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Monday, November 06, 2006

Review: Candy Tangerine Man

Candy Tangerine Man starts off similar to a million other blaxploitation films. We see Baron pimping his girls, cruising around in a Rolls Royce (that looks like it was stolen from Ronald McDonald) and generally being a stone cold player. When he drops a young girl he's won in a pool game against his rival off at a bus station with a wad of cash and tells her to leave prostitution, we get a hint that Baron is a pimp with a heart of gold.

That act of kindness doesn't quite prepare the viewer for what comes next. Baron drives to a secluded location, ditches the fly threads and the Roller, dons a square shirt and tie and drives a four door back to suburbia where he has a wife, two kids and a yard to mow. Our hero leads a secret life, it seems.

Like every blaxploitation hero, Baron is looking to get out of the game after one last score. In this case, it's some sort of fake bond paper scheme. (See, it's hard out there for a pimp, so Baron has to diversify.) Along the way he has to fight off his rivals, corrupt cops and even associates turning on him.

In many ways Candy Tangerine Man is every blaxploitation film you've ever seen. It's kind of disappointing that the one thing that really sets it apart, the whole secret identity angle, isn't pursued more. In fact, it really serves as little more than showing Baron's motivation for leaving the game.

The other thing that was kind of disappointing was the two cops following Baron. It's as if the director couldn't decide if they were supposed to be slapstick comic relief or psychopathic scum, so they alternate roles from scene to scene. They also give one of the slowest, most boring car chases I've seen. Of course, between the Baron's Rolls and the 70s cop car, you probably had ten tons of steel on the road so I shouldn't be to surprised they couldn't break 40 MPH.

While there isn't a lot here that hasn't been done before, fans of the genre will probably enjoy this one quite a bit. It manages to have a very sleazy low budget vibe without looking like a completely low budget production. It isn't the best blaxploitation film I've ever seen, but it is one that deserves to been seen more than it has been. With what looks like a legit DVD issue on the way finally, that should be a little easier to do soon.

1 comment:

Butchie said...

How does he stack up against Dolemite?