"We aint gonna worry 'bout that kind of henshit!" Warren Oates holds forth in Drum.
Pam Grier offers some advice to the lovelorn: crazy white girls like Cheryl 'Rainbeaux' Smith aren't worth the risk of getting nutted for someone like Yaphet Kotto.
If Mandingo lacked the analytic rigor and apocalyptic scale of atrocity of Goodbye Uncle Tom, then Drum lacks much of whatever moral seriousness Mandingo itself had. As entertainment, however, Drum could easily be somebody's guilty pleasure. It has a super Seventies lineup and the singular sight of Oates and Grier in bed together. It has instant camp in the form of John Colicos ("On your feet, you piece of merde!" is a typical utterance) and Cheryl Smith's wild, shameless performance. And it has just the sort of slave-rebellion climax, reminiscent of or anticipating window-breaking zombie attacks of besieged buildings, that I said a truly crowd-pleasing slavesploitation film should have. Drum is dumb, but it can be endearingly so for audiences in the right mood.
As with Mandingo, robatsea2009 has uploaded a trailer for Drum to YouTube
This review is part of a weeklong blogathon appreciation of Yaphet Kotto organized by the Lost Video Archive. Visit The Goodkind's site to find out more about Kotto's distinguished diversity of work from the Sixties to the present day.