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I’m Gonna Git You Sucka (1988, Keenan Ivory Wayans, Isaac Hayes)



‘As a kid I watched all those blaxploitation, kung fu and wild action movies,’ recalls Keenan Ivory Wayans, ‘films that tended to glorify violence. They provided me with a lot of unintentional laughs. These urban fantasies and their dubious heroes were just waiting to be undercut with deliberate humour, and once I’d seen the brilliant parody Airplane!, I knew I’d found a way.’ Set in Any Ghetto USA, Wayans’ movie is a worthy successor to the Zucker brothers’ air disaster spoof, proving equally fast-paced, inspired and downright funny.

Wayans’ world is populated by black heroes of yore: original blaxploitation stars such as Isaac Hayes (Truck Turner), Bernie Casey (Cleopatra Jones), Antonio Fargas (Shaft) and Jim Brown (Slaughter) are all gathered for this riotous assembly. They’re all called in to help Jack Spade (Wayans) rid the city of evil white villain Mr Big (John Vernon), who’s been supplying the street with gold chains (which Jack’s brother Junebug (Bobby Mardis) overdosed on). Showing that they’ve lost none of their style, the 70s heroes start to break up Mr Big’s business. But when Mr Big fights back by kidnapping Jack’s sister-in-law Cheryl (Dawnn Lewis), Jack decides he’s got to settle things man to man. If he succeeds, he’ll become an official black hero – and be given his own signature tune.

It’s a sign of the impact blaxploitation made that, despite coming almost 15 years after the genre died out, you recognise so many of the gags in I’m Gonna Git You Sucka: the shot of Antonio Fargas walking down in the street in his outmoded pimps’ outfit is particularly hysterical. The Daily Telegraph called the film an ‘engaging spoof. Plenty of cinematic in-jokes and some splendied parodies of black stereotypes keep it bubbling merrily to the end’, while Variety praised the ‘impressive directorial debut for Keenan Ivory Wayans, who manages to capture the spirit of films like Shaft, The Mack and Three the Hard Way while he’s making fun of them’. Look out for a scene-stealing cameo by Chris Rock as a customer in a rib joint restaurant.

production details
USA | 88 minutes | 1988

Director and Writer: Keenan Ivory Wayans

Chris Rock as Rib Joint Customer
Clu Gulager as Lt. Baker
Steve James as Kung Fu Joe
Peggy Lipton as
Jim Brown as Slammer
Keenen Ivory Wayans as Jack Spade
Bernie Casey as John Slade
Ja’net DuBois as Ma Bell
Isaac Hayes as Hammer
John Vernon as Mr. Big
Kadeem Hardison as Willie
Damon Wayans as Leonard
Antonio Fargas as Flyguy
David Alan Grier as Newsman
Tony Cox as Wayne Evans
Anne-Marie Johnson as Cherry
Clarence Williams III as Kalinga
Ariana Richards as Little Girl
Robert Townsend as (Uncredited)
Shawn Wayans as Pedestrian
Marlon Wayans as Pedestrian
Kim Wayans as Nightclub Singer
John Witherspoon as Reverend
Vickilyn Reynolds as Sadie