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The Forgotten Parody Movie Defying Odds And Dominating Hulu

For every movie franchise that gains some amount of cultural prominence thanks to critical praise or box-office success, there's some enterprising filmmaker thinking about a way to spoof it. There have been parody movies for everything from Scream to 300 to 50 Shades of Grey, and while quality and enjoyability will vary, sometimes they're a perfect slice of escapist fun. It's clearly a mood that Hulu viewers with the Starz add-on are in, as the parody flick Meet the Blacks is currently on the list of the streamer's top ten most-viewed movies (via Flix Patrol).

The 2016 flick, which pokes fun at the Purge franchise, comes from director Deon Taylor, who also had a recent hit on the Amazon rental market with his thriller Fatale. Meet the Blacks stars comedy icon Mike Epps and The Oath star Zulay Henao, and features cameos from George Lopez, Perez Hilton, Snoop Dog, and Mike Tyson. While it hasn't proven to be the most memorable entry on any of those actors' résumés, the movie appears to be finding a second life now that it's available on streaming.

Here's what you need to know about this fun Purge parody that's taking over Hulu.

What is Meet the Blacks about?

Carl Black (Epps), his wife Lorena (Henao), and Carl's children have all just left Chicago behind for the sunny and affluent streets of Beverly Hills, California. While Carl and the kids are thrilled about the sudden influx of wealth that occasioned the move, Lorena is suspicious as to how Carl went from a broke nobody to buying a mansion in one of the most expensive cities in the U.S. Unfortunately for the entire Black family, she has good reason to be wary.

That's because, in a move that would make Marty Byrde from Ozark proud, Carl robbed notorious drug lord Key Flo (Charlie Murphy), who was about to serve a lengthy prison sentence. If he's going to jail, then he probably won't miss his money, right? But Key Flo isn't the type to forgive or forget, and the Blacks are about to find that out the hard way. Unbeknownst to them, they've arrived in Beverly Hills on the night of the purge, when all crime is legal for 12 hours. As if the family's new wealthy and racist neighbors weren't enough to contend with, Key Flo also sends his associates to pay Carl back for the money he stole. The family has to put their bickering aside and work together if they want to survive the worst "welcome to the neighborhood" event of their lives.

Director Deon Taylor got a lot of admiration from his cast

Whether Meet the Blacks makes you guffaw will be down to a matter of personal taste, but when watching the film, it's hard to ignore the fact that it seems like the cast is genuinely enjoying themselves. Based on what they had to say about working with Taylor, it appears that having an engaging and invested director makes all the difference.

During an interview with ScreenSlam, Henao praised Taylor's on-set attitude, saying, "He's so kind and [...] I never had a moment in the film where I couldn't talk to Deon, where I didn't feel like he [wasn't] accessible to me." She went on to add, "And that says a lot about a director. [...] There was never a note of frustration in his voice. [...] He was always open and kind."

Epps also got the chance to speak with ScreenSlam about Taylor, who he said brought him onto the project as more than just an actor: "Deon came to me and told me he had an opportunity for me to star in a movie. [...] I got the script and I read it, and I said, 'I really like this Deon,' and he said 'You know, this also could be something you could executive produce as well.'"

It looks like the kindness and generosity Taylor showed his cast paid off, as there's a sequel to Meet the Blacks in the works.

What we know so far about Meet the Blacks 2

Although Meet the Blacks didn't get much love from critics, nor did it exactly make a huge splash culturally when it released, the movie did do well at the box office. Its $9 million haul may not seem like a lot, but considering the movie only had a budget of about $900,000, that's not a bad return on the investment (via The Numbers). Ergo, it shouldn't be too much of a surprise to hear that a sequel to the film is in the works.

The project was first teased in 2017, when The Hollywood Reporter wrote that Taylor and most of the original cast would be returning for a follow-up to Meet the Blacks titled Meet the Blacks 2: The House Next Door. This new installment would see the family once again moving — this time next door to a larger-than-life criminal played by comedy legend Katt Williams, who Carl becomes convinced is actually a vampire. It seems that with the purge night concluded, the series is moving on to spoof movies like Fright Night.

Although a Facebook post from Taylor claimed the movie would be released in October 2019, as of January 2021, it has yet to premiere. However long of a wait we have until the Meet the Blacks sequel ends up dropping, there's still time to catch up on the original on Hulu with the Starz add-on.