Top 10 Soul Cinema (a.k.a. Blaxploitation) Films [Linwood’s Picks]
After Melvin Van Peebles’ independent feature ‘Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song’ was a financial success in 1971 and proved that Black folks will fill the seats of theaters to see themselves in empowered roles on the big-screen, there was a surge of Black American pictures (often made by White filmmakers) that took advantage of this once untapped market with themes that were a bit on-the-nose. Unfortunately, this led the NAACP to coin the term “Blaxploitation”, even though many could be, have been, and are subject to deconstruction as important products of their time. While they were very rough-around-the-edges, even for their era of cinema, creativity shined through their low-budget efforts, which as a writer myself, I have taken a lot of notes from.
For this list, I’ll be showcasing trailers to ten of my favorite movies from around that period intended to capitalize on the popularity, subvert expectations of, or just unlucky enough to be associated with this sub-genre of exploitation films. For many, they will still be known as “Blaxploitation”… For me, they are simply “Soul Cinema”!
Linwood Storm is an American musician, executive producer, filmmaker, director, actor, publisher, voice-over artist and comic book writer from Fredericksburg, Virginia. He is currently the host of the ‘Black Grindhouse’ podcast and founder of GameCargo.