Guest post by Beth Accomando. Check out Cinema Junkie, her awesome blog and podcast here!
Day 5: Black Mama, White Mama (1973)
“Chicks in Chains... on the lam from a prison hell - manacled together by hate and the strange ideas a woman gets after 1000 nights without a man.”
This film marks the first teaming of Pam Grier and Margaret Markov. The film’s UK title was Hot, Hard and Mean, which was definitely more of a come on than Black Mama, White Mama. Grier is a prostitute while Markov is a revolutionary and they get chained together in a film unashamedly ripped off from The Defiant Ones, in which Tony Curtis and Sidney Poitier are handcuffed together and fight their way through the film.
According to Wikipedia, Grier became seriously ill during the making of the movie. "It was a tropical disease you get from ingestion, either from food or from the virus going through your skin in water," she said. "We were in a lot of rivers, rice paddies, where there are leeches and bacteria. So it was just a matter of time before it went through a cut and into your brain – and it could kill you." She was in bed for a month with a temperature of 105 degrees. "I lost my hair, I couldn't see, I couldn't walk. I was dying. The doctor kind of froze me to kill the cell in my brain."
That seems like it could have been a movie in itself. So in honor of her behind the scenes struggle to survive this film I made Jello shots in the form of a brain and bacteria in a Petri dish.
Day 6: The Arena (1974)
“Black slave, white slave. See wild women fight to the death! Let the games begin!”
Although it’s tough to beat women in prison for B movie sensationalism, I think reteaming Grier and Markov to play female gladiators managed to plunge even more sensational depths with considerable gusto.
I went down a small rabbit hole trying to find an appropriate themed dessert for this when I casually decided to see what gladiators might have actually ate back then. Turns out they were vegetarian because who would be foolish enough to waste good meat on slaves fighting to the death. So their diets were mostly grain, barley and beans. In fact, gladiators were referred to as “barley men.” So I have made Mamawi’s Barley Energy Balls, these are perfect to consume before battle, and since that lieutenant in Friday Foster said Grier had more “balls than brains” I thought this was perfect.
Day 7: Coffy (1973)
“The Baddest One-Chick Hit-Squad that ever hit town! She had a body men would die for - and a lot of them did! They call her 'Coffy' and she'll cream you!"
And Beer N’ Grier ends with what is probably my favorite Grier film. With a title like Coffy I only had one choice for dessert and the key ingredient had to be coffee and naturally there had to be cream. The end result: Triple Threat Coffy Delight to Die For made up of coffee jelly, whipped cream, and an ice coffee slurry.