Posse ★★★ 1993 (R)
Big, brawny western shot with MTV in mind that tells the tale in part of how more than 8,000 black cowboys helped tame the American frontier. Or, as the advertising put it, “The untold story of the wild West.” Or, spaghetti western meets blaxploitation meets the magnificent seven meets the L.A. riots, with characters actually saying, “No justice, no peace” and “Can't we all get along.” However categorized, the intent is to show a side of Americana seldom seen, a goal realized. Strode, perhaps the greatest black Western star, appears at both the beginning and ending, while several other veteran black performers, including Russell, appear in cameos. Hunky Van Peebles is the leader of the usual misfits in the “Dirty Dozen” tradition, infantry deserters holding a load of gold. Between them and freedom is a gang of goons led by Zane. Lots of flash and dash, but lacking soul. 113m/C VHS, DVD . Mario Van Peebles, Stephen Baldwin, Charles Lane, Tommy (Tiny) Lister, Big Daddy Kane, Billy Zane, Blair Underwood, Tone Loc, Salli Richardson, Reginald (Reggie) Hudlin, Richard Edson, Reginald VelJohnson, Warrington Hudlin; Cameos: Melvin Van Peebles, Pam Grier, Isaac Hayes, Robert Hooks, Richard Jordan, Paul Bartel, Nipsey Russell, Woody Strode, Aaron Neville, Stephen J. Cannell; D: Mario Van Peebles; W: Sy Richardson, Dario Scardapane; C: Peter Menzies Jr.; M: Michel Colombier.