As we celebrate an emergence of films with diverse talent and voices, we sometimes need to remember those who went it alone as “the only black dude.”
They were the shining stars of bright lights in horror, action, and comedy for years, and now we’ve captured these brave souls in a top ten list to celebrate their fight against oppression, while also fighting werewolf cops or whatever. Which, if we’re being realistic, the cop part would be more scary than the werewolf because at least with the werewolf, there would be some sort of justice served for their murderous rampages.
You’d expect a movie with “Manhattan” in the title to have more black people, but then you realize the majority of the film is actually on a boat and you’re like, “Nah, we don’t really fuck with boats like that.” Early on we see boxing dynamo Julius and his passion for boxing, because he’s literally boxing in every scene.
Eventually Jason throws Julius off the boat and you’re like, “Oh no!” but then he reemerges and makes it to New York. Jason chases him to a rooftop and Julius uses his boxing prowess to punch Jason for a full minute before defiantly letting Jason have one free punch which KNOCKS JULIUS’ HEAD OFF. It’s remarkable to remember a team of professional people invested money for that to be made.
Spider makes it to the end, which was a rare feat for black dudes in horror movies in the 80’s, especially when remembering that the actor playing Spider, Michael Nunez, also went by “Demon” in Friday the 13th V. Why did this brother never have a real name in movies? Maybe that’s the punk lifestyle.
As Spider, we were treated to both hysterics and intelligence. When the little white girl is triggered (as they do) ’cause her boyfriend is a zombie and she thinks she can save him (as they do), Spider is the one who picks her up to get her to run, starting up the chain of black men having to uplift white women that ultimately leads to everything involved getting blown up.
Man. What a line to go out on, huh?
Leonidas and them were mad rude to my guy. They didn’t ask him his name, just called him “Persian,” which felt very dog-whistley. My man had a whole thing planned out and choreographed with his message of “Earth and water” and they roasted him for it. Leonidas had this whole speech that would definitely not pass the progressive test, calling the Athenians “boy lovers” like damn dude, they’re not even there to defend themselves!
Side note, how did my guy manage to literally walk to the edge of a giant pit while at a hostile location and not be like, “Oh, I should probably walk to my left a few feet in case this dude with the sword, no shirt, and ponytail is crazy.”
Lowkey, “This is Sparta!” was the MAGA of 300. RIP bottomless pit black dude.
He’s got five kids to feed, man. Shout out to Benny being able to drive a cab on Mars but also a high-powered drilling murder machine. Homeboy definitely went to Mars Technical College.
Benny was super charming! He had style and pizzazz and wanted to show Quaid a good time before killing him because of the revolts and stuff. Damn Benny, we had faith in you. I hope those kids get fed.
OK, John Legend is the nicest guy in the world. Everything he and Chrissy Teigen do are adorable to the max, so I was thrilled to see him in La La Land, where they tried to make him the antagonist (?) because he wanted to give Ryan Gosling a job (?) touring the world performing jazz to a massive audience (?!).
Woo, y’all really stretched with the villainization of black people trying to make money and help others there. He didn’t even do anything remotely awful! His song was probably the best one in the movie.
Lamar was in shape. He rapped. He sang. He danced. He could throw wonky javelins. And he was maybe the first openly gay black character in cinema. This dude was crushing all the feats in a movie that was essentially about white people trying to usurp power from other white people, ’cause they love a good power struggle.
Now granted, the other black fraternity shows up, but Lamar had so many varying character dynamics he really stuck out among the main cast. We’re all a little more Lambda because of you, Lamar.
I’ve never actually seen Casablanca but I’ve seen Sam. Really, we’ve all seen a Sam in our life. Just playing piano. Trying to get through the day. *sigh*
But yeah, I’ve never seen Casablanca.
Granted, he looked like a Scarecrow Klansman but Oogie Boogie was the only black character in The Nightmare Before Christmas, and maybe any Tim Burton film. Let’s face it, he sings jazz, is full of roaches, and loves to gamble; Burton basically saw one episode of Sanford & Son and was like, “I have my villain!”
At the end, he’s scared of Jack and unravels and like…I feel you, Oogie Boogie. You just wanted to sing, look at legs, and eat Santa but were not given many joys in life.
My man Bubba opened up a conversation asking if Forrest had ever been on a shrimp boat. Not his name, not “oh boy, look at this weather,” he NEEDED TO KNOW if Forrest had been on a damn shrimp boat.
It was great character from the jump. He liked shrimp stuff, he had shrimp goals, and then as soon as we’re thinking he’s going to make it, he gets shot and never has a chance at being a shrimp boat captain. But hey, at least we now have Bubba Gump Shrimp companies franchised at malls around the United States. You did it, Bubba!
The legend. Ben was the protagonist, the logical one, the hero. He calmed white woman hysteria, he planned, he saved lives even when they were too foolish to save themselves. Ultimately, a group of white hunter dudes kill him ’cause America, but damn, did we follow him the whole way through that journey of fighting zombies.
It’s a night we’ll always remember, Ben.
Honorable Mention: Roland (Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors)
HE LIVED ‘TIL THE END!!! IN AN 80’S HORROR MOVIE! But…he…did get killed quickly in the next one. Leave the memories alone. Or dreams rather.
Lying awake one night, Aiden Prescott, 6, suddenly sensed that there was an intruder in the house. Hiding in the closet, perhaps, or under the bed.
Cut off from his parents and law enforcement, helpless, he knew he had no choice but to outthink the intruder, who had taken the form of a killer clown, or a ghost, or some combination of the two.
Fortunately Aiden’s innate survival instincts kicked into high gear. Fashioning his blanket into a primitive defensive shelter, he courageously pretended to be asleep for many long minutes while the ghost-clown watched closely, apparently falling for it.
Eventually he nodded off for real, only to be jolted awake hours later by a terrifying rumble of thunder, though it could have been just a loud car. It can sometimes be hard to tell the difference.
At daybreak, when Aiden failed to show up in his parents’ bed and his own bed was found abandoned, search parties were dispatched throughout the house. Ultimately he was discovered in the laundry room—where he had protectively wedged himself between the washer and dryer—suffering from advanced delirium, dehydration and hypothermia.
He was ten minutes late for school.
Due to events beyond her control, Abigail Morris, 5, found herself at the dentist’s office for her regular check-up. Although she had somehow survived a round of vaccinations only days earlier, Abigail knew she wouldn’t be so lucky this time. Determined, she manufactured a crying fit that sadly failed to have the proper effect on her mother.
Surrendering to her dark fate, she allowed herself to be led to the chair.
However, just as the exam was about to begin, she managed to dig deep within herself, exhibiting a fortitude and strength of will few are capable of, and successfully managed to throw up all over both herself and the dentist. Red-faced and apologetic, her mother was forced to reschedule.
With a new outlook on life, and a two-week reprieve, Abigail has vowed to learn as much as she can about self-defense techniques and flossing.
Brady Sutter, 7, found himself alone in the aisle of a department store, stranded in a vast, unforgiving retail wilderness. Instinct told him that his best chance for rescue was to remain in one place, and he bravely vowed to wait it out, refusing to panic or wet himself.
When the air conditioning kicked on with a loud whir, Brady mistook it for an extraction helicopter and used a lighter he’d stolen from his father to ignite a pair of leisure slacks.
The signal fire worked, drawing the attention of his mother, twenty feet away at the returns counter, as well as various employees, shoppers, mall authorities and the local police. This was the third time in a month that Brady had to be rescued with the help of a signal fire, and his parents are seriously thinking of contacting a professional in the mental health field who can dissuade the budding pyromaniac from relying so readily on his survival instincts.
While roaming a neighbor’s farm, Olivia McDaniels, 5, tumbled into an old well. It took several days and the work of dozens of citizens and rescue personnel to dig her out, after which she briefly became a national celebrity.
Olivia, now 37, lives a quiet, uneventful life and can’t stop daydreaming about the past. She can frequently be found in her laundry room, wedged between the washer and dryer in a vain attempt to recapture the glory days of her childhood.
PEACHAM, VT—Telling friends and neighbors to flee for their lives before it was too late, the nation’s beekeepers stated Thursday they were unsure how much longer they could hold back the furious swarms buzzing ominously around their hives. “For generations, we have fought to contain the violent wrath of bees, but they grow stronger each day and will soon overwhelm our defenses,” said area beekeeper Dale Barnard, adding that the bees were very angry, that no amount of smoke wafted in their direction would pacify them, and that there would be no escape from the great, blackening swarms already gathering on the horizon. “It’s only a matter of time. A great reckoning is upon us, and it shall be inscribed in both flesh and honeycomb. May God help us!” After initially stating that death was coming for all, the nation’s beekeepers later clarified that anyone wearing a protective helmet with a mesh veil would of course be okay.
LOS ANGELES, CA – Scientists at Hooba Labs used genetic modification to create the first ever watermelon consisting almost entirely of seeds.