Viking Night: Super Fly
By Bruce Hall
August 16, 2011
Being a pimp isn’t as easy as you think it is. You have to have a nice ride, so maybe you buy a Cadillac with a super massive V-8 and you trick out the body work. You have to wear nice clothes, so maybe you keep a lot of two tone leather jackets with wide lapels and lavender Mohair trench coats around. You do need a crib, but you should keep things simple at home. The modern pimp is a man on the go, and it pays for him to have friends all over town. Friends like a stable of beautiful women, whom he’s happy to string along because they buy lots of cocaine for their rich husbands. That means lots of bread, and lots of free time to spend it on your every whim. All that might sound good, but don’t be trying to quit your day job just yet. Being a pimp isn’t as easy as you think it is. It’s hard.
One of the reasons is the help. Any self respecting pimp needs a cadre of loyal henchmen to work the town and bring in the Benjamins. But the streets won’t give it up easy, so you use tough guys who don’t mind getting their hands dirty. It’s hard work but it’s still not as hard as being a pimp - so you’re advised to find unambitious meatheads for this detail. As any Bond Villain can tell you, thick headed lemmings are a dime a dozen and they’re usually willing to work for peanuts. But they’re also usually kind of dumb, so you have to word instructions very carefully around them. And believe me, the price you really pay for cheap labor is in quality of execution. Sometimes, you have to remind your boys to pay you your damn money every month, and that’s annoying - because a pimp’s gotta eat.
This is where Priest Youngblood (Ron O’Neal) comes in. I guess I should stop and point out the fact that Priest is not actually a pimp. He’s a cocaine dealer; I just think "pimp" sounds funnier. Whatever the case, he has a problem with the help, as one of his low budget meatheads named Fat Freddie seems to be a little short this month. Priest warns Fat Freddie to have the money by nightfall or bad things will happen to his girlfriend. Do you see how it is? It’s not even noon and he’s had to beat the hell out of a man and might have to put an innocent woman out on the streets. Priest is a hard one, but don’t hate him. He’s got a hard job. What he doesn’t know is that it’s about to get harder - putting the screws to Fat Freddie will cost him big later. But right now, Priest and his partner Eddie (Carl Lee) have it all – money, drugs, wine and women. Life is good.
Priest wants out, though. He may not have an education but he’s smart enough to know that nothing lasts forever, and that a drug dealer’s career can only end one way. So he presents Eddie with a plan to retire from the business free and clear. They’ll parlay their savings into a one time, million dollar coke deal and get the hell out. Eddie reluctantly agrees, once he’s confident he won’t be asked to sacrifice his high standard of living - a pimp’s got to have standards. So the two men take their Big Idea to the only man in New York who can make it happen, Priest’s mentor and father figure, Scatter (Julius Harris). Scatter is a retired pimp and now has a respectable job cooking three star meals at the Pimp Club, where all the pimps go to unwind after a long, hard day of pimp related activity. Scatter has worked long and hard to get out of the business and no longer wants any part of this young man’s game.
He doesn’t that is, until Priest opens up a 55 gallon drum of guilt on the man who taught him everything he knows. They came up together in the same neighborhood. Priest is just trying to get out and go straight; can’t Scatter understand this? Of course it works; otherwise we’d have no movie. And as they begin phase one of The Plan, of course things don’t go as planned because again, we’d have no movie. It turns out that Fat Freddie was under so much pressure to produce that he gets sloppy. Now the cops, the mafia and everyone else in town are wise to Priest’s gambit and they all want a piece of the action. It’s not just hard to be a pimp; it’s hard for a pimp to retire, too. The more Priest tries to get out, the more they all keep pulling him back in.