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Film / South Bronx Heroes

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Now HE'S calling the shots!

South Bronx Heroes is a 1985 American Blaxploitation film starring Mario Van Peebles.

Paul and Michelle are two orphan teens fostering with the Bennett family. Unfortunately, the Bennetts use their foster kids to make child pornography. The kids run away, and stumble upon ex-con Tony. Tony, disgusted by the heinous deeds, decides to help the siblings rescue the other children.

This film provides examples of:

  • Abusive Parents: The Bennetts are foster parents who beat their charges with belts and make them star in kiddie porn.
  • Big Bad: Mr. Bennett, head of the kiddie porn operation.
  • Blackmail: To begin his battle against the kiddie porn ring, Tony blackmails the Bennetts for $10,000.
  • Crapsack World: The South Bronx is portrayed as a broken city where crime runs rampant, half the buildings are decaying and populated by the homeless, the foster care system is full of paedophiles, and the Police Are Useless.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Paul and Michelle had their mom die of an illness, their dad descend into alcoholism that led to him emotionally abusing them and getting killed in a bar fight. They're put into the foster care system, only to be placed with child pornographers. This all leads to them running away and living on the streets at the start of the film.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Tony did one at the start of the film, having just gotten out of jail for bank robbery and trying to turn over a new leaf. He still steals, but only from people who try to steal from him.
  • Mistaken for Pedophile: When Paul drops the pictures he stole from Bennett while he's in Tony's house, Tony thinks he uses them for personal gratification. In actuality, he took them to go to the police.
  • Pædo Hunt: The main antagonists are a child pornography organization masquerading as a foster home.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: Tony's way of paying for life is to rob anybody who tries to rob him. In the Wretched Hive of the South Bronx, finding muggers is super easy.
  • Politically Incorrect Hero: Tony throws around homophobic slurs regularly, as was common in the mid-'80's.
  • Shout-Out: Tony mentions watching Star Trek: The Original Series. He also makes references to Pac-Man, Donkey Kong and The Flintstones.
  • The Sociopath: Mr. Bennett, a foster father who makes child porn because he thinks his charges have to earn their keep. He's willing to beat them if they refuse, at least once to death.
  • Villain Opening Scene: Bennett making a kid star in one of his films.