Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Blaxploit-errible: Black Samurai

Right off the top of your head: do you know who Jim Kelly is?  The man became a star in the classic film Enter the Dragon, although he was third-billing to two bigger names.  Even so, he got a lot of work in the era of Black-sploitation, even when the movies were not good- i.e. One Down, Two to Go.  He is also the man behind the Black Belt Jones series, which will get a proper review in time.  Today, however, I'm going to talk about this movie.  It stars Kelly as the titular samurai, although he only wields a katana once and is never called by that name.  As an agent for D.R.A.G.O.N., he has to stop an evil cult who kidnapped his girlfriend.  You know what that means- lots of ass-kicking and posing!  Is this movie any good?  Well, find out in my review of...
Black Samurai
Much like Challenge of the Tiger, this movie has very little plot that is very interesting.  As such, I will use a similar formula as with that one.
A young woman is kidnapped as part of a bartering scheme by some crazed Satanic cult leader.  Our hero is on vacation when he is called in for the job.  He only agrees to help out when he learns that his woman is the kidnapee.  My hero!

+ The cult has a weird party in what looks like a Mexican villa, complete with a vulture looming over them on the balcony.  Our hero proceeds to throw this bird at them!

+ Kelly escapes via the rooftops, but only after battling some midgets.

+ Kelly gets stopped by a station wagon full of henchmen.  He defeats them and hops back into his purple sports car.  What are you, Prince?!?

+ Kelly- I shit you not- flies over to the bad guys' new base in a jet pack.  Basically, slap air conditioner tubing to a dishwasher and you got the device.
+ A group of black men dressed in tribal gear- why not- battle our hero, but are defeated on the jungle set.
+ After a lot of fighting, our hero locks the villain in a room full of snakes & blows up the remaining thugs with a grenade.  Hurray!
This movie is not the slightest-bit good.  Kelly has no real screen presence other than machismo.  The fact that he spends at least half of the movie fighting should tell you something!  The real fun: making a drinking game out of it.  Take a shot every time Kelly does a bad spin-kick.  If you do that, you'll be passed out by the end of it.  It should come as no surprise that this one comes to us via Al Adamson, the man behind Doctor Dracula and Dracula vs. Frankenstein.  If you want your taste of Jim Kelly- that sounded wrong, didn't it- just watch Enter the Dragon again.
Up next, a nearly-lost 80s film that has been resurrected on DVD.  Did you have to do that, guys?  Stay tuned...

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