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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Movie
Good Movie. However, not one of the best women in prison movies that the 70's has been so well known for, but it's certainly worth watching. Grier and Markov make for a great tag team. They're both really hot women and even get nude together in one scene (that alone makes the film worth seeing). One thing that makes the movie stand out from the rest(prison flicks)...
Published on November 10, 1999

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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Black mama White mama, two hot mamas!
Now this be a movie! On an unnamed Carribean Island our heros Grier (prostitute)and Markov (terrorist) are bused into a female prison. Watch female guards get themselves off while watching playful inmates shower. If a prisoner 'plays good' with the head guard they get out of work. Pam don't like having to pull other people's load, gets into a messhal fight with Markov...
Published on January 22, 2001 by Johny Bottom


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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Movie, November 10, 1999
By A Customer
Good Movie. However, not one of the best women in prison movies that the 70's has been so well known for, but it's certainly worth watching. Grier and Markov make for a great tag team. They're both really hot women and even get nude together in one scene (that alone makes the film worth seeing). One thing that makes the movie stand out from the rest(prison flicks) is the fact that it's more than just a prison flick, 60 percent of the movie takes place outside of the prison walls. One of the major highlights is a super catfight between Grier and Markov (meow) All in all this is a must see for Grier fans. Also if you want to see these two in another film together check out the ARENA.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Black mama White mama, two hot mamas!, January 22, 2001
This review is from: Black Mama, White Mama (DVD)
Now this be a movie! On an unnamed Carribean Island our heros Grier (prostitute)and Markov (terrorist) are bused into a female prison. Watch female guards get themselves off while watching playful inmates shower. If a prisoner 'plays good' with the head guard they get out of work. Pam don't like having to pull other people's load, gets into a messhal fight with Markov. They are put into the sweatbox together. There is only room to stand, and they must lean their physiques against each other to stand, because the walls are too hot to touch.
Later they are chained together for interigation because they both have information on two separate parties (druglords and a terrorist group planning to take over the island). While enroute they escape with the help of a terrorist ambush. While on the run, and chained together, Grier wants to go to one side of the island to get her boat and stolen cash, while Markov wants to go to the other side of the island to get the weapons her terrorist friends need.
High points 1) they dress as nuns while on the run 2) a lot of nudity 3) The rhinestone cowboy Puerto Rican bounty hunter who is as much out of place on that island as is a snowball.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable Ride With Cool Girls Under the Hot Sun, December 18, 2001
By 
Tsuyoshi (Kyoto, Japan) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Black Mama, White Mama (VHS Tape)
Though an entry of 'Soul Cinema Collection,' "Black Mama, White Mama" does not belong to so-called blaxploitation films. "BMWM"'s idea clearly comes from "The Defiant Ones" and here we see an incongruous pair chained to each other, on the run from the prison for women.
Women's prison? Yes, as avid movie fans know, we have a minor genre dealing with women's prison. Its formula has been the same: cruel wardens, violence among the prisoners, the rigid rules that donimates them, etc., and before the hit of "Coffy," Pam Grier had to serve about two years in this genre. By the time of 1970s the genre has become famous (or notorious) for its violence and nudity, and both stars here also are thrown into women's prison on an unnamed island just after the opening credit. So you know what you see in the next shower room scene.
Thankfully, the prison sequences are not long, and Pam & Margaret soon manage to escape, chained together by the hand, and run and run and ... well, the rest is, as you expect, lots of set-pieces: shootings between guards, gang, and revolutionary guerrillas (!) They are mildly entertaining, especially when Pam is on the screen, but as a whole too familiar to get excited. Still, several scenes are momorable: both stars disguised as nuns, and a very unique way of giving a false scent to a chasing dog by giving a pooch Margaret's underwear. And check out their clothes, especially Pam's (red one); they always look too clean for runaway prisoners!
"Black Mama, White Mama" is worth a look for Pam Grier fans because it seems a miracle now that she survived those Grade-B films to finally be praised by her portraying Jackie Brown with her dynamite performance 24 years later. Another interesting thing about "BMWM" is that the story is co-wriiten by Jonathan Demme, who one year before "BMWH" produced and also co-wrote the same kind of film "The Hot Box," which incidentally features Margaret Markov. (For the record, in another film "Arena" Pam and Margaret both appear.) Demme himself is to direct another women-in-prison movie called "The Caged Heat," his first feature film, in 1974. A long way to "The Silence of the Lambs," isn't it?
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Steamy jungle saga with Pam!, May 5, 2001
By 
Bill W. Dalton (Santa Ana, CA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Black Mama, White Mama (DVD)
Pam Grier is the black mama and Margaret Markov is the white mama in this "homage" (let us not say "rip-off") to the old 1958 Tony Curtis-Sidney Poitier classic The Defiant Ones, in which two escaping prison inmates are chained together, and must overcome their loathing for each other and work together in order to gain their freedom.
In this version, director Eddie Romero (of the Blood Island trilogy) has, instead of a black guy and a prejudiced white guy, a black hooker and a revolutionist white girl, which allows for cat-fights and nude scenes, as well as the chase through the Philippine jungle. The two escapees are pursued by the cops, a drug lord, a bounty hunter, and a guerrilla leader, all with their own motives for catching the runaways.
This is another bare-bones DVD from MGM which has only the movie trailer and a scene/language selector for bonus features. (Well, you do see Pam Grier's bare-bones, so that's not so bad!) The image quality is not the best, though. Still, it's worth its price for Romero/Grier/women-in-prison fans.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars [3.5]--"Let's get down to some serious B&tt-kicking business.", September 17, 2006
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This review is from: Black Mama, White Mama (DVD)
I don't understand anyone who says that this is one of the worst exploitation films they have ever seen. Just the title alone gives this cult status and all the ingredients are here for it being an extremely fun film to watch. Yeah I'll admit that women's Prison flicks are terrible. They are all about getting girls naked. BAD action sequences & Horrible acting always plague these movies. They're usually made for teenagers who watch late night SKINemax. Black Mama White Mama on the other hand is fun. It doesn't take it self seriously. It even has drama that is topped off with a dramatic ending.

Cult figure Pam Grier gets her first starring role in this WIP ("Women in Prison"). She plays a convicted hooker who escapes from prison, chained together to another prisoner (a white woman convicted of sedition). The film starts off as any typical 1970s exploitation movie, but it changes gears quickly, becoming a female variation of Kramer's The Defiant Ones (1958). It is a welcome twist to the old formula. Grier is allowed to play a more feminine, gentler role here, and she does a great job with her character. Margaret Markov is effective as Grier's unlikely partner in crime. Fans of Zombie's House of 1,000 Corpses (2003) and The Devil's Rejects (2005) will recognize cult character actor Sid Haig; he is a hoot as Ruben The Cowboy.

Plenty of violence, blood, and sex are combined with a silly subplot about a group of revolutionaries. I thought director Romero did a good job in sustaining the initial momentum, and I liked how the potentially sappy finale remained tough and cruel to the very last second. Morally dubious, but entertaining, and a great showcase for the incomparable Pam Grier. Co-written by Jonathan Demme. This would probably get an NC-17 if released today.

One thing for sure is that you won't ever see a film like this and probably never would. "Black Mama, White Mama" is certainly not a masterpiece but it is worth a look.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars fair, January 22, 2011
This review is from: Black Mama, White Mama (DVD)
A black women and a white women escape a prison run by a lesbian. They are chained together.

You think you are in for a chick version of The Defiant Ones, except here, half the film goes by before they try to break the chain. They instead hang out and eat mango about five feet from their search party. This is all in one day--its never dark

Some nudity and all the bright oranges and yellows you'd expect from an early 1970s exploitation film. See it for fun and then forget it.

Soundtrack is great.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Black Mama,White Mama., June 6, 2009
This review is from: Black Mama, White Mama (DVD)
Remember seeing this couple years ago on one of the skin-a-max channels. Lots of Nudity and Cat Fight action, Cheesy stuff, but Good to watch. Pam Grier whether in a crappy movie or not is fun to watch.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Low-Class, Low-Budget and Low on Titillation, a Pointless Women-in-Chains Howler Now on DVD, January 1, 2007
This review is from: Black Mama, White Mama (DVD)
The title pretty much lets you know what you're getting. It's a grade-C howler but not as blatantly funny as I was hoping. Directed by exploitation film specialist Eddie Romero from a story that originally came from Jonathan Demme (long before directing "Silence of the Lambs" and "Philadelphia"), this low-budget 1972 action movie was obviously filmed in the Philippines but set in some anonymous third world country. Playing hooker and small-time drug dealer Lee Daniels, blaxploitation superstar Pam Grier plays the first half of the title role, while long-forgotten Margaret Markov is the other half, Karen Brent, an unlikely Patty Hearst-like political revolutionary looking to partner with her comrades to overthrow the oppressive local government. Naturally antagonistic toward each other, they are in a women's prison camp where they wear inexplicably bright yellow mini-skirts as uniforms. Run by a closeted warden and lecherous matron, the prison is just an excuse for a lengthy shower scene and some half-hearted cat-fighting as Lee and Karen are pitted against each other. Of course, they escape but shackled together a la "The Defiant Ones" and continue the cat-fighting until they attack a couple of nuns to steal their habits.

Meanwhile, various groups of unsavory men are in pursuit - the loutish drug lord looking for Lee who stole $40K from him, the rather passive revolutionaries looking for Karen, and the incompetent police (who suffer the humiliation of exposing their privates to the drug lord). Needless to say, everything eventually comes to a head but not before gratuitous nudity by a number of Filipino women, a dog wears Karen's panties and some of the worst of 1970's men's fashion (one beer-bellied revolutionary wears a leather halter top with a straight face). There is a rather sad ending, but what's truly sad is how much of the potential black comedy is missed entirely in this hilariously preposterous exercise. Sadly, Grier is disappointing in this outing because her character is not allowed much to do beyond dealing with all the "jive", while Markov is an Amazonian blonde whom I am convinced is trying desperately to be credible. Since no one displays any talent for acting, the rest of the cast is not worth noting, except balding, bug-eyed Sid Haig, who uses his standard psycho persona as the drug lord. The 2003 DVD contains only the original trailer as an extra.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome!, December 17, 2009
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Black Mama, White Mama (DVD)
A shower scene in the first five minutes, cat-fights, lesbian prison guards, Pam Grier & Sid Haig; how is it possible that neither Jack Hill nor Roger Corman had anything to do with this movie?

This movie is not really just a Women in Prison flick though as the two main characters spend most of the movie as escapees fleeing across an island from a crime-boss cowboy (Haig, in one of his best roles). I found this movie to be just as entertaining as anything from Roger Corman or Jack Hill (whom I'm a huge fan of). It has all the sleazy, violent, and humorous moments you would expect from either of those two auteurs. I will admit that I had a few (9-10) drinkies while watching this, but they were small-ish glasses (I put ice in 'em too, so some of it was water), but regardless of my level of inebriation, this movie is a keeper if you are a fan of the fun side of 70's exploitation movies such as Coffy or Switchblade Sisters. Plus it features the wonderful Pam Grier, who makes any movie better merely by being present on screen.

When it comes to this type of cult film on DVD, you can do much, much worse than MGM home video. While there are no real special features besides the trailer on this DVD, the widescreen print is clean and clear and the colors are vivid.

Purchase with confidence.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Throw Mamas From the Train, August 1, 2012
This review is from: Black Mama, White Mama (DVD)
This weak (and relatively early) Pam Grier vehicle is blacksploitation bordering on sexploitation, yet is not strong enough on either count to really satisfy. If you want the former, there's lots to choose from, including Grier's classic Foxy Brown; for the latter, there's plenty in the Roger Corman canon, even The Hot Box (by Jonathan Demme, who co-wrote the story here). If you're intent on seeing the ebony-ivory tandem of Grier and Margaret Markov, their second collaboration (1974's The Arena) is the one to get.

This is shot on location in the Philippines--the story is confusingly (and unconvincingly) set in Central America--by that bastion of exploitation, American International Pictures. Despite my proclivity for the genre, the honest reviewer in me must disclose that Black Mama, White Mama is simply not good, even by period standards. Little plot and even less quality acting. Cartoon villains and ketchup-packet blood. Overall, I agree with fellow reviewer DJ Bill that the soundtrack is the best thing going here.
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Black Mama, White Mama
Black Mama, White Mama by Eddie Romero (DVD - 2001)
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