Articles: 'Meet The Blacks' is crude, lewd but downright funny




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By Samantha Ofole-Prince

"Meet The Blacks" is a film you’re either going to love or loathe.

A lighthearted comedy, which touches on stereotypes and subjects from Ebola to the Ku Klux Klan, Deon Taylor’s intention is to make you laugh and he succeeds, even though he may offend a few along the way.

Director Deon Taylor and Michael Blackson

“People are so up in arms about everything," says the director. "There’s a lot of things that are hot button subjects which I wanted to bring light to because I want people to understand how ignorant racism is. Movies have become such a science and the one thing that works all the time is comedy.”

A comedy/horror hybrid spoofing the hit film “The Purge,” the Mike Epps starrer follows a family called the Blacks as they try to navigate through a night of the Purge in their Beverly Hills neighborhood.

Crude, lewd but downright funny with several bursts of gut wrenching humor, the independent film features a brilliant cast of loveable comedians from Michael Blackson, Gary Owen, Charlie Murphy, Paul Mooney to George Lopez who plays President El Bama.

“It’s a film about a man who is trying to make a better life for his family,” Taylor continues, “but he makes a lot of wrong decisions doing so. I also layered it with a hint of what you go through in life as a black man through racism and have a lot of subtle messages in the film.”

l-r - Alex.Henderson, Zulay Henao, Mike Epps, Bresha Webb and Lil Duval

For Taylor, a horror buff who cites classic horror films “The Omen” and “The Exorcist” as his all time favorites, “Meet The Blacks” pays homage to another of his favorite films and the concept of the film loosely mirrors his own life.

“I am a huge fan of ‘The Purge’ movies and I come from the inner city and now live in a really cool community, but I’m pretty much the only black person on the block. I thought it would be a funny setup for a black family that moves into a gated community and the different things that go along with that.”

Along with his producing partner Roxanne Avent and producer Shannon McIntosh, he began playing around with the idea of spoofing “The Purge” featuring a black family, in the vein of the Griswolds, who’ve moved to Beverly Hills from Chicago looking for a better life. But Taylor says he didn’t just want to make a typical spoof movie, but also wanted to create a different type of parody with an underlying story addressing current events that audiences could relate to.

Mike Tyson, Alex Henderson and Mike Epps

“What I wanted to put in there was the day to day struggles we experience. So I took a black family and put them up against that to see what would they do to survive. I like to sprinkle anything I do with a dose of reality and always want my films grounded in reality.”

Laced with an appreciable sense of pointed social commentary, littered with humorous moments and laugh out loud exchanges (especially the scene between Mike Epps and Michael Blackson); it’s all told in a brisk 94 minutes. Taylor indulges without restraint in almost everything that can possibly raise eyebrows including a funny scene involving a cameo by former boxing world heavyweight champion, Mike Tyson, who plays a disgruntled children’s performer.

Taylor’s previous offering “Supremacy” was a powerful psychological thriller based on the true story of a white supremacist who holds a black family hostage in their own home. For the director, making a comedy was the perfect follow-up.

“Supremacy’ was one of the best things I have done as a filmmaker. It was so heavy and hard to make and coming into ‘Meet The Blacks,’ I wanted to make some fun, frisky and loose. I wanted to throw it back to the days of ‘Friday,’ and do something that politically was going to be incorrect.”

“Meet The Blacks” releases in theaters April 1, 2016

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