Can you dig this?
Bounce TV has launched Brown Sugar, a streaming service that will deliver a library of blaxploitation films to its users. Initially the service will be available to iOS and Android devices, though other platforms will gain access in the coming months. Potential subscribers will get a free month to try to service before a monthly fee of $3.99 kicks in.
Brown Sugar has picked two blaxploitation icons to be its “ambassadors” – Pam Grier, who starred in such classics of the genre like Coffy and Sheba Baby, and Fred “The Hammer” Williamson who starred in Black Caesar and Three The Hard Way. In a press release Grier states –
Brown Sugar is just like Netflix, only blacker. These movies are entertaining and fun, but they were also empowering to the black community as they depicted African Americans as strong leading characters and heroes for the first time.
Brown Sugar will be curating their films into several categories such as –
- War in Harlem (Cotton Comes to Harlem, The Black Godfather, Across 110th Street)
- Foxy Mamas (Foxy Brown, Coffy, Cleopatra Jones, Friday Foster, Sheba Baby)
- Righteous Revenge (Dolemite, Black Caesar, Hell Up in Harlem, Hammer)
- Stickin’ it to The Man (The Mack, Black Gunn, Three The Hard Way)
- Good Cop, Black Cop (Action Jackson, They Call Me Mr. Tibbs)
- #BlackLove (Bad, Black & Beautiful, Brothers, Black Sister’s Revenge)
- Shake Down, Take Down (Blue Collar, Amazing Grace, Cool Breeze)
- Jive Ass Turkeys (I’m Gonna Git You Sucka, Car Wash, Uptown Saturday Night)
- Black Horror (Blacula, Sugar Hill, Blackenstein)
- They Got Game (The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings, Greased Lightning, Joe Bullet)
Granted, the blaxploitation genre has a rather narrow range of films in it, thanks mostly to its boom years only running from 1971 to 1977. In that span of time there were nearly 200 films produced that could be placed in the blaxploitation category. Even adding a few films that were produced prior to the boom and the small number of films that came after and the few more modern homages and pastiches you still probably only have no more than 300 films to potentially make up their library. Currently there are approximately 100 films available to watch. Will subscribers, even those who enjoy the genre, stay with the service over time when there is such a small library to chose from?
On the plus side though, it is nice to see from the list above that Brown Sugar is making available some films like Sugar Hill and The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings which have not received the greatest distribution over the last couple of years.