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Varying blaxplotation flicks
on 8 July 2011
The 4 films on these 2 dvd's vary in quality, but at such a cheap price for 4 films they still represent pretty good value and any lover of blaxplotation movies will want this in their collection.
Black Belt Jones (1974) - After the success of Enter the dragon it was no surprise that Jim kelly launched his own career of the back of it. In his first starring role, Kelly plays Jones who tries to help protect his old martial arts school after the mafia take an interest in it for their own needs. Not a bad movie but considering it was produced and directed by the team which made Enter the dragon Black Belt Jones is a bit of a disappointment. Without the late great Bruce Lee to stage his fights Kelly's fights are pretty ridiculous and unbelievable, though the plot does zip along and it's a funride in its lean 88 mins. The redoubtable Gloria Hendry ( Live and Let Die, Black Caeser) is her usual entertaining self and another blaxplotation veteran Julius Harris crops up as Jones mentor. Viewed as a martial arts film BBJ is a complete waste of space but as a blaxplotation action flick it works pretty well.
Hot Potato (1976) - Jim Kelly returns for more in the sequel to Black Belt Jones. This time Jones is sent on a mission by the government to rescue a senators daughter kidnapped by a ruthless Thai dictator. Words cannot describe how bad this movie is !!!! Utterly appalling in every respect, bad acting,direction,story,fight scenes, there's nothing remotely redeemable about the whole movie. I like cheesy bad low budget B movies, some of my favourite movies are cheap low budget explotation flicks, but this is just BAD ! PERIOD! Kelly's co stars are a couple of comedy value buffoons who are supposed to be great fighters, but hit people with a child's punch with the bad guys all on the ground knocked unconscious or even worse dead!,if you thought the fight scenes in BBJ were bad their nothing on this mess, The end credits reveal that "Jim Kelly's fights staged and chroegraphed by himself"!! If i had been Kelly i wouldn't have wanted anyone to know that!! The movie is bordering on unwatchable, so if you buy this i'd skip this one, it's that horrendous.
Black Samson (1975)- Samson (Rockne Tarkington) is a bad staff wielding, Lion owning dude who owns a nightclub in an urban part of L.A. When some gangsters try to muscle in the neighbourhood, Samson goes to war on them ,trying to protect his girlfriend in the process.
This is the only movie in this set not to feature Jim kelly. Pretty much a standard low budget blaxplotation flick, this one doesn't rise to the great heights as classics like "Coffy" "Shaft" or "Superfly" but is reasonably entertaining, nothing original, but a good late night watch with some beers on a Fri night.
Three The Hard way (1975) - Jim Brown, Jim Kelly and Fred Williamson all star in this thrilling action packed blaxplotation classic !
By far the best movie on this set, TTHW boasts a very decent budget and good cast. The story is utterly ridiculous but who cares! - A white supremacist group kidnap black people who are used in experiments to create a serum that when deposited into the water system will kill all the black people in America!! When Brown's girlfriend is kidnapped by the group and his friend killed, Brown hooks up with his 2 old buddies in Williamson and Kelly to stop them.
Nicely directed by Gordon parks Jr ( Superfly and Shaft) TTHW has all the staples of good blaxplotation, good stars,action, an entertaining story and a wicked soundtrack, this time by "The Impressions" At such a cheap price the DVD is worth buying for this alone.
Ratings for the movie's -
Black belt jones 3/5
Hot Potato 0.5/5 ( yes you read that score right!)
Black Samson 3/5
Three the hard way 4/5