Mill Creek Entertainment continues to unleash their vast library of exploitation titles, and they’ve continued running down the more obscure and lesser known blaxploitation titles. While other companies are giving us stuff like “Coffy” and “Cleopatra Jones,” Mill Creek Entertainment is offering up other interesting titles for pretty good savings for the collector looking to save a buck or two.
Featured within the new Double Feature on Blu-Ray is “The Take,” a 1974 crime thriller starring Billy Dee Williams (Star Wars V – The Empire Strikes Back), Eddie Albert (TV’s Green Acres), Frankie Avalon (Grease), and Sorrell Booke (TV’s The Dukes of Hazzard). Less blaxploitation and more of a crime thriller with a black lead, Bill Dee Williams plays a crooked cop who accepts pay offs from criminal, even when he seeks to bust them, anyway. When Williams’ character is called by his superior officer to take down a big crime kingpin, his superior is suspicious that Williams’ anti-hero might be corrupt, and this gets him in to some hot water.
“The Take” is a solid pulpish action crime thriller with some good action and a strong turn by Billy Dee Williams who oozes charisma. “Black Gunn” from 1972 stars Jim Brown (Mars Attacks), Martin Landau (Ed Wood), Brenda Sykes (Mandingo), and the great Bernie Casey (Revenge of the Nerds). A Jim Brown movie vehicle more than anything else, we center on a group of black militants known as B. A. G. (Black Action Group), that rob an illegal gambling house run by white mobsters. When information about corrupt politicians falling in to their hands, the mob is anxious to reclaim the incriminating documents and mob boss Capelli (Martin Landau) sends a squad to take back their property.
When the leader of the group is murdered, his brother Gunn, decides to battle the mafia and the crooked local cops watching him. There are plenty of shoots outs, a ton of action, and some decent performances here and there. It’s no masterpiece, but it has a great cast and embraces some genuine blaxploitation tropes. With both films being brought to customers with wonderful transfers, it’s tough to argue with the decent price tag.