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Smitheemas 30

Sixth Day of Smitheemas: The Black 6

On the sixth day of Smitheemas, my Bad Film gave to me: 6 brothers biking, [redacted], 3 retro futures, 2 naughty mittens, and a tie of a brain-searing hue.

It's going to be difficult to talk about The Black 6 without invoking racial stereotypes for the same reason it would be difficult to talk about a bouncy castle without invoking air. We can but try though.

The movie opens with a night-time scene of illicit interracial ... football practice. The white girl (Jenny) is holding the footballs, and the black boy (Eddie) is kicking them. He's a good field goal kicker, too -- he has a scholarship to State all lined up. Inevitably, she pulls the football away from him in a classic Lucy from Peanuts maneuver, and he goes tumbling to the ground. They kiss because football and making out are two favorite activities of teens hanging out at night in the middle of a football field. Sadly, there are no stereotypical bleachers for them to be under. It would have made the field goal kicking more difficult, and it also would have been very difficult for Jenny's biker brother ("Moose") and the rest of his biker gang to come riding in and beat Eddie to death. Which they proceed to do.

Meanwhile, somewhere in the mountains of America, opening credits are happening.

Six bikers are making their way on the open road: Lem Barney of the Detroit Lions, Willie Lanier of the Kansas City Chiefs, Carl Eller of the Minnesota Vikings, (Mean) Joe Green of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Mercury Morris of the Miami Dolphins and Gene Washington of the San Francisco 49ers. I will forestall any awe you may have about my amazing classic football knowledge and let you know that the characters are introduced this way. It also has nothing to do with the movie at all. I will note at this point that while Willie Lanier does a decent Fred Williamson, Carl Eller was a dead ringer for Samuel L. Jackson.

Our carefree gang of six tool around from place to place doing odd jobs (my, those hay bales sure look like balsa-wood boxes) and getting dirty looks. The Black 6 are shown to be trustworthy, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, cheerful, etc. But if there's one thing rural white folk like to do, it's give a black biker gang dirty looks. There are some bizarrely-choreographed and ineffective (on the rural white folk's part) fight scenes just to show that The Black 6 is a mean fighting machine. Then Bubba (Gene Washington ... of the San Francisco 49ers!) gets a general delivery letter from his mom letting him know that his brother Eddie has been killed.

Bubba goes back home, accompanied by his biker friends, and learns that the cops are ineffectual -- which means nobody is really doing much about Eddie's death. Bubba takes it on himself to poke around, and soon enough he discovers the biker gang what done the deed. Moose pretty much admits it outright. Moose and his gang don't much care for Bubba being all up in their business, so they decide to teach him a lesson. The rest of The Black 6 mosey on into the biker bar at this point, and the ineffectual white cop shows up (for the final time) to issue this stern warning: "I'm going to come back in twenty minutes, and I don't want to see any of you here!"

The Black 6 head back to Bubba's mom's house to sit around playing guitar while they ponder their next move. Moose goes to a nearby larger biker gang to get help. This gang is run by a large white guy who wears a Viking helmet, smokes a lot of weed, and calls himself "Thor."

Thor pledges his 100+ bikers to assist Moose's gang, and they set a trap for The Black 6.

Let's check my list:

Giant motorcycle ring of death? Check.

A lot of pasty-looking motorcycle dudes get their asses handed to them? Check.

Thor's gang has a dude that looks like Andy Warhol? Check.

Moose and Bubba go head-to-head? Check.

Thor yells at the guy we nicknamed "Crazy Eddie"? Check.

Crazy Eddie does something amazingly stupid, which directly leads to the movie's Crummy Ending? Check.

In fact, check please.

There is also a subplot involving Bubba's high school girlfriend, which is pretty much solely an excuse for random nudity. And The Black 6 talk about Vietnam a little bit (because that was where they met one another, I think). This movie was not so much A Biker Movie as A Movie With Bikers In It.