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  • The second movie in the Shaft series ('Shaft's Big Score!') was a big disappointment being a tired retread of the dynamic first Shaft movie, a film which basically created the blaxploitation boom of the early 1970s. 'Shaft In Africa' sees director Gordon Parks and creator/writer Ernest Tidyman replaced by John Guillermin and Stirling Silliphant, a safer more Hollywood team which would hit pay dirt the following year with 'The Towering Inferno'. It doesn't have much of a blaxploitation feel to it, it's more of a James Bond thing with a black Bond, but that's okay, it's entertaining enough, and a definite improvement on the lacklustre 'Shaft's Big Score!' Richard Roundtree once again plays super cool private dick John Shaft. This time he is coerced into going undercover in Africa to try and break a slavery ring run by the evil Amafi (Frank Finlay). Roundtree is one cool mutha, and this movie features more sex and violence than the others, so it's easy to watch. Vonetta McGee ('Hammer', 'Blacula') plays Shaft's main love interest, but he also finds time to bed Amafi's sexy and amoral mistress Jazar (Neda Arneric) along the way. It's a pity that there weren't more Shaft movies after this as you could see the series having a lot of life left in it. Instead Richard Roundtree made a TV series which lasted a couple of years, and then his career started to slide into obscurity. By the 1980s he was mostly playing supporting cop roles in dumb action movies. Why this happened is anybody's guess as Roundtree was, along with Fred Williamson, the coolest and most charismatic of the 1970s blaxploitation stars. Both actors deserved a lot more mainstream success.
  • As an urban white kid in the 1970s, I just sort of ignored the Shaft movies. Too ethnic, too threatening – the usual crap. Afterwards, they were just sort of forgotten. But the fictional character John Shaft, who was once a scary black icon for many white Americans, now seems to enjoy almost universal affection as an indelible part of American pop culture.

    After all these years, I finally got around to watching all three Shaft movies for the first time, all in one weekend, from the new and excellent DVD editions. On buying these DVDs I noticed the video store clerk smiling at them, which prompted me to suggest that John Shaft is a bad mother… He immediately answered with the expected response: `Shut yo mouth.' We had a laugh over that, and it occurred to me that you could probably say that line on the Great Wall of China and still get the expected response.

    These transfers look fresher and sharper than they probably ever looked on the big screen, even in the 1970s. A real treat! No extras aside from the trailers for all three films, which are certainly fun to watch, but the films themselves are so much fun, why complain? A lot has been said about the significance of the Shaft films, and their effect on the black and white communities and their perceptions of each other. I don't feel particularly qualified to address all that, but I will say that these are damn good thrillers by any standard. `Shaft' and `Shaft's Big Score' are gritty urban thrillers showcasing New York City circa 1970s, untamed and unapologetic. They involved dueling gangsters both black and white, hardass NYPD detectives, and of course super-cool, super-bad brother man Shaft caught in the middle, looking out for himself and his buddies. Watch them both back-to-back as I did, and you'll find yourself involuntarily speaking in 1970's slang by the time you're through. Yeah, it's a little cheesy, but so what? It's great fun too. `Shaft in Africa' is a radical departure, wherein Shaft becomes involved in cracking an international slave trading operation. This takes him from New York, to Africa, to Paris for a final confrontation with a James Bondian foreign villain played nicely by British actor Frank Finlay. The colorful locales (Ethiopia, Paris) and badass action make it a great finish to the Shaft trilogy, and needless to say, Richard Rountree brings it off to perfection. Anyone who enjoys the older James Bond films should enjoy Shaft in Africa, as they have a lot in common stylistically.

    One more point: these films were made in the early 70's, which means that when Shaft `gets it on' with a lady, as he inevitably does, we do not see ten minutes of graphic sex. The camera moves away tactfully and we move on to the next scene, much in the style of the old James Bond films of that era, but with a bit more skin visible. The sex scenes are tame by today's standards, but the films were R-rated in their time, and the old trailers for them warn the moviegoer that if you are underage and want to see the film, `you gotta ask yo mamma.'
  • This violent Shaft (Richard Roundtree) entry begins when he's obligated by threats to pull off a dangerous mission . He must go undercover to Ethiopia . In Addis Abeba , Shaft assumes the identity a native , as he's accompanied by a beautiful African young (Voneta McGee) . His work is to break up a slave trade ring whose origin encounters in Paris and ruled by a tyrannical mobster (Frank Finlay) and his hoodlums (Aldo Sambrell) who are exploiting the immigrants in chain-gang employments and minimum wage . The private-eye eliminates anyone who stands in his aim , battling a variety of nasties and keeping things moving along until the final confrontation into the Château of Montfort .

    This thrilling picture packs noisy action , violent fights , brutal killings , nudism and results to be quite amusing . The movie is plenty of suspense , thriller , intrigue , adventures and kinky sex , as usual . Strong , raw screenplay by Stirling Shilliphant (habitual of Irwin Allen's catastrophe movies : Towering inferno , Poseidon , Swarm) and based on the characters created by Ernest Tdyman (French Connection) . Richard Roundtree is good as Shaft , his females are Voneta Mcgee with a wide career in blaxploitation genre and being a distinguished secondary ; besides , Neda Armeric , a Serbian actress ,she was recently elected for Serbian Parliament but she withdrew politics after scandal when her vote were registered in Parliament while she was on summer holidays . Colorful as well as evocative cinematography ; most of the scenes in Africa were shot in Ethiopia . The motion picture was professionally directed by John Guillermin , a known author of disaster movies (Towering inferno , Skyjacked , King Kong). The result is an entertaining entry for action enthusiasts and blaxploitation fans with lots of violence , adult issues and profanities . This third outing (the first titled ¨Shaft¨ and the second ¨Big score¨ by Gordon Parks) is followed by seven TV episodes (1973,1974) and 2000 version by John Singleton with Samuel L. Jackson .
  • Let's face it, none of the Shaft movies are exactly masterpieces but the character Shaft surely is a classic, who delivers some classic one-liners.

    In this Shaft 'adventure' the creators obviously wanted to manifest Shaft as the African-American answer to the successful James Bond franchise. For most parts they actually succeeded in this. Shaft is even more sexist than James Bond and he surely is more violent. The violence is not always tasteful at times however.

    The story is told messy at times. The action sequences seem to come out of nowhere and are simply just pointless at times. Also the weak editing doesn't help much.

    I however wouldn't had mind it having seen more Shaft movies being made. Unfortunately this was the last (unless you also count the 2000 "Shaft" version). The Shaft movies have a certain hip 70's atmosphere, which I like and the main character is reason enough to watch a Shaft movie.

    Great character, weak storytelling.

  • Shaft's previous adventure, Shaft's Big Score, ended with a James Bond style high speed chase scene involving cars, a speedboat and a helicopter, with lots of shooting and explosions; this, the third and final outing for Richard Roundtree's private investigator, sees our super-cool hero recruited to go undercover in Africa to break up a slavery ring, and is even more like a Bond movie, featuring an international mission, an evil villain (played with relish by Frank Finlay), high-tech gadgetry, sexy women, and a finale that sees an assault on the baddies' French château fortress.

    Although undeniably more comic book in nature than the previous two Shaft movies, Shaft in Africa remains very adult in nature, with a high level of nudity, sex and violence as Shaft beats, kills and shags his way across the dark continent towards Europe. Some of the more explicit content includes a rather frank conversation about female circumcision, the senseless death of an innocent pooch, and villain Amafi's nymphomaniac girlfriend Jazar (Neda Arneric) becoming sexually aroused while watching black workmen digging up a road (she also questions Shaft about the size of his phallus, who eventually satisfies her curiosity by shagging her).

    Directed with zest by John Guillerman, a film-maker well versed in African adventures (he previously helmed two Tarzan movies and war movie Guns at Batasi, and would go on to make Sheena Queen of the Jungle), Shaft in Africa is a fun film that moves along at a more than reasonable pace with plenty of action. It is, however, a far cry from the seedy world of pimps, pushers and prostitutes that one usually associates with the blaxploitation genre. As such, it failed to satisfy existing fans of the character, was a failure at the box office, and signalled the end of the franchise.
  • Why do you ask? Its got more one-liners, better (as in more amusing) dialogue, better action. Shaft becomes the poor man's James Bond in this one, doing what amounts to international spying but without the hi-tech tricks of Bond. Great final "Shaft enraged by the slow working justice system" ending. Great title song by the 4 Tops ("Are You Bad Enough") doesn't measure up to the classic "Shaft" but still delivers.
  • Shaft assumes more of the Bond mantle in this film by going undercover to find out who is running the slave trade out of Africa into Europe. However, it really is too much of a stereotype to Shaft and takes away some of what makes him special.

    Shaft, Richard Roundtree again, of course, belongs uptown across 110th street. That's his turf, and putting him in a robe with a stick is just too much.

    This film just went too far, past where the imagination can stretch, in letting Shaft win. Yes, it was letting Shaft win, as he couldn't possibly have dodged all the attempts made on his life and still have energy to magically bed Vonetta McGee, and Yugoslavian Neda Arneric.

    Having said that, there were some very good moments in the film, and it is still worth the time to see Roundtree in action.
  • Perhaps the most entertaining of the three "Shaft" films, but be warned: it's incredibly violent! (Shaft snaps necks, elbows, runs over people with his car, you name it). It's also more sexually provocative than any other mainstream release of the 70s I can think of. In other words, this is the first and only "Shaft" movie that lives up to its reputation in terms of violence and nudity. Whether or not this is a recommendation is up to you to decide. (**1/2)
  • The above quote would be a good reason to think this third Shaft movie would be quite ridiculous especially after his contact showed a stick with a camera inside but screenwriter Stirling Silliphant provides many explanations of why NYC detective John Shaft is wanted on this particular mission to help some African men escape the slave trade in Paris. And so we see Shaft going to Ethiopia on assignment. The score this time is by Johnny Pate with the theme song "Are You Man Enough?" performed by The Four Tops. Vonetta McGee plays the new love interest for Richard Roundtree's character while Neda Arneric is the white woman who is soooo turned on by black men even when her usual lover, Frank Finley, is sitting next to her in the car. Finley is the villain and is quite chilling as such. Besides the action and sex scenes, there are also some cute scenes with a dog. In summary, Shaft in Africa was a nice change of pace in the series. Now I'm going to view the TV movies Roundtree made as Shaft before the new Shaft comes to theatres this Friday...
  • This is a film that EVERYONE should see. It all starts with the title, Shaft in Africa. The concept of Shaft going to Africa and the cover alone are reason enough to get it. Plus, it is inexpensive and can be found at most retail stores. Ok, lets break this film down shall we. First, while watching this movie I laughed harder than I ever have before. The second time the man with the staff broke down Shaft's door, I was in tears. The first time was hilarious, but again? Pure, unadulterated genius. Shaft is like James Bond minus all of the silly innuendo and sex jokes. Plus, you actually get to see NUDITY, albeit some is Richard Roundtree's bare rear end and a fat hooker, there is an extremly hot vixen NAKED. You can never tell what is going to happen next whether he be riding a camel or the whole, triangle shirt-waist factory inspired, building fire minus the locked doors and the slaves actually running UPSTAIRS. To sum it up, this movie has it all. Sex, Violence, Gore, Explosions, Stick fights, door breaking, but sadly, features a dog getting killed which NO ONE wants to see. I seriously think the only reason the dog was there was so that Shaft could utter the "Only one man died today, and two dogs" line, which wasn't that amusing. No one wants to see a dog getting killed. This movie rocks my socks off. Period.
  • After the abysmal Shaft's Big Score, this second follow-up to the original 1971 legend is much finer stuff. John Guillermen takes over from blaxplotation maestro Gordon Parks as director and excellently brings freshness to the whole thing, with Richard Roundtree's supercool private eye being sent to Ethopia in order to infiltrate and bring down a ruthless slave-trading scam.

    This entry is wonderfully self-concious in the fact that it all smacks of the Bond saga - even Shaft says it when he finds himself handed a couple of gadgets for his mission. Therefore, there's a strong and largely satisfying formula behind the whole affair. The action is still a little clumsy and quite excessively violent, but in general this is bigger, brighter and funner than what came before it.
  • Falconeer1 January 2018
    This movie was a bad idea, a real misfire. Taking the character John Shaft out of his New York City surroundings is like taking away Thor's hammer; it just doesn't work. This weak third entry of the series feels more like a parody than an official sequel. Shaft is kidnapped and finds himself in Africa where he is expected to break up a modern slave trading operation. No explanation as to why anyone would kidnap a NY Private Detective and place him in that setting, where he quickly adapts and accepts his situation and just starts kicking ass. The whole thing is ridiculous and insulting. The absence of director Gordon Parks is painfully apparent. This one is nothing like the the two earlier films. Even the cinematography, which one would expect to be good, given the exotic setting, is weak and mostly poor. It seems like changing the formula to a successful franchise is not a good idea. Another example of this kind of bad planning is the awful "Super Fly" sequel, "Super Fly TNT." it is depressing to see Richard Roundtree involved in a project that basically turns the iconic character into a joke. Fans of the original "Shaft" might want to skip this one; it's truly a silly waste of time.
  • Second and last Shaft sequel has Shaft (Richard Roundtree) going to Africa to break up a slave ring. Flimsiest of all three Shaft films is still enjoyable thanks to Richard Roundtree's charisma. The plot is pretty contrived. Seemed kind of silly that they didn't just ask Shaft for help upfront. Instead, they fight him, kidnap him, and test him before asking. I guess it's kind of silly they would need his help in the first place. Who hires a New York private detective for this sort of thing? Anyway, it's still fun. Shaft has his way with Vonetta McGee and a hot European nymphomaniac. Not bad. This is also the only movie I've ever seen where the subject of clitoridectomy is discussed so much. Highly educational film.
  • Shaft is hired to go into Africa undercover and be taken in as an African slave by the Europeans. Once he is a slave he can find the man behind the slavery ring and shut the ring down. Far more interesting story than the last two, takes Shaft out of his element and puts him in a few new countries. More action packed and with a better director makes this the best Shaft flick of the original three. ** out of ****
  • After a diplomat's son is killed while investigating a slave-trading operation, "John Shaft" (Richard Roundtree) is recruited to acquire as much information as he can and then relay it to international authorities. This requires him to travel to where the slave business begins-Africa. Now, as far as the movie is concerned, while Shaft may be in Africa he is totally out of his natural environment--and this film suffers as a result. To further elaborate, Shaft's greatest strength was his ability to negotiate the urban landscape of New York City using his considerable experience and attitude to their fullest advantage. Unfortunately, both of these skills are negated once he is taken out of his element for which he-and the movie itself-has to compensate for by relying almost solely on his physical prowess and blind luck. At least, that is how some of these scenes seemed to play out to me. In any case, in my opinion this movie fails to compare favorably to its famous predecessor "Shaft" or to a lesser degree with that of "Shaft's Big Score!". Even so, I liked the performance of Richard Roundtree and having Vonetta McGee (as "Aleme") certainly didn't hurt either. In summation, this wasn't a terrible movie-but it wasn't nearly as good as it should have been and I have rated it accordingly. Slightly below average.
  • This is definitely a third rate movie. According to some reviewers, this is the best of the Shaft films so far. If that was the best of Shaft, I sure would not waste my time with another Shaft film..

    Richard Roundtree does a fair job of acting, but the rest of the cast do not show much talent.
  • This was clearly one of those films some idiot thought would be a good idea. Sure, the concept sounded intriguing, but it just didn't work. Fortunately, for the sake of Richard Roundtree's career, they stopped making Shaft movies after this, but the character's stake in Hollywood was just as great as Indiana Jones or Freddy Krueger. There were some great lines and the story presented a modern edge to a very dark time in history, but it just seemed like it was lacking in some elements. The original Shaft will always be the better one when compared to the modern day version.
  • I am a huge fan of the original film in this series, SHAFT--having scored it an 8 and enjoyed every minute of it. Unfortunately, the sequels (SHAFT'S BIG SCORE and SHAFT IN Africa) were major disappointments--mostly due to really bad writing and lots of ridiculous story elements. In SHAFT'S BIG SCORE, Shaft has a gun battle with about a dozen crooks. They have a machine gun and tons of pistols as well as a helicopter. Shaft has a shotgun and a pistol and manages not only to win but shoot down the copter!!! Sadly, it only got worse in SHAFT IN Africa.

    The main plot idea isn't bad. A group of concerned officials want to infiltrate an evil mob that sneaks illegal workers from Africa into Europe and treats them like slaves. A timely topic now as well as then. However, having Shaft be the guy to infiltrate was just silly. While the film was set in East Africa, Shaft looks little like one of these people--mostly because almost all Black-Americans trace their ancestry back to West Africa--on the other side of the continent. In addition, he didn't really try to use an appropriate accent throughout the film--only once or twice--and he didn't shave or cut his hair to blend in with the slaves. He simply looked like "Richard Roundtree: Movie Star" amidst the poor unfortunate villagers. Unfortunately, about the only thing going for the film is the action and extreme violence (for 1973). Sadly, even the great tune "Shaft" was gone and the music was rather bland throughout the film!

    By the way, although it looked cool, why did Shaft bother to blow up the bunker at the end of the film even though the bad guy and all his men were dead?! It just seemed like a silly excuse for pyrotechnics.
  • Let me say this: if you've only seen "Shaft in Africa" in the Pan-and-Scan VHS version, you haven't really seen it. And if you have only seen the edited-for-TV version--you haven't seen it at all!

    This is a wide screen epic adventure, and you have to see it in that format to fully appreciate it. And, if you've only seen it on TNT or in some other TV version, then, brother, you have missed half the movie! Shaft gets as many chicks as James Bond, but is not held back by the PG rating that kept the 007 adventures in "nudge nudge wink wink" land. There's an entire expository scene missing from the TV varsion 'cos it involves a naked Richard Roundtree chatting with a naked mob moll he's just pleasured! I mean--no wonder this movie didn't make sense until I bought the DVD!
  • By the time this film was released the SHAFT phenomena was coming to a close. I didn't see it when it was released. This was a good move. Most people didn't want to deal with the slave trade practiced in modern day Africa. Currently the slave trade is still quite active and unfortunately those still profiting from it skirt the law quite well. But back to the film. It only approaches the true gravity needed to convey the nature of these crimes a couple of times in the film. Most of the time Shaft is being the wise ass jawbreaker we all know and love. That's OK...this isn't PBS. Frank Findlay is under-appreciated on these shores, sort of the way Charles Dance is currently. Vonetta McGee was as hot as any starlet back in the day. That includes Suzanne Somers and Jacquelyn Smith. Clint Eastwood ain't no fool when he cast her in Eiger Sanction. The attempt was to bring the Shaft character to the world audience but so much of script is lame. Roundtree is working hard to make it sound fresh but he's swimming upstream. The film has a great climax that should have been given more credit.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    The ever-cool Richard Roundtree, who along with the equally awesome John Saxon has played more cops than any other actor alive, makes his third appearance as John Shaft, the super-tough, super-smooth, oh-so-hot black private dick who's a sex machine to all the chicks and a most gnarly guy who's always getting into loads of trouble. This time our main man Shaft -- the ultimate bad-a** soul brother from the Big Apple hood -- goes to the motherland (that's Africa, homeys) so he can get the goods on an evil black slavery ring that's run by -- natch -- an odious bunch of wicked white b**tards, with the Major Nasty Man himself being suavely slimy French dirt-bag Frank Finley. Like, can you dig this funky s**t, baby? Well, frankly I totally dug this simply fantastic and wonderfully outrageous globe-trotting action/adventure treat.

    John Guillerman's briskly efficient direction keeps the rousing zesty momentum humming along throughout, the action scenes are suitably rough, strenuous, exciting and dynamically staged (the stick fights in particular are the genuine happening article), there's a welcome sense of wryly self-deprecating humor (a male assassin in drag tries to plug Shaft in an airport bathroom!), the dialogue sporadically offers a few profanity-laced slangy zingers ("Baby this may blow your mind, but I don't want to [*very naughty word deleted*] you?") and the snappy pace never lets up for a minute, thereby ensuring that "Shaft in Africa" races towards a thrilling conclusion with terrifically steady and unwavering headlong brio. Moreover, the luscious Vonetta McGee lends her fetching, captivating presence as a foxy young African princess who helps Shaft out, Johnny Pate's intensely groovy wah-wah guitar-ripping score is very easy on the ears, the ever-wondrous and under-appreciated Frank McRae pops up in an amusing minor part as a bothersome henchman, the African scenery's gorgeous, Roundtree carries himself with his customary extremely watchable and winningly easy'n'breezy off-handed grace, and -- hubba! hubba! -- the tiny, adorable, curvaceous blonde looker Neda Arneric will definitely raise the blood pressure of any red-blooded heterosexual male with her smoking hot portrayal of Finley's sensuous, sex-starved main squeeze (Arneric's steamy seduction sequence with Shaft is so incredibly sexy and arousing that it almost melted my DVD player). A hugely satisfying and immensely stirring final filmic fling for blaxploitation cinema's single most engaging and significant take-charge man's man rugged individualist protagonist.
  • Shaft's back and this time he's up against modern day slave traders. Shaft gets recruited to go to Africa and pose as a slave in order to expose the traders. This is a great flick. Its entertaining and exciting. As usual, there are some great lines. "Brother with the name Shaft better be good with a stick." And of course, "No ride camel, me ride ass."

    Richard Roundtree is great as John Shaft. He's one bad mofo. (Shut yo mouth!) If you're a fan of Shaft you must check this out. And if you're not a fan, what the hell is wrong with you! One more thing, Richard Roundtree is Shaft. Forget about this Samuel L. Jackson thing. Its a travesty.
  • Is this a racist film ? Let`s examine the evidence where the black hero dude is a funky sex machine ( Notice how the soundtrack sounds exactly like porno muzak ? ) and where the hero says brother , cat and baby a lot as in " Yo brother " , " she`s a hot cat " and " Start talking baby or I`ll break your other arm " , and lets not forget that this movie has black and white villains with the bad guy`s moll having a fetish for black men . You really do get the feeling that if the Nazis had won the war we`d never get to see a film like SHAFT IN AFRICA . Fair enough it`s guilty of playing up to stereotypes but I actually like to see stereotypes now and again

    The actual storyline feels more like a James Bond movie than the previous urban thrillers featuring Shaft , it`s somewhat episodic and very bloodthirsty with the hero surviving a muder attempt by a white guy then surving a murder attempt by a black guy then surviving a murder attempt by another white guy .

    As I said I did enjoy the political incorrectness and the high body count . It`s far better than any of the other SHAFT movies and I`m including the recent Samual L Jackson version
  • lois-lane3326 September 2014
    This film has more holes in it than a chunk of swiss cheese and it still worked because it had the best theme music ever recorded and the dude playing Shaft is charismatic & good looking. The issue of female circumcision is mentioned by a black African woman who is westernized but wants to "embrace the ways of her ancestors" and enter into a 'relationship of honor where there would be no sex involved.' I find that a really unnecessary nod to ways that are best forgotten as they are essentially disgusting practices-that have been forced on young women in Africa who suffered because of it in the modern era. Shaft casually used the F bomb to talk about the sex act which is very tacky. Only sh*** use that kind of language in todays world-sh*** and hookers with really low IQ's. Towards the end of the film a guy with a submachine gun misses Shaft who is standing in the open not 30 feet away from him. Can you say there's no way that would happen in real life-yes-I knew you could. Plus some white guy has dark makeup all over his face to play the part of some white guy who has lived in Addis Ababa a long time-yet he also appears later in the film as a bad guy sans dark makeup. Kinda wonky. The issue that the film talk about via its plot is modern slavery-kudos for talking about some serious sh** no kudos for doing it such a f***** up way that it really does't mean a whole lot. It was made ages ago. So who cares. Maybe its still worth 'discussing' somewhere-like here. I think people liked it because it was Shaft but I also think it not a very good film.
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