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Zakes Mokae films 1990s
Slaughter of the Innocents directed by James Glickenhaus starring Scott Glen. 1994. A brutal killer and a policeman on his track. The murderer is a Charles Manson type, wild hair and howling at the moon who, waiting for the flood, has built his own Noah's ark in the canyons and is collecting two of everything, though stealing two giraffes seems improbable to me.
The film is a confused mixture of genres, with the director unable to decide if the film is horror (with shades of Dust Devil), adventure (The Gate) or paranormal (Dead Zone).
The policeman is played by Scott Glen (Jack Crawford in Silence of the Lambs). He uses his psychic schoolboy son to pursue the killer. The young child, played by the son of the director, is particularly annoying.
Mokae has a tiny role as the janitor in the library. Because he has been negligent and not cleaned the tables, fingerprints are preserved giving a vital clue.
Kevin Sorbo has a small role. The next year he would become Hercules in a number of TV movies, then the star of the series which ran for 111 episodes.
Finally the ark crashes into the valley.
Images of Slaughter from the DVD.
Vampire in Brooklyn directed by Wes Craven starring Eddie Murphy. 1995. Murphy is also co-writer and co-producer, and plays some supporting roles as well as the starring role.
Murphy plays the vampire and arrives by ship in America looking for a woman who is half vampire, half human. He has to find her somewhere in Brooklyn, however it is not too difficult as after 18 minutes she appears as a detective investigating deaths on the ship.
Eventually Murphy seduces Bassett culminating in a vampire bite.
One of his victims.
Murphy shows his true form, but the make-up becomes poor, looking more like a mask than a living (or dead) person.
Mokae is Dr Zeko who is an expert on vampires but not expert enough to impale the vampire through the heart. A disappointingly small role considering his central role previously for Wes Craven in The Serpent and the Rainbow.
Murphy is reasonably different from his usual Beverly Hills Cop role but the film is not sharp enough: the comedy, horror and storyline get in the way of each other.
The film has some good soundtrack music, including a version of Stevie Wonder's Superstition by UB40 and a second version by Clive Ross, Derrick "Debo" Brown, Carlton "Santa" Davies and Michael "Mickey" Hyde.
Waterworld directed by Kevin Reynolds and starring Kevin Costner as The Mariner and Dennis Hopper as The Deacon. 1995. Reynlds previously directed Costner in Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves and in Fandango. Waterworld is a sort of Mad Max 2 but where the Earth is covered by water with no land. The Mad Max references include feral children, pirates and flying machines. The Director of Photography was Dean Semlar who also worked on the Mad Max films.
The Mariner sails around the world of water on his catermaran until he reaches a floating fortress.
Zakes Mokae is one of the religious leaders on the fortress, though he does not have much to do in the film.
The Mariner is imprisoned as a mutant- he has gills- but then the fortress is under attack.
The Mariner escapes on his catameran, conveniently taking a woman and child with him, and the film slogs on for another hour.
The film was famous as a box office bomb "The film’s production problems are well documented. Steven Spielberg had warned Reynolds not to shoot on open water after his own struggles filming Jaws, but nobody listened. Costner, at the peak of his fame and power, fought so hard to get his ideas included that Reynolds walked away before production had wrapped. Joss Whedon was flown in for a bout of last-minute rewrites that he has since described as “seven weeks of hell”, largely because he was required to edit in Costner’s ideas with zero filter. The movie’s star almost died in a squall, and a multimillion dollar set was ripped apart when a hurricane hit the shoot location just off the coast of Hawaii" (Ben Child in the Guardian, 30 Jul 2020).
All images from the film.
Interestingly Waterworld: A Live Sea War Spectacular, one of the most popular rides at Universal Theme Parks in Singapore [below] and Japan, has generated billions in revenue for the studio, according to co-scriptwriter Peter Rader (Gregory Wakeman, 17 Sept 2020 in BBC Culture here).
Waterworld - The Quest for Dry Land game for PC. Following his role in the film with Kevin Costner, Zakes Mokae provides voiceovers for the game based on the film. 1997. This game is so boring I have still to get beyond the first stage, so have still to meet Mokae.
Outbreak directed in 1995 by German director Wolgang Peterson (Das Boot) with Dustin Hoffman, Kevin Spacey, Donald Sutherland and Morgan Freeman.
A disaster film, as a virus and the inevitable government conspiracy threaten the world.
Mokae has a short role on the site fire-bombed by the military to wipe out the remains of a virus, and he tells Dustin Hoffman not to worry about protection as the virus is not air-borne.
He gives his usual intelligent performance, but it seems as if a sub-plot has been edited out. A ju-ju-man appears and the scientists want to speak to him, "no" says Mokae, "he talks to me". But the witch doctor (and Mokae) don't appear again.
The virus is identified, but seems to spread unexpectedly. A monkey has the virus, and has been caught and transported to the USA and sold to a pet shop. The monkey escapes and infects people.
A town is cut off by the military, and is at risk of being bombed into oblivion to stop the virus spreading.
Hoffman realises the virus has mutated, the microscopic view is different, and is now air-borne. He also discovers a military conspiracy led by General McClintock (Donald Sutherland).
Hoffman manages to hijack a helicopter, stops the bombing and saves the day (and the village).
Not a bad film, but it does slow down in the second half, and there do seem to be a lot of plane/ train/ helicopter journeys from one location to another. Mokae gives a convincing performance.
All images from the DVD of the film.
Krippendorf's Tribe directed by Todd Holland starring Richard Dreyfuss. 1998. In Graham Greene's novel Our Man in Havana the spy invents missile bases to make his bosses happy. Here an anthropologist invents a tribe. But the film veers close to racism, with whites acting the role of savages...
...and no black men or women in academic roles, despite it being based around a modern university. Mokae plays Sulukim, appearing briefly at the end as a "real" savage (on the phone), who helps in the plot twist.
All images from the DVD of the film.
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