5x5 Grindhouse Style

Calvin Lockhart

Baha-born Calvin is probably most recognisible for performances in Predator 2 and Coming to America with Eddie Murphy when he was entertaining for all the right reasons.  He was however the Roy Keane of Blaxploitation, by that I mean always putting in his best performance and a stablishing force in every outing.  Football analogies aside here’s Calvin’s five 5 star films.

1. Cotton Comes to Harlem
In supporting role as Rev. O’Malley alongside St. Jacques & Cambridge in this excellent tale of two hard edged cops working the mean streets during a time when hardcore narcotics were becoming commonplace and big business in Black America.

2. Halls of Anger
The tag line reads “you’ve got 3000 black kids, 60 white kids, and a war going on” and co-starring Jeff Bridges.  It’s Dangerous Minds before there was a Michelle or Coolio and it’s so much better as Lockhart leaves a perfectly good school to take on the troubled youth.

3. The Mercenaries
Not only does this movie have Rod Taylor as the wonderfully named Captain Curry but it’s also got Jim Brown and millions of dollars in uncut diamonds just waiting to be “saved” from those folk from the Congo.

4. The Baltimore Bullet
Lockhart in support as the brilliantly Snow White in this tale of hustlers and trying to con a con starring James Coburn and Omar Sharif.

5. The Beast Must Die
The prince of the gimmick movie, it allows the audience a break in the action to decide who they think the werewolf is.  Lockhart is excellent alongside Peter Cushing, Charles Gray and fellow 5x5er Marlene Clark.

Lockhart’s talent was never more evident than when he was performing alongside actors who may have not considered the Blaxploitation titles he appeared in to be “proper” films.  They did afterwards as he always shone brighter than anyone else.

Next up…

<Sid Haig


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