Friday Foster” would be the last A.I.P. movie Grier would star in. The studio itself wouldn't last much longer, being absorbed by Filmways by the start of the next decade. “Friday Foster” was based off the first comic strip to ever star a black character. The strip had already ended by 1975 and has now faded into obscurity. The movie adaptation isn't Pam's most well known film but it's still better known then the comic that it spawned from.
Originally a model, Friday Foster is now a fashion photographer for Glance Magazine. While her editor has her taking pictures of pretty dresses, Foster desires to report on more serious stories. That big story comes to her when she witnesses the attempted assassination of Blake Tarr, the wealthiest black man in America. Afterwards, Friday's best friend is murdered. A conspiracy is closing in on her, targeting her next. She teams up with a private detective and uncovers a secret plan nestled within the black power movement.
As the blaxploitation genre started to unwind, “Friday Foster” hearkens back to the earlier days of “Shaft.” The film features the hero uncovering and attempting to untangle a convoluted plot. As Friday uses her feminine wiles to get information, a senator tells her that Tarr planned his own assassination. Later, Tarr informs her that the senator is scheming against him. In the last act, Foster uncovers the truth. That an outside element is plotting against both men, hoping to undone the entire black political movement. The bizarre twist? The villain is also black, in the employ of a barely glimpsed white mastermind. All his henchmen are also black. Never once do the black heroes strike back against a white oppressor. It shows how much things had swung back by 1975. Directly portraying white authority as the enemy, as the Man, was becoming less prevalent.
Another example that “Friday Foster” was, perhaps, a slightly pricier affair then usual is its supporting cast. This cast is filled with many well known black actors of the time. Yaphet Kotto plays Colt, the detective working with Foster. Kotto has fantastic chemistry with Grier, the two often trading very charming dialogue. Carl Weathers, a year before “Rocky” made him a star, plays the mostly silent hit man, a part nicely utilizing his intimidating appearance. Thalmus Rasulala plays the millionaire Tarr, who is simultaneously charming and stern. Eartha Kitt is nicely flashy as the fashion designer friend of Friday, who provides a major clue. Scatman Crothers has an amusing small role as a less then virtuous priest. For a low budget film, it's an impressive line-up of well known talent.
[THE BLAXPLOITATION CHECKLIST: 9 outta 12]
[X] Afros or Sideburns
[X] Brothels or Pimps
[X] Churches or Pastors
[X] Funky Soundtrack
[X] Homophobic Caricatures
[X] Inner-City Setting
 Night Club Act
[X] Plot Involving Drugs or Organized Crime
[X] Racist Authority Figures
 Sticking It to the Man
[X] Sweet Love Makin'
[X] Use of Street Slang