POOR PRETTY EDDIE presented by BRITT SANKOFA
Director: David Worth, Richard Robinson Run Time: 85 min. Release Year: 1975
Starring: Leslie Uggams, Michael Christian, Shelley Winters, Slim Pickens, Ted Cassidy
A wrong turn on a jazz singer’s road trip results in her car breaking down near an isolated lodge run by a faded starlet and a cocksure, volatile country singer.
It’s a surreal psycho-thriller that broke all the rules of political correctness and lowbrow film-making as it spun the sordid tale of a black singer from the big city, Liz Wetherly (Leslie Uggams), who finds herself stranded in a backwoods redneck nightmare that makes Deliverance look like a day at Disneyland in comparison. Poor Pretty Eddie spent years existing as one of those mythical, ‘must-see if you can find a copy’ films. As copies began to make the rounds, and as more movie buffs were able to view it, reports of the movie’s content focused as much on the detailed, almost art-house, approach to many of the scenes as they did on the film’s obvious seediness and dark storyline. When her car breaks down, Whetherly ends up stuck in a remote southern town that’s been left for dead – ever since they put in the interstate. She is forced to stay in a dilapidated inn that serves as the Bizzaro kingdom of faded, overweight burlesque star Bertha (Shelly Winters), her much younger boy-toy and aspiring Elvis wannabe, Eddie (Michael Christian), and a cast of suitably strange townsfolk – including Sheriff Orville (Slim Pickens), and Keno (Ted Cassidyaka Lurch from the Addams. Over the years, the film also appeared on the drive-in circuit under the titles Black Vengeance and Heartbreak Motel. But whatever you want to call it, it’s not a movie you will soon forget!
BRITT SANKOFA: BRITT SANKOFA is a filmmaker, writer, and artist from Washington DC. Her works have been featured in the SAAM ‘Women Filmmakers Festival” (2019), Virginia Film Festival (2018), Black Femme Supremacy Film Festival (2019), and the Afrikana Independent Film Festival (2017, 2019). Britt has a huge passion for black history and cinema and works towards building relationships between the two.