Cultural References

Blaxploitation movies of the 1970s (Movies)

"Where you off to, superfly?"
"I'm gonna nail that sucker."

Blaxploitation cinema wasn't movies exploitating African-Americans. It was exploitation films (sex, drugs, violence) with a black cast in a genre with a long and proud history of finding new ways to stretch the boundaries of censorship. By the 1970s, the boundaries had been pushed back pretty far and this coincided with marketing "black" themes to black audiences. This new subset told violent tales of kick-ass anti-heroes and anti-heroines, of pimps and hos, pushers and crooks, and everyday corruption, all against a social order where the white man kept the black man down. They were marked by a aural richness, be it in the soundtracks by some of the best soul singers of the day, or in the colorful dialogue in the language of the streets, with words and expressions like "superfly" and "I'm gonna git that sucka." Judging by his own output, Quentin Tarantino has probably seen them all at least a hundred times. Veronica and Wallace maybe less so, but they are well versed in the attitude.

1.02 "Credit Where Credit's Due"

Related items

Shaft (Movies)

"...you know, leaned on him. Like I was Shaft or somethin'."
"Shut yo' mouth!"

John Shaft, probably best known for his 1971 film incarnation, was an African-American detective based in Harlem. Shaft would always get his man…or his lady, as Shaft was quite the ladies' man. In an era of "blaxploitation" films with negatively stereotyped characters, Shaft stood out in that he was not a pimp or a drug dealer, but rather a confident, sexy, hardworking detective. In the year 2000, the film was deemed "culturally significant" by the U.S. Library of Congress. The film was a box-office success and earned an Oscar for its theme, cleverly titled "Theme from Shaft," sung by Isaac Hayes. "Shut yo' mouth," an oft-quoted lyric from the song, interrupts Hayes' assertion that Shaft was a bad mother…something. The backup vocalist admonishing Shaft is none other than Telma Hopkins, Addy from Gimme a Break. A bad mother, indeed.

1.12 "Clash of the Tritons"
Who's Who bio: John Shaft

Cultural References