my Movie

Movie Details

Title:   Deliver Us from Evil
Director:   Horace Jackson
Year:   1979
Genre:   Soul Cinema
Times Seen:   1
Last Seen:   04.25.07

Other Movies Seen By This Director (0)

Notes History
Date Viewed Venue Note
04.25.07Weird Wednesday So it's no secret that I love blaxploitation movies, especially the ones that are so cheap that things like story and acting disintegrate into whatever the director's friends could do. Even when they're filled with outrage against oppression and work to stand as deadly serious messages, they still end up coming off as fun. I don't know why... maybe it's the good music or the much more exagerrated style of the 70s, but even a movie like this which couldn't get any more serious and preachy if it went door to door and passed out pamphlets is really really insane hilarity.

I've been wanting to see this since the Alamo played the trailer, which features two kids fighting ("I go first cuz I got the bat!" "I go first cuz I got the ball!") to a bunch of kids messing with a kid in a wheelchair to... i dunno, a really heavy-handed title. What I got was a movie made in some weird state where they don't allow you to speak at normal volume. You have to yell everything in extree drama. Then a curtain has to close on you and people start cheering. I really don't know how to explain the vibe of it all. It's like I kinda want to say if BET had an ESPN2-equivalent channel where it was just like BET but injected with more BET to make it like hi-grade BET octane then they made their version of a Stanley Kramer movie, it'd be a watered-down version of this.

This movie feels like some weird flipside to the Six THousand Dollar Nigger coin to me. It's got a little bit of the same vibe with the really loose plot and obvious nature of each scene existing just to set up a gag or message, but whereas Super Soul Brother was an intentional comedy, this is as outrageously anti-comedic as it gets. Which makes me feel a little bad because the crowd ate this up, laughed a lot all throughout. I bet if Horace Jackson was here to see a theater full of white people laughing their ass off at his polemic against black-on-black crime... well, I think he might start screaming "boy!" over and over again and taking out elaborate glass shelving with a broom.

But we can't help it. This movie is so insane, nothing connects completely, it's so bizarre that it plays as really genius comedy. Right off the bat when the dude's sweeping some generic mad scientist set decoration then he's in a straight-jacket in some weird blank room with multi-colored lighting and he's telling a doctor that he knows why he's there, he's CRAZY (followed by maniacal laughter, followed by the doctor's laughter)... I mean... how can you not laugh at that?

So in that mode, this movie is wonderful. Already, the moments are flooding in, making me want to write about it for an hour. There's the scene where the guy picks up the girl ("I like speed. What do you like?") to how every time we see little Joe (a kid in a wheelchair who tries to memorize the lord's prayer), someone's gotta be locking or unlocking the brakes on his chair, to the boss guy telling him to shovel dirt and then being honored to know the man to the absolutely classic drug dealers!!! Man, that first scene where the main guy's trying to outline his plan to sell to all the elementary, junior high, senior high, and junior college kids but he stops every time the other guy snorts a toot and they cut to that guy just wrinkling his nose and staring ahead. Those guys should've been in much more of the movie, but the precious few scenes that they are in are gold ("The kids are ready to fly and I'll give em the wings!"). But then there's the whole romance angle and how the main dude (who clearly IS crazy. who knows how he got out) completely lies to this woman and stalks her then she laughs about it and holds his hands after he does an amazing display of swinging a bat around on the playground, or how the main girl keeps getting more and more injured until the climactic scene where they freeze frame her face contorted mid-slaps over and over again to the two guys selling the campus newspaper for two dollars. what the fuck do those two guys selling the campus newspaper for two dollars have to do with anything??? I don't know and I don't care.

Then there's how the main guy (i never really learned any of the characters' names. oh well) starts talking to the camera in the last scene in this awesomely non-sensical socio-political diatribe but still refers to the reverend like he's still talking to him. then the text "WHEN WILL IT END?" flashes up.... and then the movie ends! It ends now, that's when! Oh man...

Now... That's not to mean that watching the movie was a non-stop thrill ride. One choice in particular - to cue the same song every time there's black-on-black crime ("look what you're doin to me! Know that you're doin to yourself!") - gets real old real quick. The tune's catchy the first time. The 38th reprise is not so welcome. Also, pretty much any time the cripple kid's on screen or the main girl, it's really slow and you think you might want to shoot yourself. But then the AWESOME cop/probation officer visits the main guy's pink apartment, walks around calmly for a good 45 seconds, checking out the bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, then gets into an extreme pointing match by yelling "you're in trouble, mister!" snd it's the best thing ever. "Don't you know 75% of us are still part of the man's menagerie!?" I guess the probation dude understands what that means (because of his earlier tirade about a time coming and how he can feel it) but he doesn't get how he got the word "menagerie". Probably from the looney bin.

I can definitely see this film growing in my brain like mold. With my memory fresh, I remember the moments of boredom as well as the sheer.... whatever! of the movie, but I think as time goes on, the fondness will bloom until I'll think back and not even remember the soggy piece of bread that it used to be... just the fuzzy green carpet of awesomeness that it's turned into.
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