Watermelon Man (1970) A white bigot wakes up transformed into a black man and has to learn how to deal with the consequences. CRITERION deserves praise for having assembled a package of films written and directed by Melvin van Peebles, who died just after this homage to his talent was released. An irascible agent provocateur, he used whatever media came to hand in order to undermine systemic racism. Godfrey Chambers’ comedic performance turns dark and bitter by the time this revolutionary movie is over. Awarded the French Legion of Honor instead of any Academy Award, van Peebles will remain a thorn in the side of the American Dream.
All blondes are dumb, says See-What-You-Get,
Leering from his jet-pack on a Jetsons set.
The future is whenever your mobile car
Runs over a cop toward a shooting star.
You can be what you want if you look the part —
See-What-You Get has a Eugenics chart.
For those Jills who plant watermelon seeds,
Magic Jacks pop up though jungle weeds.
See-What-You-Get keeps running for President.
Pick a card, any card, and forget regret.
Free beer for the Irish at the bottom of a well
Where rainbows break teeth on gold that’s hollow.
In the land of the free and the home of the brave,
Each shade of color is pilloried to enslave,
So See-What-You-Get can market his brand
Without paying a cent for mortgaged farmland.
When Get-What-You-See marries See-What-You Get,
Their blessed offspring are royal fire ants.
Flay See-What-You-Get of that colorless skin
And you’ll find the skeleton dancing within.
[Disposable Blues Lyrics February 14, 2022]