Black Cinema Club

In 1977 Cecil Morris decided that Birmingham lacked it's own Black cinema, and he was going to do something about that. This was at a time when Kung Fu and Black Exploitation films were popular in the USA and before home video machines had taken off, so footage of this type this was not found in the community.  So he approached various cinemas in the city with his ideas, without much luck, but finally the Elite Cinema on the Soho Road in Handworth agreed to let him do a Midnight Movie show on Saturday evenings. So he then approached local film distribution warehouses to obtain films and they told him that he would need a special license to take this role on, and to contact the film companies agents in London. 

The Elite Cinema, Handsworth
The Gaumont, Leics
So Cecil wrote off to the appropriate places and eventually obtained all the necessary paperwork to run his own films here in Birmingham. The flyer shown was printed by hand on an old press that he had purchased is all that remains from this enterprise, but you can see he was running some interesting films, such as Blacula and Fritz The Cat, he recalls; "the cinema was packed every Friday night Mickey, and with an entrance fee only a £1.00, I ran films through that Summer period running two 'X' rated ones each night." So it was so popular that Cecil was then approached by the owner of the Gaumont Cinema in Leicester Town center to do the same thing there on a Sunday evening, that to was also very popular.

 Cecil recalls a time when a London Rank film executive called at his terraced home where he lived at the time, wearing crisp white suit and driving a Rolls Royce, just to discuss the film leasing deal. He said that they both got on well and after his visit all the film companies started to mail him. Sadly though it wasn't to last, after a while, seeing his success, the Elite owners wanted to run the club themselves and forced him out using underhand methods, like not having the heating turned on in the venue during the Winter months, causing his audiences to freeze and lose interest. If you have any memories of the Late Night Movies and blankets over your legs,  please comment below and I'll add your memories to the page - thanks.

Blacula is a 1972 American blaxploitation horror film produced for American International Pictures. It was directed by William Crain and stars William Marshall in the title role about an 18th-century African prince named Mamuwalde, who is turned into a vampire by Count Dracula and later locked inside a coffin by the Count after a party at the latter's castle in Transylvania that he attended with his wife Luva (Vonetta McGee). Two centuries later, the now-undead Mamuwalde rises from his coffin attacking various residents in modern day Los Angeles, the first two being the interior decorators who unknowingly release him after purchasing and bringing his coffin from Dracula's castle in Transylvania. Mamuwalde later meets Tina (also played by Vonetta McGee), a woman he believes to be the reincarnation of his deceased wife Luva.

Blacula was released to mixed reviews in the United States, but was one of the top grossing films of the year. It was the first film to receive an award for Best Horror Film at the Saturn Awards. Blacula was followed by the sequel Scream, Blacula, Scream in 1973 and inspired a small wave of blaxploitation themed horror films.

A Vietnam veteran returns home to find drug dealers and addicts now rule his old neighbourhood, and that even his own wife has fallen victim to drugs. Together with three of his buddies from Vietnam, he fights back.

Original street poster 1982

Countryman (1982) synopsis
A moonlit tropical beach, a solitary fisherman paddles out to the reef and casts his net. Suddenly, out of the night sky comes the sound of a small aeroplane in trouble. COUNTRYMAN starts paddling for the shore as the plane crashes into a swamp. The flare of an explosion lights up the sky.
There are two young Americans - Bobby (HIRAM KELLER) and his girlfriend Beau (TINA ST. CLAIR) - in the plane. Beau's rich daddy owns the aircraft, which has been taken without his permission. But the crash is only the start of the couple's troubles: they have, unwittingly, become part of a sinister political plot contrived by the menacing Colonel Sinclair (BASIL KEANE).
Countryman (from cine slide)
Even as COUNTRYMAN pulls Bobby and Beau from the wreckage, a police helicopter hovers over them. COUNTRYMAN,  however, rescues the couple and takes them to a hidden refuge. By the time morning comes Bobby and Beau are victims of Sinclair's devious scheming. He has planted a cache of guns in the crashed plane, together with documents that purport to implicate the opposition party and the CIA in a plan to disrupt the forthcoming general election. The government calls a State of Emergency and several members of the opposition are arrested. But to make the charges stick, Sinclair has to produce the pilot. A substantial reward is offered for information leading to the capture of the pilot. By a simple trick of fate the two Americans are on the run, fugitives in the Jamaican wilderness under the protection of COUNTRYMAN as the police and army hunt them down. COUNTRYMAN is no ordinary man; he is a man of the sea, a man of knowledge, in effortless harmony with everything that lives and breathes. And when the violence peaks and COUNTRYMAN is attacked by a squad of armed thugs, he annihilates them in an awesome display of acrobatic hand to hand combat.
This is a classic adventure story of good against evil, of power misused, of fear against fate. COUNTRYMAN, the film, is an exciting mixture of modern adventure and ancient magic.

Watch full movie here!

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