Every Thursday night on MGM HD, celebrate the golden era of the video store with “VHS TV” a weekly double-feature of movies pulled from the shelves of the MGM library. Movies from 1977 – 2006, when a night’s entertainment was waiting in the aisles of the local rental store at the nearest mini mall. Now you can skip the trip, forget about the late fees, and you don’t even have to change the flashing clock on your VCR because the action starts at Midnight (9pm Pacific).
This month, our “Employee Spotlight” is on the comedy classic, “I’m Gonna Git You Sucka” (1988). Keenan Ivory Wayans wrote, directed, and starred in this loving parody of the soul cinema of his youth. This movie has everything you want for a good night in: laugh-out-loud comedy moments at a rapid-fire pace. A strong cast that mixes veteran character actors including Bernie Casey, Jim Brown, Ja’net Du Bois, and Clarence Williams III alongside young actors and comedians including Damon Wayans, David Alan Grier and Kadeem Hardison. Many of the younger members of the cast would later join Wayans on his seminal comedy show “In Living Color.”
Some of the jokes in the movie have become iconic, particularly Antonio Fargas’ attempts to strut down a street in a pair of boots so high that they accommodate aquariums in the platforms. Trivia alert: the street on which they shot this scene is the same one on which Pam Grier’s titular character lives in the classic “Friday Foster” (1975) – a movie that is also in the MGM library.
Keep a sharp eye out for other clever casting including Isaac Hayes, who’s “Theme From Shaft” plays an integral part to another visual gag in the movie. Action movie mainstay Steve James from the “American Ninja” movies sends up his own image as “Kung Fu Joe” in a memorable one-against-fifty-seven fight scene (find our tribute to Steve James elsewhere in this month’s blog, here). Also, look for a very young, pre-SNL Chris Rock as a memorable rib joint customer and Eve Plum, who played Jan Brady on the “Brady Bunch,” as the wife of a black revolutionary.
As with many of the movies in our VHS TV block, much of the humor and the values in “I’m Gonna Git You Sucka” are also rooted firmly in the era of the videotape. But that’s part of the fun. Other offerings this month include “Foxes” (1980), “Some Girls” (1988), and “Fatal Instinct” (1993) for a trip to a not-so-long-ago time when movies came in boxes and required an ID card to take home.
Check out “VHS TV” every Thursday night at Midnight Eastern, 9p Pacific – no rewinding necessary – only on MGM HD.