Work in Progress – Chico Roland Filmography

I'm not sure if I'm gonna use this in the essay collection that I'm working on, but I've been putting together a filmography on the prolofic African-American presence in old Japanese films and TV shows of the 60s, 70s and 80s known as Chico Roland. If you've seen Gamera vs. Monser X (1970), or Sonny Chiba's The Streetfighter (1974), then you've seen Roland in what are certain to have been his most widely viewed bit parts in the English speaking world. 

With regard to his filmography, it may actually end up being posted on YKFS when it's done, and I may run with something else on him for the book. In the meantime, shared above is the promo poster for the 1968 film, Great Insect War (aka Genocide), one of the thirty-something flicks in which Roland made appearances––but his face is also on the poster. If you're a fan of what is affectionately known in the states as 'Asian trash cinema', then Great Insect War is a must. Roland's amateurish but heartfelt brand of acting is over the top, but convincing.

There's even an action figure of Roland's character Charlie that was included with Shochiku Studios' DVD release of the film in Japan. You're really too cool for school when you can say that you have a toy in your image––in addition to having also filled out a wide variety of large and small roles in Japanese TV shows and films. 

Oh, and if you're indeed game to checking out Great Insect War (aka Genocide), I recommend that you juxtapose that watch against Seijun Suzuki’s Gate of Flesh (1964). Roland had a small part in the latter, but the film overall is a fairly stunning production.

Shochiku Science Fiction DVD – Great Insect War (1968)

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