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February 22, 2010

Flicks: Fatal Beauty (1987)


Brad Dourif, Sam Elliot and Whoopi Goldberg shoot up the silver screen in Fatal Beauty (1987)

Cracksploitation. This genre is made up of several late 80's and early 90's films such as Sugar Hill, New Jack City and New Jersey Drive. These flicks take a cliche, like most exploitation genres, in this case "Duh Hood", and build it into an even bigger cliche. Add some derivative dialogue such as Ice Cube's lackluster "We're jus' boyz in da hood, dawg" in Boyz In Da Hood and suddenly - Hollywood director are sitting on a big ass pile of 'burb loot in their Beverly Hills mansions. Ta-dow-zee!

The Cracksploitation genre is glaringly missing the poignant relevance of movies like Dead Presidents: "I will beat yer ass with this fake leg, son! (sez Sleaze-A-Saur favorite Keith "Kirby" David) or any of the depth of real life events lived by LA political activist Bobby Seale or deceased firebrand Malcolm X. Cracksploitation is Reality Lite masqarading as a tale of urban Robin Hood while glamorizing death in crystal form.

Enter Whoopi Goldberg, whose talents in Telephone (1988) have been parlayed into 114 films and counting. Goldberg stars with Sam Elliot and Brad Dourif in Fatal Beauty, part zombie film and part crime drama. It's the story of a fatal form of narcotics that combines PCP (sherm) and powder Cocaine. Fatal Beauty, within seconds, turns it's users into a blood-thirsty trolls right before killing them. The 100% fatality rate of the drug makes it a target of LA cops looking for it's dealers and origins.


Fatal Beauty (1987)

On second thought my dude, yep - it's exactly what it looks like.

The squib work in this film is out-standing! The explosives that stunt men wear to make it look like they've been shot are called squibs. They simulate a gunshot tearing into the flesh but can very easily backfire. A backfire can turn a stunt man's squib jacket into suicide bomber's vest with the smallest margin of error. Squib work is dangerous - especially when it comes to simulating automatic weapons fire erupting by the dozen and Swisscheesin' crackheads.

Ignore all the misleading marketing for this movie - it tries to market Fatal Beauty like a Beverly Hills Cop film with a black female lead - it is not. What it really is: a strong anti-narcotics film with shoot-out after shoot-out that perforates zombified tweakers who erupt blood and profanity for two hours.

References:
IMDB, Whoopi Goldberg
IMDB, Fatal Beauty (1987)




Fatal Beauty is available at:
Fatal Beauty DVD's on Amazon

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