CANNON MONTH 2: Joey (1977)

EDITOR’S NOTE: This isn’t a Cannon movie but a 21st Century release. It was originally distributed in 1975 as Deliver Us From Evil

The trailer for this movie claims that it’s “a movie that tells it like it is about blacks. The beautiful blacks. The evil blacks.”

It’s also a movie that’s preaching to its audience about ending the drugs and violence in black communities to the point that it moves from blacksploitation to Godsploitation. It starts with Chris Townes (Renny Roker and yes, he is related to Al) going shithouse in a room full of glass vases and getting sent to a psychiatric ward where he screams at people. When he gets out, he has to deal with the worst white people ever at work and back home with his landlord. Maybe he can get with Mindy (Marie O’Henry), a social worker who he has a crush on. Well, when he drives her home, his maniac skills behind the wheels show her that yes, Chris is a dangerous human being to be avoided.

Chris needs to get with Mindy, so he decides to start being nice to the wheelchair-bound Little Joe (Danny Martin) to prove how nice of a guy he is. But then it is revealed that Mindy is married and Chris uses Little Joe to meet her friend Kim (Kandi Keath) because this movie flies through characters and at the same time, black on black crime is out of control to the point that it appears in this movie and is moralized over more than a day of Fox News.

But you know, I kind of love this as it ends with Chris looking directly at us, the audience, and demanding that a million black men march on Washington 18 years before that happened. And then this title comes up:

The tagline for this movie was “

Director and writer Horace Jackson had some talent. Sure, this movie is all over the place, but there’s a scene where criminals beat up Mindy that is really artistic. And sadly, it could still be made today and be completely relevant. You could watch this and laugh at how silly and earnest it is or you could look at it as a filmmaker using all of the tools that he had to get out a message that he believed in.

You can watch this on Tubi.

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