Tuesday, January 21, 2014

JIVE TURKEY (1974)




Directed by Bill Braeme
Written by Fredricka DeCosta
Starring Frank DeKova, Paul Harris, Frances E. Williams, Reginald Farmer, Don Edmonson & Larry Greene.

Also known as BABY NEEDS A NEW PAIR OF SHOES, A terrible title if there ever was one, deals with the Italian Mob wanting to cut in on Pasha’s (Paul Harris) number running. The head of the family Big Tony (Frank DeKova) warns Pasha that he has  a man on the inside and knows everything. Pasha tells him to get stuffed and lets his assassin Serene (Don Edmonson) kill one of Big Tony’s flunkies.
Sweetman (Reginald Farmer) is Pasha’s number one number runner and soon it becomes obvious that LA is going to become a blood bath if something isn’t done. And, to make matters worse, it’s an election year and the mayor has decided that number running will be his crusade to win the election. Forget about the drugs and prostitution. People gambling must be stopped.
JIVE TURKEY is a slice of blaxploitation from the 70s. Loud suits, jive talking and some of the bloodier murders I’ve seen in this kind of picture. Serene kills two hitmen by drugging them and bashing their faces in with her high heels. Pasha destroys a thugs face with the butt of his gun and blood spurts covering everything. At the end when the stool pigeon gets gunned down in a phone booth the red is literally everywhere.
In the beginning it does say it is based on fact and things have been changed to protect the innocent, but there aren’t really any innocents in this movie. Every character is bad and sort of get what’s coming to them in the end.

If you think you’ve seen all te blaxploitation out there and have never heard of this low budget semi classic, you should definitely give it a watch.   

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