Black Mama, White Mama (1972) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

The Robbins Report: "The Defiant Ones" meets "For Your Height Only"
Talk about a nice tight, economical plot.

Two women are thrown in a Filipino women's prison. This is an excellent place, where they take really long showers and have evil but cute lesbian guards. They have playful hose fights in the shower, and they have playful pillow fights and smoke dope in the dorms. This is quite a bit better than life in the Philippines outside of prison.

But this idyllic life is disturbed by a request from a mysterious source. An important political muckity-muck wants to interrogate two of the prisoners. One is a revolutionary, the other is the moll of the island's drug baron. So the two women are chained together and bussed to some unknown destination for interrogation, but on the way their bus is attacked by guerillas, and the two women end up fleeing through the countryside.


Pam Grier and Margaret Markov and various other women are topless throughout the first half of this movie. Wendy Green provided the most frames of additional nudity.

After they leave the prison, there is almost no nudity in the second half, and none at all from the principals.

There is no pubic exposure in this film.

Now we have no more prison movie, but a chase flick, and there are more competing parties here than in "Snatch".
  • The muckity-muck still wants to talk to them, and his police pursue them.

  • The drug baron wants Pam Grier back because she stole forty grand from him and also because she's Pam Grier.

  • The revolutionaries want their co-leader back.

  • Various bounty hunters are after them for the reward offered by the muckity-muck. One of these guys, for no apparent reason, is a cowboy with a deep Texas drawl, although he looks like Tommy Chong.

The one woman does want to go back to the revolution, but Pam doesn't want to return to the drug baron. She wants to get to her money and get off the island. The girls just can't agree on anything except that they want to have plenty of catfights and show their underpants. I also agree with this aim. Of course, all their matches are by Texas deathmatch rules, since they are still chained together, like Curtis and Poitier in "The Defiant Ones".

Unfortunately, after one of the girls ties her underpants to an animal to distract some bloodhounds, they stop fighting. I watched carefully.

By the way, these revolutionaries have about 20 men, only one of whom has a machine gun, and two vehicles. They would have a difficult time taking over Pitcairn's Island (population 71). If you will recall your Fun Facts about the world, The Philippines is a massive archipelago encompassing something like 300,000 square km, with a population nearly three times that of Canada, and a massive military. This revolution is going to be an uphill struggle, to say the least.

But it's worth it to fight against conditions so repressive that the government is thinking of cutting back on their funding for prison pillow fights.

By the way, the film has a very unsatisfying ending. One of the principals dies, and many of the characters fates are undecided. Seems like they ran out of ideas and film.

Amazingly, this film was scripted (at least one draft of it somewhere) by Jonathan Demme, the director of Silence of the Lambs.

DVD info from Amazon.

  • Widescreen anamorphic, 1.85:1

  • Looks fine, but no features except the original trailer. The trailer, by the way, is hilarious.

Great stuff.
  • All the dramatic moments are punctuated with organ chords, just like in the old fashioned soap operas.
  • Footage is repeated - sometime looped back only a few seconds after the first time we see it.
  • The acting is approximately porn level. Pam is as bad as the others. This was very near to the beginning of her thirty year career.
  • Pam's co-star is Margaret Markov, who also co-starred in The Arena, Pam's gladiatrix movie.
  • If you rent the DVD, listen to the melodramatic narration on the trailer.

The Critics Vote

  • Maltin 2/4. Pretty damned generous!

The People Vote ...

  • With their votes ... IMDB summary: IMDb voters score it 4.4,
My guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Based on this description, this film is a C-. Adequate "grade b" T&A flick, nothing more.

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