BADass SINema Unearthed - Blu-ray Review

Bucktown (1975) - Blu-ray Review

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Bucktown (1975) - Blu-ray Review

Carl Weathers doesn't take no lip.  Watch him; however, take a baseball bat to the face of one crooked cop in Bucktown.  It is a scene you won't likely forget anytime soon.

The city doesn’t sleep.  It burns straight into the night, stealing lives from the young men and the women who dare eek out a living on its mean streets.  Sure, the police will protect you, but it is going to cost you.  And if you don’t pay up – even just one time – the turn their pistols toward you.  And BANG, BANG you get shot down dead.

Bucktown will eat you alive.

"The jive.  The hustle.  It’s all here.  Bucktown absolutely delivers – especially when Grier and Williamson team up"

From the opening chase sequence by two crooked cops, we already know that this seedy city is a dangerous cesspool for any youth – but especially the black youth.  Fred Williamson, playing Duke Johnson, steps off of an Amtrak train and is immediately greeted by the white cops of the city, arresting yet another poor soul for failure to pay them off.

He shakes it off.  It turns out that, during his stay in Bucktown, he will be shaking off a lot of things: women, young hustlers, drugs, and all the crooked cops that follow his movements in the city.  Thing is, Duke is here simply to bury his brother. 

Co-starring Pam Grier as Aretha, the widow of Duke’s brother, it is the combined efforts of Grier and Williamson who make this blaxploitation flick work.  She’s bitter and Duke wants revenge.  She doesn’t think he is any different than any other black man working in the street.  And she lets EVERYBODY know the only way Grier can: with copious amounts of attitude.

But Duke is different.  He’s not interested in the police and their protection.  He matches their threats with threats of his own and then, dismissing them as pale faced clowns, he takes them down in the bar his brother operated.  Talk about sweet revenge.

With one hell of a funk and roll swagger thanks to the soundtrack by Johnny Pate, Bucktown struts onto blu-ray thanks to Scorpion Releasing and MGM.  The new scan is quite good and brings out strong details in the city and in the characters at odds with a system that benefits the white man. 

The jive.  The hustle.  It’s all here.  Bucktown absolutely delivers – especially when Grier and Williamson team up.  The kissing.  The tops dropping.  Williamson and Grier are quite spicy together and the duo, after a brief lovemaking session, have to survive a police shootout like no other.  And Duke isn’t about to run from anybody. Bucktown (1975) - Blu-ray Review

There’s no escaping Bucktown.  It might not be an easy town to live in.  For these characters, it becomes apparent that honkies run the town.  Everyone is playing it safe.  Everyone but Duke and so he calls in a favor thanks to Thalmus Rasulala as Roy.  The gangs are coming in and, soon out of control, it will be Duke who will have to reverse their trajectory of dominance and bring them down once and for all. 

Crisply directed by Arthur Marks and edited by George Folsey, Jr., Bucktown is about turning the tables continuously in order to stay alive and at the top of your game.  It is wild, fresh, and dull of hidden dangers just around each and every corner.

No matter how you look at it, crime just doesn’t pay in Bucktown.

4 beers

Bucktown (1975) - Blu-ray Review

MPAA Rating: R.
94 mins
: Arthur Marks
Bob Ellison
Fred Williamson, Pam Grier, Thalmus Rasulala
: Action
WHATEVER YOU WANT THEY'VE GOT... And Bucktown is where you'll find it!
Memorable Movie Quote: "I ain't a pimp. I'm Walt Disney, and this is Disneyland!"
Theatrical Distributor:
American International Pictures
Official Site:
Release Date:
July 2, 1975
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
March 1, 2019
Synopsis: Dean Johnson (Williamson) arrives in Bucktown to bury his murdered brother. He then takes over his brother's bar and everything that comes with it: the good - which includes a foxy local gal (Grier) - and the bad - a sleazy police that shakes him down for protection money. Proving he can't be pushed, Johnson calls in his big-city brothers who move into town with the necessary firepower to set things straight. But when the smoke clears, Johnson finds that his victorious cohorts are just as bad as the bigoted cops they've just destroyed, and now he has to rid the city of his violent friends - by any means necessary!

Bucktown (1975) - Blu-ray Review


Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Scorpion Releasing
Available on Blu-ray
- March 1, 2019
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
: English SDH
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

This blaxploitation film bursts out of the gate with vivid colors and a whole new energy.  Daylight comes crashing down throughout.  And the leafy greens in the clothing are abundant. Black levels are crisp. The wardrobe items on the actors are detailed. Shadows are defined. The buildings in the story are also more vibrant than remembered – and so are the city locations. This AVC encoded image (with a rich 1.85:1 aspect ratio) presentation is another win for Scorpion Releasing. The crisp 1.0 DTS-HD MA mix serves the dialogue and score well.



  • None

Special Features:

Fans get new on camera interviews with Williamson and Tony King, the film’s director and the film’s editor.  The original trailer is also included.

  • BRAND-NEW On Camera Interviews with Fred Williamson, Tony King, Arthur Marks, and Editor George Folsey, Jr.
  • Original Trailer

Bucktown (1975) - Blu-ray Review

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