Shot in four weeks and directed by Matt Climber (Jayne Mansfield‘s husband at the time of her tragic death), Lady Cocoa starred Lola Falana in the title role who is released from a Nevada prison for 24 hours so she can testify in court against her racketeer mobster boyfriend, Eddie (James A. Watson Jr.).
Weary veteran detective Lt. Ramsey (Alex Dreier) and his straight-laced partner Doug (Gene Washington) are assigned to protect Cocoa from a couple of hitmen.
Millie Perkins does well as mousy newlywed Marie and football star “Mean” Joe Greene looks suitably menacing as hulking thug Big Joe. Popping up in amusing cameos are George “Buck” Flower as a drunk gambler, Richard Kennedy as an unctuous waiter, and John Goff as a swishy Sicilian man. That’s director Matt Cimber himself in the role of honeymooning newlywed Arthur.
This little-known addition to the Blaxploitation genre is clearly a low-budget affair (the first hour is set entirely in a single casino hotel room) and – despite achieving considerable fame as a Las Vegas entertainer – Lola Falana is definitely no Pam Grier.
Released in some markets as Pop Goes The Weasel.
James A. Watson Jr.
Matt Cimber (as Gary Harper)
James R. Sweeney
George ‘Buck’ Flower
La Verne Watson