I'm Gonna Git You Sucka

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I'm Gonna Git You Sucka
I'm Gonna Git You Sucka film.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Keenen Ivory Wayans
Produced by
  • Eric L. Gold
  • Raymond Katz
Written byKeenen Ivory Wayans
Starring
Music by David Michael Frank
Cinematography Tom Richmond
Edited byMichael R. Miller
Distributed by United Artists
Release date
  • December 14, 1988 (1988-12-14)(limited)
  • January 11, 1989 (1989-01-11)(wide)
Running time
89 minutes [1]
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$3 million
Box office$13 million [1]

I'm Gonna Git You Sucka is a 1988 American blaxploitation parody film written, directed by, and starring Keenen Ivory Wayans in his feature film directorial debut. Featured in the film are several noteworthy African-American actors who were part of the genre of blaxploitation: Jim Brown, Bernie Casey, Antonio Fargas, and Isaac Hayes. Other actors in the film are Kadeem Hardison, Ja'net Dubois, John Witherspoon, Damon Wayans, Clarence Williams III, and Chris Rock. The film is also the film debut of comedian Robin Harris, who appears as a bartender.

Contents

The film's main villain, "Mr. Big," was played by John Vernon.

Plot

Soldier Jack Spade returns home to Any Ghetto, U.S.A. after receiving news that his brother, Junebug, died of an "OG" – overdosing on gold chains. Surveying the old neighborhood, Jack observes the effect of gold chains on his community and desires revenge not only for his brother's death, but for the community at large. He vows to destroy Mr. Big, the neighborhood chain lord responsible for the epidemic that claimed Junebug's life. Jack asks for the aid of his childhood idol and local hero John Slade in planning the demise of Mr. Big's empire. Together, they form a team including Kung Fu Joe, Flyguy, Slammer, and Hammer. With the help of his crew, Jack sets out to take down Mr. Big and the gold trade in the streets.

Cast

Background

The film was written and directed by then first time director Keenan Ivory Wayans. The inspiration behind the film came from Wayans, who is a fan of blaxploitation films, and his childhood spent growing up watching these films as they made up the majority of black films on the movie screen during the 1960s and 1970s. Sitting with friends and making fun of the genre struck the idea for the film in Wayans. [2] Before making I’m Gonna Git You Sucka, Wayans spent five years earning credentials for films such as Hollywood Shuffle and Eddie Murphy Raw . Eddie Murphy suggested the concept of a blaxploitation parody and its title. [3] Once Wayans earned enough credibility to have his film picked up by a studio and a budget of $3 million, Wayans filmed his debut feature film in 32 days. It grossed a total of $3 million in the box office in the first month of the film's release. [2]

Critical reception

I'm Gonna Git You Sucka has a rating of 64% on Rotten Tomatoes, the critical consensus on the website saying that the film "puts a satirical spin on '70s nostalgia with a comedy whose somewhat scattershot laughs are often offset by pure energetic silliness." [4]

The film opened with rave responses from the black community. African-American audience members were thrilled to attend the screening of a movie filled with black actors about a black film genre. [5] I’m Gonna Git You Sucka received critical receptions that were wide-ranging and numerous in viewpoint. To the urban public, the parody film perfectly captured the era of blaxploitation films in the 1960s and 1970s. [6] Critics also noted Wayans’ ability to satirically capture the era of the “Buck” in blaxploitation film: the white man's notion of the all-powerful brutal black man. [7]

In her analysis of the film, Harriet Margolis writes that this is not because “[Jack] consciously chooses to reject his mother’s values as that he wants to establish his own based on the macho heroic values he learned during the heyday of blaxploitation films." [8]

Robert Sklar wrote “The [blaxploitation film] movement quickly developed into a phenomenon not of an African-American audience but of a specific subgroup, a segment of a segment: young urban males,” so often the perspective and narratives of young black women were left out or included as the background in many of these films during the 1970s. [9]

Critics of the film argued that the film not only failed at producing humor in its use of black stereotypes, but generally was not funny. Chicago Sun-Times film critic Roger Ebert wrote I’m Gonna Git You Sucka is “a comedy that feeds off the blaxploitation movie, and although, like all good satires, it is cheerfully willing to be offensive, it is almost completely incapable of being funny.” There was also a concern about the perception of the film by the white movie going audience. The film's villain, Mr. Big, is not only a white man, but a white man responsible for the deterioration of an inner city black community. [5]

Television pilot

On December 15, 1990, the hour-long television pilot titled Hammer, Slammer, & Slade was shown on ABC-TV. [10] It was directed by Michael Schultz.

Isaac Hayes (Hammer), Jim Brown (Slammer), and Bernie Casey (Slade) continued in their parts from the movie I'm Gonna Git You Sucka. Also returning were Ja'net Dubois and Steve James. Although Keenen Ivory Wayans wrote the pilot, and he served as the executive producer, he did not appear in this pilot. Instead, the character of Jack Spade was portrayed by Eriq La Salle. Also acting in the pilot was the little-known (at the time) Martin Lawrence in Kadeem Hardison's former role as Willie "Ya-te-dee" (Mr. Big's nephew and one of his henchmen). Bentley Kyle Evans played the role of Lenny (Willie's sidekick).

Hammer, Slammer, & Slade was not sold to any TV network, but it was shown several times in syndication.

Release on DVD and HD

See also

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References

  1. 1 2 I'm Gonna Git You Sucka. Box Office Mojo.
  2. 1 2 Kelleher, Terry (Jan 12, 1989). "Spoofing Blaxploitation – The actor/writer/director of `I'm Gonna Git You Sucka' decided the genre was ripe for parody". Newsday.
  3. Wayans, Keenen Ivory (August 22, 2018). "Hollywood Shuffle: Robert Townsend & Keenen Ivory Wayans". Austin Film Festival's On Story Podcast. 44 minutes in. "Eddie said somebody should do a parody of these movies and call it I'm [Gon] Git You Sucka.
  4. "I'm Gonna Git You Sucka". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2020-04-10.
  5. 1 2 Jones, Debra (Jan 28, 1989). "Folks turn out for 'I'm Gonna Git You Sucka' opening". New York Amsterdam News (1962-1993).
  6. Fitch, Janet (Dec 1, 1988). "Screenings: I'm Gonna Git You Sucka". American Film.
  7. Bogle, Donald (2001). Toms, Coons, Mulattoes, Mammies, and Bucks: An Interpretive History of Blacks in American Films. Bloomsbury Academic. pp.  231–266. ISBN   9780826412676.
  8. Margolis, Harriet (1999). "Stereotypical Strategies: Black Film Aesthetics, Spectator Positioning, and Self-Directed Stereotypes in Hollywood Shuffle and I'm Gonna Git You Sucka". Cinema Journal.
  9. Sklar, Robert (2012). Movie-Made America: A Cultural History of American Movies. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.
  10. Schwed, Mark (1990-04-13). "Night of the Living Laughs". Entertainment Weekly . Retrieved 2011-01-30.