American Pimp

"Good"

American Pimp Review


Disturbing, shocking, sad, funny, revealing, twisted, and utterly frank, "American Pimp" is a documentary about the world's second oldest profession and its place in the darker recesses of land of the free and the home of the brave.

Directed by the Hughes Brothers (Allen and Albert, who made "Menace II Society" and "Dead Presidents") and pieced together from an astounding array of uninhibited interviews with prostitution peddlers from coast to coast, this film is hard to watch but so honest -- and sometimes so entertaining and even funny -- that it's even harder to turn away from. But while you'll be fascinated while watching it, you'll also want to take a shower afterwards.

Without a hint of manipulation from the Hughes boys behind the camera, the picture's raw interview footage speaks for itself as these hardened men -- some of whom amass fortunes off the favors of hapless, compliant women -- answer very direct questions (e.g. Why does a hooker need a pimp?) in no uncertain terms.

Topics discussed include drugs (or lack of drugs, depending on who is talking), violence (sexual and otherwise), trade lingo (the words "bitch" and "ho" are used like commas), territorial conflicts, and the accuracy of the flamboyant pimp stereotypes. One of the subjects really wears snake skin suits. Another dresses like an aged preppie for rounds of golf at a Hawaii country club when he's not on the streets.

One passage of the picture focuses on the changing of the guard in the "industry," from old school players, who talk a game of respect amongst themselves and at least pretended to care about the women in their stables, to modern macs, who are armed, dangerous and abominably abusive.

A few hookers get a word in edgewise (some alone and candid, others visibly cautious while on the arms of their procurers). So do a few acquiescent family members of the pimps.

In another passage, the Hughes' take a peek inside legalized prostitution at the Bunny Ranch near Las Vegas for a revealing compare-and-contrast episode.

And just when you're ready to draw what seems like an inevitable conclusion, they have a few surprises in store, too.

"American Pimp" is undeniably a low-end production. Shot on video, it looks like it was made for about $5,000. But with its unblinking portrait of this shadowy sex trade that is shown to be thriving in every city across the nation, it has as much (if not more) impulsive impact as any of the preachy, well-funded documentaries that habitually win Oscars.



Facts and Figures

Run time: 87 mins

In Theaters: Friday 1st January 1999

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 55%
Fresh: 12 Rotten: 10

IMDB: 6.6 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: the Hughes Brothers

Starring: John S. Dickson as Himself (as Rosebudd), as Link Brown, as Herself (archive footage), L. Hammond as Payroll the Pimp, Dennis Hof as Himself, The Bishop Don Magic Juan as Himself, as Himself, Rudy Ray Moore as Dolemite, Roscoe Orman as Willie Dynamite, Kenny Redd as K-Redd, Too $hort as Too $hort, Clarence Sims as Himself (as Fillmore Slim), as Himself (as Gorgeous Dre)

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

This may not be the cheeriest movie of the season, but it's so skilfully written,...

Live By Night Movie Review

Live By Night Movie Review

Ben Affleck launched his directing career 10 years ago with his film of Dennis Lehane's...

La La Land Movie Review

La La Land Movie Review

After storming awards season with Whiplash two years ago, writer-director Damien Chazelle returns with something...

Assassin's Creed Movie Review

Assassin's Creed Movie Review

Hopes were high that this film might finally crack the curse of movies based on...

Silence Movie Review

Silence Movie Review

Faith is a topic Martin Scorsese can't quite shake, courting controversy with complex films like...

A Monster Calls Movie Review

A Monster Calls Movie Review

A difficult movie to market, this isn't actually the BFG-style fantasy adventure it looks like....

Monster Trucks Movie Review

Monster Trucks Movie Review

Word has it that a 4-year-old came up with the idea for this unapologetically silly...

Advertisement
Collateral Beauty Movie Review

Collateral Beauty Movie Review

Dramas exploring the nature of death and the true meaning of life are always in...

Paterson Movie Review

Paterson Movie Review

Unpredictable filmmaker Jim Jarmusch ricochets from his artful vampire movie Only Lovers Left Alive into...

I, Daniel Blake Movie Review

I, Daniel Blake Movie Review

At 80 years old, British filmmaker Ken Loach won his second Cannes Film Festival with...

Why Him? Movie Review

Why Him? Movie Review

Writer-director John Hamburg continues to recycle the formula that made his first hit Meet the...

Passengers Movie Review

Passengers Movie Review

Anchored by the almost ridiculously engaging Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence, this sci-fi movie travels...

Neruda Movie Review

Neruda Movie Review

Clever Chilean director Pablo Larrain (who also directed Natalie Portman's Jackie) takes on the Nobel-winning...

The Eagle Huntress Movie Review

The Eagle Huntress Movie Review

Narrated by Daisy Ridley (The Force Awakens), this documentary is one of the most gripping...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.