|Rating: Liked it
Director: Rene Martinez Jr.
Release Year: 1980
Starring: Wildman Steve, Joycelyn Norris, Benny Latimore
Bob: It's better to have a bum. He'll do anything!
Super Soul Brother basically lifts the story from Abar, the First Black Superman - a crazy scientist tests his super-power serum on a random black guy - but swaps the social activism with titty jokes. Which is pretty much a recipe for success in my book.
The movie cold opens on a discheveled white midget (who we later find out is named Dr. Dippy) telling two black guys "But it's too soon to be experimenting on humans." Talk about cutting to the point. Dippy's proclamation is followed by several minutes of blatant (and poorly acted) exposition... you literally have characters saying things like "Doc... tell me again what happened to the last test subject? So I can get some things straight in... in my head." Which makes you wonder why Martinez Jr. didn't just start the scene with Dippy explaining things for the first time.
Luckily, we get our first introduction to the movie's lead, Wildman Steve, fairly quickly. Like Rudy Ray Moore, Wildman was a "raunchy" comedian from the late-70's/early-80's. Unlike Moore, Wildman isn't as widely-remembered these days. He didn't star in a lot of movies, and he didn't have the same verbal flair that Moore did, but if there's one thing you can say about Wildman, it's that he's enthusiastic as hell. And when he delivers a line, man... he SELLS it.
That's DOCTOR Dippy to you.
This movie has all kinds of quotations I wish I could work into my life... stuff like "My name is STEVE, with all capital letters" or "Dammit, I want a butt-washin'." He's also got a great line about windshield wipers that you'll have to see to appreciate. It's a dumb joke, his delivery makes it work.
There's our Wildman
Wildman's super powers don't kick in until around the 50 minute mark, so we're first treated to a lot more exposition about how he'll die if he doesn't take the 'Neutralizer' within 7 days. The midget and the two black guys trick the super-powered Wildman into robbing a jewelry store using what has to be one of cinema's least-probable diversions of all time. I'm pretty sure Steven Soderbergh reads this blog, so Steve, if it's not too late, please add a midget with a well-endowed and faint-prone girlfriend to Ocean's 13. Thanks.
He's totally bending that steel bar!
My favorite part of the movie comes right before Dippy tests the serum on Wildman, when he matter-of-factly shrugs and mumbles "I guess this is a great day for science." There's also a bizzare atonal theme/closing song called 6,000 Watt that's just as inexplicable as the rest of the film. I don't know why I liked it... but I damn sure do. You can pick up a copy of this movie at Freek-Tastic Video. If you live in Austin, you can catch Super Soul Brother (under its alternate title The Six Thousand Dollar Nigger) on March 7, 2007 at the Alamo Drafthouse as part of the weekly Weird Wednesday series. By the time the "This Nigger Will Be Back!" splash hits during the closing credits, you'll be begging for more Wildman.
Come on, Steve... you could swap them for the Asian guy and Bernie Mac