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  Death Dimension Get Your KicksBuy this film here.
Year: 1978
Director: Al Adamson
Stars: Jim Kelly, Harold Sakata, George Lazenby, Terry Moore, Aldo Ray, Bob Minor, Patch Mackenzie, Myron Lee, April Sommers, Linda Lawrence, T.E. Forman, Frank Scarpitto, Lionel Tarape
Genre: Action, Martial Arts, Trash, Adventure
Rating:  4 (from 1 vote)
Review: This scientist is carrying out a delicate operation, one which the lives of many people will depend on: he is placing a microdot under the skin of the temple of his assistant. The microdot contains his life's work, a weather controlling bomb which can alter conditions from dry and hot to cold and snowy, but a group of gangsters headed by the man known as The Pig (Harold Sakata) has taken control of the scientist's island hideout and have forced him to try out the bomb on The Pig's enemies, with the result that four of them freeze to death. As the scientist commits suicide, the race is on to find the assistant - maybe martial arts expert Detective Ash (Jim Kelly) can help...

Death Dimension was one of two martial arts spy movies that Kelly made for director Al Adamson, here working from a script by erstwhile director Harry Hope and attempting to emulate the success of the James Bond franchise, something that conservative estimates might have viewed as a snowball's chance in hell of pulling off successfully. It's true that Adamson did not have the budget to achieve gaudy action sequences, but what he did have was his star, who knew his way around a fight scene, and to capitalise on that he was pressed into service every five minutes to beat up some hapless stooge of The Pig.

Another link to James Bond was in two of its cast members, as the aforementioned Sakata had become world famous in the somewhat limited role of Odd Job in Goldfinger about fifteen years before this was made, and he was still cashing in on that renown with appearances in movies that could kindly be referred to as lower profile. But not only did Harold show up, but an actual Bond actor did too: step forward George Lazenby, perhaps now regretting turning down a second appearance in the 007 series as he essayed the role of Ash's boss, Captain Gallagher, who may have more to him than he lets on. If you're hoping for a battle between Bond and Odd Job for one last time, let's say you'll be disappointed.

But let's also say you'll be disappointed by the battle that takes place between Sakata and Kelly for the movie's grand finale: lumbering would be a good word to describe it as The Pig tries to bash Ash with a rock, and they methodically go through the motions of combat as if trying not to hurt each other, never mind themselves. Hilarious doesn't begin to cover it. Before we arrive at that riproaring finale, however, there's a lot of intrigue to get through as Ash, who is a master detective as well as handy with his fists and feet, tracks down the lady assistant as the plot, not the most coherent to begin with, winds down into rambling nonsense - but, hey, you're not here for the story, are you?

Just as well, because it has been crafted to depend on how much Adamson could afford to stretch his cash on, settling on Kelly's mastery of martial arts as his greatest asset. Therefore what this mainly consists of is various anonymous actors as the henchmen who are summarily beaten up by our hero - but what's this? He has an ally in the shape of Li, played by Myron Lee under the name Myron Bruce Lee, wishful thinking if ever there was, and this terrible twosome biff and bash their way through a selection of bits as all the while the innocent suffer. Innocents like Ash's girlfriend, murdered in the shower in a Psycho reference, not that he seems particularly bothered as it gives him all the excuse he needs to knock heads together (and grabbing balls for some odd reason, just as he had done in the previous film). There's also a box turtle which is put to threatening use, a supposedly upmarket whorehouse run by Mighty Joe Young's best friend Terry Moore, and Kelly shooting down a plane with a revolver. Rest assured, there's nothing sensible about Death Dimension. Also not sensible music by Charles Randell.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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Al Adamson  (1929 - 1995)

Prolific American director of chaotic exploitation movies, who directed some 30 films between 1961 and 1983. The titles of his films were often the best thing about them, but the likes of Satan's Sadists, Dracula vs Frankenstein and I Spit on your Corpse are popular amongst bad movie buffs. In a nasty end worthy of one of his films, Adamson was murdered in 1995, his body found buried under his freshly tiled bathroom.

 
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