Everyone has a soft spot for certain types of movies. They may not be the best in the world but you just can’t help but watch them. For me it’s “Blaxploitation” movies. I really hate the term but people generally know what you are talking about when you use it. The Mack, Bucktown, Coffy, Super Fly, Sheba Baby, and the list goes on. But somehow I hadn’t seen Friday Foster, which stars my favorite blaxploitation actress, Pam Grier as a magazine photographer.
Friday is sent by her boss to get photos of Blake Tarr (Thalmus Rasulala), the richest black man in America as he arrives in Los Angeles. What she ends up getting are pictures of his attempted murder along with photos of the shooters. One of them is familiar to her but she can’t remember where she knows him from. Her investigation slowly uncovers a much bigger plot and she doesn’t know who to trust beyond her close associate, private investigator Colt Hawkins (Yaphet Kotto).
This one is actually one of the better films plot wise. Even though it’s clear who’s behind everything, it’s still interesting watching Friday figure it out. There are the usual hallmarks as well, shoot outs, violence, Pam Grier in various sexy outfits, the evil white man behind things, the “turncoat brother” assisting, and a cavalcade of stars that you remember from their more mainstream work. These include Eartha Kitt, Jim Backus (Thurston Howell on Gilligan’s Island), Scatman Crothers, and Ted Lange (Isaac from The Love Boat).
Sheba Baby will always be my favorite Pam Grier movie for nostalgic reasons, but I think Friday Foster may edge its way to a close second.