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Diggin’ in the Tapes: Honky

Honky. A troublesome epithet, yes, but also the title of an underrated Blaxploitation classic. Directed by TV veteran William A. Graham (who also directed the Powers Boothe vehicle, The Guyana Tragedy: The Story of Jim Jones (1980), a TV movie of the week gem) and with maestro Quincy Jones supplying the music, Honky (1971) tells an oft told and compellingly tragic story of misdirected affection. Sometimes described as a black/white retelling of the Romeo and Juliet schism (1975′s Aaron Loves Angela fits that bill), Honky is really a story of acceptance.

The big box VHS was released on Unicorn Video in the later half of the 1980′s. Unlike the collage/cut and paste style of the Sweetsweet Back‘s Magnum release cover, Unicorn decided to go in a more traditional direction. The painterly brush strokes and washed out hues remind you more of a swashbuckling 1930′s Errol Flynn epic than the tale of two wayward teens in Nowhere, America. Although not particularly rare (5 on a scale of 1 through 10), the Honky big box is a must have because of its fantastic cover art. Never officially released on DVD, this Unicorn Video release may be the only chance you get to experience this underrated B-movie classic.

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