I'm Gonna Git You Sucka
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I'm Gonna Git You Sucka is a 1988 American action comedy parody film of blaxploitation films written, directed by, and starring Keenen Ivory Wayans in his feature film directorial debut. Featured in the film are several noteworthy African-American actors who were part of the genre of blaxploitation: Jim Brown, Bernie Casey, Antonio Fargas, and Isaac Hayes. Other actors in the film are Kadeem Hardison, Ja'net Dubois, John Witherspoon, Damon Wayans, Clarence Williams III, and Chris Rock.
|I'm Gonna Git You Sucka|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Keenen Ivory Wayans|
|Written by||Keenen Ivory Wayans|
|Music by||David Michael Frank|
|Edited by||Michael R. Miller|
|Distributed by||MGM/UA Communications Company|
|Box office||$13 million|
The film's main villain, "Mr. Big," was played by John Vernon. Vernon stated that while he might seem to be "above playing an exploitation villain," many others (including Angie Dickinson, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Shelley Winters) had taken on similar roles.
Soldier Jack Spade returns home to Any Ghetto, U.S.A. after receiving news that his brother, Junebug, died of an “OG” – an overdosing on gold chains. Surveying the old neighborhood, Jack observes the effect of gold chains on his community and desires revenge not only for his brother’s death, but for the community at large. He vows to destroy Mr. Big, the neighborhood chain lord responsible for the epidemic that claimed Junebug’s life. Jack asks for the aid of his childhood idol and local hero John Slade in planning the demise of Mr. Big’s empire. Together, they form a team including Kung Fu Joe, Flyguy, Slammer, and Hammer. With the help of his crew, Jack sets out to take down Mr. Big and the gold trade in his streets.
- Keenen Ivory Wayans – Jack Spade
- John Witherspoon – Reverend at Junebug’s Funeral
- Bernie Casey – John Slade
- Ja'net Dubois – Belle Brown-Spade
- Isaac Hayes – Hammer
- Jim Brown – Slammer
- Antonio Fargas – Flyguy
- Steve James – Kung Fu Joe
- John Vernon – "Mr. Big"
- Dawnn Lewis – Cheryl Spade
- Kadeem Hardison – Willie
- Damon Wayans – Leonard
- Kim Wayans – Nightclub Singer
- Nadia Wayans – Bar Patron
- Chris Rock – Rib Joint Customer
- Anne-Marie Johnson – Cherry
- Eve Plumb – Kalinga's Wife
- Tony Cox – Wayne Evans
- Hawthorne James – One-Eyed Sam
- Clarence Williams III – Kalinga
- David Alan Grier – Newsman
- Robin Harris – Bartender
- Bobby Mardis - June Bug/Big Brim Pimp #1
- Marlon Wayans – Pedestrian
- Shawn Wayans – Pedestrian
- Gary Owens – Pimp of the Year pageant announcer
- Lawrence Parker – Himself
- Derrick Jones – Himself
- Robert Townsend (uncredited)
- Peggy Lipton (uncredited)
The film was written and directed by then first time director Keenan Ivory Wayans. The inspiration behind the film came from Wayans, who is a fan of blaxploitation films, and his childhood spent growing up watching these films as they made up the majority of black films on the movie screen during the 1960s and 1970s. Sitting with friends and making fun of the genre struck the idea for the film in Wayans. Before making I’m Gonna Git You Sucka, Wayans spent five years earning credentials for films such as Hollywood Shuffle and Eddie Murphy Raw. Once he earned enough credibility to have his film picked up by a studio and a budget of $3 million, Wayans filmed his debut feature film in 32 days and grossed a total of $3 million in the box office in the first month of the film’s release.
The film opened with rave responses from the black community. African-American audience members were thrilled to attend the screening of movie filled with black actors about a black film genre. I’m Gonna Git You Sucka received critical receptions that were wide-ranging and numerous in viewpoint. To the urban public, the parody film perfectly captured the era of blaxploitation films in the 1960s and 1970s. Critics also noted Wayans’ ability to satirically capture the era of the “Buck” in blaxploitation film: the white man’s notion of the all-powerful brutal black man.
In her analyzation of the film, Harriet Margolis writes that this is not because “[Jack] consciously chooses to reject his mother’s values as that he wants to establish his own based on the macho heroic values he learned during the heyday of blaxploitation films."
Robert Sklar wrote, “The [blaxploitation film] movement quickly developed into a phenomenon not of an African-American audience but of a specific subgroup, a segment of a segment: young urban males,” so often the perspective and narratives of young black women were left out or included as the background in many of these films during the 1970s.
Critics of the film argued that the film not only failed at producing humor in its use of black stereotypes, but was also generally not funny. Says Chicago Sun-Times film critic Roger Ebert, I’m Gonna Git You Sucka is “a comedy that feeds off the blaxploitation movie, and although, like all good satires, it is cheerfully willing to be offensive, it is almost completely incapable of being funny.” There was also a concern about the perception of the film by the white movie going audience. The film’s villain, Mr. Bigg, is not only a white man, but a white man responsible for the deterioration of an inner city black community.
Isaac Hayes (Hammer), Jim Brown (Slammer), and Bernie Casey (Slade) continued in their parts from the movie I'm Gonna Git You Sucka. Also returning were Ja'net Dubois and Steve James. Although Keenen Ivory Wayans wrote the pilot, and he served as the executive producer, he did not appear in this pilot. Instead, the character of Jack Spade was portrayed by Eriq La Salle, who later acted in the TV series ER. Also acting in the pilot was the little-known (at the time) Martin Lawrence in Kadeem Hardison's former role as Willie "Ya-te-dee" (Mr. Big's nephew and one of his henchmen). Bentley Kyle Evans played the role of Lenny (Willie's sidekick).
Release on DVD and HDEdit
- I'm Gonna Git You Sucka. Box Office Mojo.
- Kelleher, Terry (Jan 12, 1989). "Spoofing Blaxploitation – The actor/writer/director of `I'm Gonna Git You Sucka' decided the genre was ripe for parody". Newsday.
- Jones, Debra (Jan 28, 1989). "Folks turn out for 'I'm Gonna Git You Sucka' opening". New York Amsterdam News (1962-1993).
- Fitch, Janet (Dec 1, 1988). "Screenings: I'm Gonna Git You Sucka". American Film.
- Bogle, Donald (2001). Toms, Coons, Mulattoes, Mammies, and Bucks: An Interpretive History of Blacks in American Films. Bloomsbury Academic. pp. 231–266. ISBN 9780826412676.
- Margolis, Harriet (1999). "Stereotypical Strategies: Black Film Aesthetics, Spectator Positioning, and Self-Directed Stereotypes in Hollywood Shuffle and I'm Gonna Git You Sucka". Cinema Journal.
- Sklar, Robert (2012). Movie-Made America: A Cultural History of American Movies. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.
- Schwed, Mark (1990-04-13). "Night of the Living Laughs". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2011-01-30.