Starring: Fred Williamson, Pam Grier, Thalmus Rasulala and Tony King
Rated: R Action/Blaxploitation
In this thrilling film set in the early 1970s, Duke Johnson (Fred Williamson) has arrived to Bucktown, a rural town in the American South, to bury his brother.
He soon discovers from locals, including Aretha (Pam Grier) and Harley (Bernie Hamilton), that his brother was murdered. The reason for the murder of his brother, who owned a bar, is due to his refusal to pay racist cops who were extorting him for “protection”.
Before long, he is threatened for investigating his brother’s death. For support, Duke reaches out to his friends, led by Roy (Thalmus Rasulala) and T.J. (Tony King), from his home city. With the aid of his old and new friends, can Duke exact justice? Grab your popcorn and pop and tune in to find out!
Bucktown, released by American International Pictures (AIP), was panned by some film critics, including noted reviewer Vincent Canby of The New York Times, for its plot and violence. However, he and others praised the performances of the cast, especially Fred Williamson, Pam Grier, Thalmus Rasulala and Tony King.
This motion picture was a huge hit, especially in movie theatres of inner cities in the North. Director Arthur Marks originally distributed it through General Film Corporation, which Marks owned. Because it did so well, Samuel Arkoff, co-founder of AIP, secured the rights to distribute it. Marks’ success with Bucktown led to the further development of his relationship with AIP, who would come to distribute his forthcoming motion pictures.
The soundtrack of Bucktown was released by American International Records, a subsidiary of American International Pictures. Created by Chicago soul musician and producer Johnny Pate, its title track was performed by Luther Rabb, who became the lead singer for Santana.
In 2003, the film, Full Clip, was released. Loosely based on Bucktown, it starred hip-hop artists Busta Rhymes and Xzibit as well as NFL star and Super Bowl Champion Charles “Bubba” Smith.