Black Dynamite is a Damn Funny Satire

I saw some bits of Black Dynamite on Youtube, then found the movie itself. I watched the first half hour, decided I liked it a lot, so bought the DVD.

This was a wise and worthy purchase on my part.

The movie was very funny, fast paced and highly entertaining. Plenty of jokes. Action scenes that are done in that over the top way for this kind of movie, but not too silly. Well okay, pimp slapping someone into a cabinet was pretty silly.

One important feature I realised while watching the extras on the DVD was that this is a satire, not a spoof. I told someone it was a spoof before I saw it, but now I know better. A spoof is Spaceballs, where, during the fight between Dark Helmet and Lone Star, a member of the crew is killed. In Black Dynamite, you get a mic popping into frame.

Satire is subtle. Spoof is turned up to 11. I love spoofs. Some of my favourite all time films include Airplane (possibly the funniest), Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein, Naked Gun, and more. Hell, I love spoofs so much I can rarely resist them. I even enjoy the Scary Movies. Mind you, the latest one is a grind.

But I love that nonsensical humour of spoofs. The normalcy of the bizarre. The absurd passing through to glorious affect.

Satire is more careful, seeking to jab at the subject matter, not rip it apart. In Black Dynamite, you see all that you know and love from black exploitation movies of the 70s, and it pays tribute while tickling the source material. It doesn’t break the fourth wall too much either. You have an actor who speaks his stage directions before his dialogue, you have a mic in scene, you have a car that doesn’t stop properly (which actually happened so they kept it in), but no looks to camera or ruining the world created. Most of the jokes come from the world and those in it.

Whether satire or spoof, I take to the movies that love the material they are making fun of. Want to lampoon horror movies? Do it as people who know and revere them. Not only will you know what you’re doing and where to make the jokes, but you will often dare to push further. Making fun of something, anything, without that admiration just seems mean. I don’t think I’ve ever found mean humour amusing. The people behind Black Dynamite clearly love blacksploitation movies, while knowing full well their flaws.

I really liked this movie. It reminded me of I’m Gonna Get You Sucka, which was a spoof. This was different. Not so over the top, not so daft. I enjoyed the characters. The plot made enough sense to follow it but didn’t worry about being fully logical. There is one moment that sends me into hysterics each time I see it. I took to the characters. Basically, I was able to enjoy this movie both as a comedy and an action piece.

Also, Black Dynamite was a great character. I saw one episode of the animated show they made and found that very funny too. He may be a comedy character, but that doesn’t stop Black Dynamite from being one cool cat. You dig?


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