Spike and his sister Anjela live in the Terrordome, a huge ghetto that all the blacks have been forced to live
Despite the hip value of taking its title from a Public Enemy track, this rabble-rousing black movie is at least 20 years late, with its dominant themes pan-African nationalism, black separatism, freedom-through-violence belonging somewhere back in the early 70s. Nigerian-born director Onwurah, who struggled for three years to make this, his debut film, seems quite unaware of how black concerns have become far more global in the more peaceable 90s.
To his credit, however, he has at least made an effort to put up on screen the first black British science-fiction movie. The problem, apart from its overdue sell-by-date, is that its also so poorly executed. The structure is a series of stylised sections, linking the history of black slavery with an imaginary future of police harassment, drug running and routine violence in the city of Terrordome.
The story centres on the struggle of a mother (Llewellyn) to avenge the death of her son, and simply takes pop-shots at easy, stereotypical targets: malevolent cops, vicious white boys, black-loving white girls. Referring back to the usual tech noir sources of Mad Max and Blade Runner and their dystopian junkyard settings, the films look is its most productive area. The style, however, is marred by crude symbolism as the film sounds out its messages like a demented fog-horn. What it all adds up to is yet another would-be commercial British movie that turns out to be a major missed opportunity.
Ill advised actioner with racial overtones