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Friday, March 7, 2008

Ten Films You Should See If You Love Black People

from the Ebony/Jet site by Jacquie Jones:

Butch Robinson/David Johnson

In my opinion, Drop Squad is one of the most underrated movies of the new black cinema explosion of the late 80s/early 90s. Executive produced by Spike Lee, the film tells the story of a rogue band of fist-raising black nationalists who kidnap upwardly mobile African Americans they feel have lost touch with their true black selves – sell outs, basically. The kidnapped “buppies,” as they were known back in the day, are taken on an odyssey of reeducation meant to turn them back toward their communities of origin and set them on the road to things like romances with down sisters and not white babes. (DROP, as used in the film, actually stands for “deprogramming and restoration of pride.”) Some of it is innocently hilarious and some of it, bitingly satirical of the self-righteousness of those on both sides of the black identity wars at the time. There are two versions, a 40-minute short and a feature. See the short if you can. The feature lost a little something in the Hollywood translation.

From IW:
Following is a clip from the short "The Deprogrammer" aka "The Session" on which the film Drop Squad was based. The concept of Black conservatives, yuppies, and republicans getting kidnapped to reprogram their "Blackness" is pretty funny to me. You can easily see why Spike took up for the cause of this movie back in the day...I would say it suited him perfectly for that time period.


The True Urban Queen said...

Every Friday, so far, you got me clicking over to Amazon to find a movie. This movie seems familiar but, I can't really remember it. So, here I go over to Amazon.

The Obenson Report said...

I'll have to check out the short. I've seen the feature (good idea, not-so-good execution). Maybe the short, at 40 minutes, is a better overall package.

Danielle said...

I always thought the Drop Squad was hysterical IW. There are a few folks I'd snatch up in my Black Van as well (Wayans Family look out).

Regina said...


I bought and watched the drop squad years ago and absolutely hated it!! I only bought it because a movie rental place was going out of business and had a sale, so I saw black movies for a dollar and bought a bunch. I tried taking it back they wouldn't take it. I told the guy to keep the dollar!! he still wouldn't take it back, so I trashed it.

black | woman | unhinged said...

IW - Drop Squad is a classic! I remembered seeing it on PBS was blown away, because up to that point, I've never seen anything in black cinema so daring. Most black filmmakers are still obnoxiously dull and unadventurous. DS is one of the reasons I decided to make films.

Urban Thought said...

Never even heard of this film. I'll have to check it out.

Invisible Woman said...

@TUQ: Glad to have you, Friday and any day. But I must say, this is a repost of someone else's list, and I probably would have left this one out, to be quite honest!

@obenson: I totally agree with your assesment, and the short isn't any better, sorry :-(

@danielle-I like the idea of the story--but just like obenson said, it could've been a little better executed. But I'll drive the van for you to get the Wayans!

Invisible Woman said...

@regina: dang--it wasn't even worth a dollar to either one of you? that's harsh! lol

@bwu: you could definitely say that about this movie--it was never boring....and I don't think your films ever will be either :-)

@ut: I dunno....see it with caution...people either love it or hate it

Michael Fisher said...

I rememebr when Butch and David showed me the reel of that short cause they were auditioning to do a music video for an a non-obscure artist I was managing. LA Star on Profile Records. So I gave them a shot. Their very first music video. It was called "Fade To Black". Wasn't all that happy with it at the end. C'est la vie.

Invisible Woman said...

Ya know--I kinda remember that. They seem to be a one trick pony, yes? And not a great pony at that...

Michael Fisher said...

That was supposed to be "now-obscure artist", btw.

Brigitte said...

I never knew what Drop Squad was about until this post. I'll definitely be checking this one out. Thanks!