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Blaxploitation films are a type of genre that I get a kick out of. They are wild, gritty, full of nudity, and beautiful women. The last movie that checked all those boxes off was Coffy, which also starred Pam Grier (Coffy Review). It was a film full of boobs, violence and jive talking dudes getting blasted away by the righteous Pam Grier. I was hoping that the tradition would continue with Sheba, Baby, but unfortunately, Pam Grier was at a point in her career where she wanted to broaden her acting abilities and refused to do the movie if there was any nudity. (That sound you're hearing is my heart breaking.) Due to those demands, Sheba, Baby comes off as a blaxploitation flick with hardly any violence, no nudity, and a light-hearted approach. However, it's not a poor film by any means, but rather a fun time waster, but a large part of me feels that it could have been much more than just that. Read on to see if you agree...
Much like all the other Pam Grier films of the time, she plays a tough as nails woman seeking revenge. The film starts off introducing us to her private detective character Sheba Shayne, who learns of her father being harassed by a group of tough guys. She heads to her hometown of Louisville, Kentucky to help out and quickly becomes involved in taking down the baddies by herself, constantly refusing help from her past lover Brick Williams, played by Assault on Precinct 13's Austin Stoker.
Sheba, Baby cuts out most of the elements that make a blaxploitation film remarkably delectable. You'll have the prerequisite cat fight, but gone is the in your face nudity.Read more ›
Grier was actually trying to get out of the Blaxploitation business after her breakout success with Coffy and Foxy Brown. But producers lured her back for another go with the promise of a more glamorous role and a PG rating that would make the film more accessible for a general audience. It's the latter creative decision that winds up making Sheba, Baby an also-ran when compared to the best films of the Blaxploitation era, often feeling like a cast off TV pilot rather than a polished feature film.
Sheba Shaye (Grier) leaves Chicago to set things right for her father and his partner (Austin Stoker) back in Louisville where a criminal syndicate is buying up all the local businesses on the block. There's obviously bigger money behind it all, so Sheba uses her old connections to kick ass and take names, leading her to "The Shark," a slick insurance tycoon using local muscle to make his millions.
Written and directed by William Girdler (Grizzly), the film's script is more of a "suggestion" as each scene meanders through pointless dialogue and romantic entanglements as it kills time between action sequences.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
One of Pam Grier's last archetypical blaxploitation films, Sheba, Baby! isn't exactly trying to re-invent the wheel - quite the contrary, the movie relies very heavily on Pam... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Michael Haberfelner
Watched this a year ago and didn't think much about it. But now, it's like a totally different movie. I think it might be the best Pam Grier bluray release yet!Published 2 months ago by Derrick Medlock
My father is actually in this movie, so I wanted him to have the DVD. ThanksPublished 10 months ago by Douglas Cooley
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