Temple of Bad: BLACKENSTEIN

As we’ve previously noted, in the sixties, the revolution wasn’t televised, and film wasn’t always an accurate conduit for measuring the temper of the times. BLACKENSTEIN was meant to ride the then-burgeoning wave of (duh) blaxsploitation films, reaching out to African-American audiences with a story that provided all the elements of popular cinema, yet spoke to their condition with characters who could navigate the dangerous streets of urban America and weren’t afraid of taking the struggle to the Man. Instead, what triple-threat producer/writer/special effects artist Frank R. Saletri delivered was a tale that had little to do with classic story of the doctor who tampered in God’s domain, but was brimming with bad science, wooden acting, and exceedingly bizarre music cues. Oh, well; at least the camerawork is ambitious.

The Temple of Bad team of Andrea Lipinski, Kevin Lauderdale, Orenthal V. Hawkins, and Dan Persons tuck their afro-picks in their back pocket and sit down to discuss this wayward attempt to knock off Sam Arkoff’s more successful (and arguably better) BLACULA. Their take-away, not even the funniest talking-dog joke in the world could save this incoherent mess from being the sole credit for most its participants.

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