A NEW DVD OF EXTRA
FOOTAGE FROM THE HUGHES BROTHERS PIMP DOCUMENTARY REINFORCES THAT PIMPS ARE
SCUMMY ASSHOLES, BUT COMES WITH A DAMN GOOD CD SOUNDTRACK
In 1999, The Hughes Brothers released the documentary AMERICAN PIMP, and Shout!
Factory has just issued a companion DVD full of extras that also comes with a CD
Pimps have long been a staple in pop culture, particularly in numerous
exploitation films of the 70s, but hip hop culture has embraced these unsavory
characters as something more heroic. Just like gunfighters, pirates, and
serial killers tend to appeal to the masses over time, the media has glamorized
these folks to the degree where they're cool. It's hard to objectively
review the whole American Pimp package, and ignore the fact that pimps are
really fucked up evil assholes that don't deserve the heroic status they've
achieved in works like this. The Hughes Brothers are certainly presenting
people that really exist, and claim they're just giving you a slice of life that
we can't ignore, but there's very little of the down side shown here.
It's disappointing that the original DVD wasn't simply repackaged with this
extra footage thrown on as special features. I bet more than a few folks
will buy this thinking they're getting the documentary with extras, and not just
the extras. These "Raw Outtakes" consist of poorly spoken pimps mumbling
about how long they've been doing their thing, and their faux importance in the
An interview with Snoop Dogg, which is purported to be "too incendiary" for the
original release, is just 10 minutes of him talking about weed and how he
idolized pimps growing up. And the cinematography is something akin to
what a drunk friend at a party with a camcorder would whip out.
Both the source documentary, and these extras, fail to show you the other side
of the pimp world. There's only so much posturing from these guys talking
like Huggy Bear about "gettin' paid" and putting their ho's to work before it
just turns in to a broken record. A daring documentary would have had the
women's side of the story, at least.
The soundtrack CD, however, which features a ton of vintage "hustling" music
from the 70s, is almost worth the retail price by itself, and I recommend it
highly. With songs by The Ohio Players, Rick James, Curtis Mayfield, and
Isaac Hayes, you'd be hard pressed to find a compilation CD out there with a
better collection of groove artists. Dialogue tracks from movies like "The
Mack" and "Truck Turner" are fun, too.
With mainstream shows like "Pimp My Ride" and even Halloween costumes for 10
year olds (cleverly renamed "Cool Dude") available in catalogs, it's a shame
that the youth of today looks as pimps as glamorous figures to emulate, instead
of the predatory sleazy assholes that they are.
If you'd like to win a copy of this, email me at
and I'll send it to a random winner on Friday.
CARTOONISTS TEAM UP IN FANTAGRAPHICS' "THE BUSH JUNTA" TO EXPOSE THE HISTORY OF
THE BUSH FAMILY
"The Bush Junta" is a great
collection of stories told in comic book form about the darker skeletons in the
Bush Family closet. Far more incendiary that Michael Moore's Fahrenheit
9/11 documentary, Junta has the luxury of printed paper to make the facts and
figures stick out with permanence. And to lend credibility to the 24
stories within, there's an extensive bibliography to back it all up.
Granted, as is the case with many anti-conservative themed works, there's not
likely many die-hard Bush supporters that would buy this book, but it makes for
a spooky read for the Halloween season more chilling than a new Hannibal Lecter
book could ever dream of.
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