One of the hardest to score soundtracks as well as very elusive films in the Blaxploitation genre is Sal Watt’s Solomon King which has been a long time want for those in the know. Having the soundtrack in my collection as well as an early 90’s bootleg VHS copy of the film, I’d always hoped for a cleaner copy of the movie regardless of format and the film gods have finally answered. Word broke last year that the original film reels had been secured by Deaf Crocodile Films and were in the process of doing a digital transfer for an upcoming release. Fast forward to the present and the official word has finally come down and a Kickstarter has been launched to make it happen.
“The SOLOMON KING journey began with a trip to a used record store where Dennis came across the incredible (and now very rare) SOLOMON KING soundtrack, released on filmmaker Sal Watts’s own label in the 1970s. Intrigued, Dennis dug deeper and discovered that SOLOMON KING was considered a lost film. Given its subject matter – and killer soundtrack — he decided it was long past time for SOLOMON KING to be found. As he pointed out, finding lost or forgotten films is what-we-do! After several years of searching for rights and elements, hitting nothing but dead-ends, he and Craig finally connected with Sal’s wife and collaborator, Belinda Burton-Watts, who manages his estate … and that’s where things really took off.”
“This restoration will not only allow for a Blu-ray (as well as streaming and theatrical) release, but it’ll help shine a light on the incredible life and career of Sal Watts. The film and audio elements have been scanned, the restoration color grade and digital cleanup is well underway. Unlike our previous releases, the SOLOMON KING restoration has been a 100% Deaf Crocodile effort. 18 months and nearly $50,000 later and we can see the finish line. We’re hoping you can help us make it across that finish line by supporting the restoration efforts and purchasing some of the great rewards we’re offering.”
“Unseen in nearly 45 years, the long-lost, independently financed Black urban crime/action film SOLOMON KING (1974) from director/actor/producer/writer Sal Watts was shot in Oakland, CA in 1973 with a cast of mostly non-professional actors, killer Soul-Funk soundtrack and incredible clothes from Watts’s own Mr. Sal’s Fashion stores. The film is being restored with the full cooperation and support of the filmmaker’s widow Belinda Burton-Watts and utilizing the only surviving complete print of the film from the collection of the UCLA Film & TV Archive, and the original 35mm soundtrack elements (which had been stored in Burton-Watts’s closet for several decades).”