J.J. (Rod Perry from Black Gestapo) tries to rip off a big time mobster with his junkie friend. It turns out bad and J.J.’s smacked out buddy ends up dead. Even though he botched the robbery, the mobster’s competitor, “The Numbers Racket King” takes a liking to J.J. and offers him a job. J.J. turns out to be a fast learner and four years later he becomes a kingpin. He then muscles in on the white mobsters in the community who control the smack trade in the ghetto. When Whitey kidnaps J.J.’s woman, he grabs a couple of his best bad dudes and they go out to kick some white ass.
The title makes it seem like that this is going to be a blaxploitation version of The Godfather but the movie is nothing more than a no budget action flick filled with amateurish acting and very little action. When we finally get to the action, it’s all pretty ineptly filmed and staged. There is an OK catfight randomly thrown in there for good measure though.
The “dramatic” portions of the film are mostly boring and are shot without an ounce of style or energy. The overall look of the production is really shoddy and the editing is especially atrocious as there are a lot of jarring jump cuts. On the plus side, a couple of chicks do end up getting naked, so the movie has got that going for it.
Ultimately, everything about The Black Godfather is cheap. I mean when the big deal “Numbers Racket King” makes his grand entrance, it’s from out of the backseat of a taxi! Plus a lot of the scenes look like they were filmed in the director’s mom’s house or something, which is economical I suppose. I hope she made cookies for everyone.
While most of the acting straight-up reeks, I did have fun seeing Tony (Rocky) Burton making his film debut in the smallish role of the Rackets King’s bodyguard. Also, the score was pretty groovy. It had a good mix of soul music and bizarre synthesizers.
Overall, The Black Godfather is a bottom of the barrel blaxploitation flick. Check it out only if you’ve already seen every Fred Williamson, Richard Roundtree, Rudy Ray Moore, Pam Grier or Jim Kelly movie in existence.
AKA: Street War.