On this day in comedy on August 19, 1994 Blankman was released by Columbia Pictures!
Directed by Mike Binder and co-written and starring Damon Wayans, this superhero spoof tells the story of a clueless repairman living in the hood and almost getting killed in it. Wayans has to have his grandmother slaughtered by local hoodlums to realize he’s not in a good neighborhood. Instead of moving he decides to become a crime fighter like his idol, Batman. He invents gadgets to help him in his quest to clean up the city and puts on a costume complete with a mask to hide his identity and a bullet proof chest, but not head.
Wayans has a brother, played by David Alan Grier, who works as a news cameraman and films his brother in action, hoping this alter-ego will help him psychologically get over the murder of their grandmother. It does just the opposite. Wayans thinks just because he dresses like a superhero he’s equipped to do superhero things and becomes a marked man. He calls press conferences that are ignored and at one point gets the mayor killed in a bomb defusing situation that goes wrong. That’s when the city turns against “Blankman” forcing Wayans to abandon his antics, get a job at McDonald’s and live a typical life (if you consider working at McDonalds typical).
Too bad Wayans made this decision so late in the game. Blankman made some enemies while he reigned and the same crime kingpin (Jon Polito) that killed his grandmother is now calling him out. If Blankman doesn’t show up that kingpin will kill the object of Blankman’s affections, a female news reporter (bet you didn’t see that one coming) played by Robin Givens. This once again forces David Alan Grier to get involved. He dons the crime fighter suit of “Blankman’s sidekick, “The Other Guy”, and goes into action with Blankman. Problem is “The Other Guy” is not bulletproof (which he doesn’t know) and he gets shot (or should I say wounded?).
The story wraps itself up as Blankman comes to the rescue, the crime boss is defeated and our semi-hero gets the girl.
Blankman also features Arsenio Hall, Tony Cox, Jason Alexander, Lynne Thigpen, Harris Peet, Christopher Lawford and Nick Corello. Its box office take was $7,941,977.
By Darryl “D’Militant” Littleton
Check out this clip: