, detectives on the trail of a corrupt preacher and a bale of cotton in this adaptation of Chester Himes' crime yarn. Redd Foxx is just one of many reasons to see it. -- C.V.
Dolemite (1975, D'Urville Martin): Rudy Ray Moore's character started off as just an urban hero-pimp- superstar used in his stand-up comedy. But the film, filled mostly by his friends, turned him into a cult hero with its sheer fearlessness. The ribald comedian, who died in 2008, carved out his own niche within blaxploitation with the sequel, The Human Tornado, and other films. Full disclosure: I own an autographed T-shirt that reads "Rudy Ray Moore for President." -- D.M.B.
Foxy Brown (1974, Jack Hill): Pam Grier, the undeniable queen of blaxploitation, never played the damsel-in-distress role. Instead, she sought seeking revenge by saving damsels herself and looking great while doing it. Foxy was, as a line from a film goes, "a whole lot of woman" and cemented Grier as a pop-culture icon. -- D.M.B.
I'm Gonna Git You Sucka (1988, Keenen Ivory Wayans): The movie that makes me want to order one rib and a handful of soda every time I get barbecue, this affectionate spoof takes on blaxploitation in all its glory and ridiculousness. Don't O.G. -- C.V.
Shaft (1971, Gordon Parks): Shut your mouth! Richard Roundtree takes on the mob in this seminal effort. Plus Antonio Fargas is in it, so it has to be pretty cool. -- C.V.
Superfly (1972, Gordon Parks Jr.): The soundtrack is probably more well-known (and probably made more money). But the drug dealer in this movie outmaneuvers his partners and some dirty cops to get out of the biz. Now, that's swagger. -- D.M.B.
Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song (1971, Melvin Van Peebles): Less a blaxploitation film than a militant avant-garde freakout, Sweetback also has the distinction of inspiring Mario Van Peebles' excellent 2003 portrait of his pop, Baadasssss! -- C.V.
Uptown Saturday Night (1974, Sidney Poitier): Bill Cosby and Sidney Poitier try to recover a winning lottery ticket stolen during a disastrous visit to an after-hours club. A completely unrecognizable Harry Belafonte pays homage to (parodies?) The Godfather. -- D.M.B.