Today legendary Lakers owner Jerry Buss passed away at age 80. Balladeer’s Blog will save the in-depth examinations of his career to those who are far better qualified to do it. Instead I will offer a fond farewell to one of the most beloved owners in professional sports in my usual oddball way: with a look at the one and only film turned out by Jerry Buss Productions.
That film was 1974’s Black Eye, one of the countless blaxploitation flicks of the 1970s. Fred “The Hammer” Williamson, the action hero of all manner of the decade’s blaxploitationers, from gangster dramas to westerns, starred in Black Eye as (what else) a private eye. Williamson portrayed Shep Stone, an L.A. detective trying to solve a series of murders centered around an elaborate walking stick formerly owned by a legendary silent film star. A prostitute stole the walking stick and wound up dead in an incident that served as the catalyst for Shep Stone’s involvement in the case.
Teresa Graves costars as Williamson’s love interest and given blaxploitation’s fascination with woman-on-woman sex scenes it will come as no surprise that she is bi-sexual. Rosemary Forsythe portrays the modeling agency executive who forms the third side of this unusual (for the 1970s) love triangle.
Shep Stone’s search for “the cane of pain” as the movie posters called it leads him into encounters with a hippy- heavy religious cult, underground porno filmmakers and drug pushers. Trivia buffs will note the appearance of Bret Morrison, who voiced the Shadow on 1940s radio shows, playing an elder statesman of the porn industry in the story.
Black Eye is relatively mild for one of the 70s movies trying to cash in on the success of films like Shaft and Superfly. One of the few hints at exploitation comes in a scene featuring Williamson’s character involved in a debate over the merits of various soul food dishes. Unfortunately, the end result is fairly dull and comes across almost like a standard made-for- tv movie rather than a theatrical film.
Fred Williamson has appeared in plenty of films that were much more memorable, including the blaxploitation westerns where he portrayed a former slave turned gunslinger DECADES before Django Unchained. Those films have been reviewed elsewhere here at Balladeer’s Blog.
FOR MORE BLAXPLOITATION FILMS CLICK HERE: https://glitternight.com/category/blaxploitation-2/
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