The 2009 blaxploitation spoof “Black Dynamite” is this week’s Midnight Madness feature at the Main Art Theatre in Royal Oak.
Michael Jai White plays the title character, a Vietnam veteran and former CIA agent who must avenge his brother Jimmy’s death while cleaning up the streets of a new drug that is ravaging the community.
“Black Dynamite” was unusual as it had a trailer and funding even before a script was written. The trailer was shot on Super 8 mm film and contained numerous references to 1970’s blaxploitation films. White conceived the idea while filming “Undisputed 2: Last Man Standing” in Bulgaria. James Brown’s “Superbad” was playing on his iPod and the blaxploitation film idea came to him. He wanted to name the film after the James Brown tune but it had already been taken.
It was shot in just 20 days in Super 16 format. It ran for only two weeks in October 2009 and was well received by critics. The cast also includes Kevin Chapman as Black Dynamite’s former Army buddy O’Leary, and Salli Richardson as black power activist Gloria Gray. The film also stars Arsenio Hall, Tommy Davidson, Kym Whitley, R & B singer Brian McKnight, and former Detroit Piston John Salley.
Show times are Friday, August 28 and Saturday, August 29 at midnight. Tickets are $7 and may be purchased at the box office or the Main Art’s website.