HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Morfalous, Les
Dreambuilders
Everything Went Fine
Lux AEterna
Rum Runners
Fairy and the Devil, The
Mad God
Outside the Law
I Remember Mama
Superman Unbound
Lawrence of Belgravia
House Across the Lake, The
Wonder Park
Hornsby e Rodriguez
Operation Mincemeat
5 Kung Fu Daredevil Heroes
Scoob!
Earwig
Offseason
Peau Douce, La
Double Indemnity
Na Cha and the Seven Devils
Deep Murder
Superman vs. the Elite
Adam Project, The
Osamu Tezuka's Last Mystery of the 20th Century
Horse, La
Buffaloed
Train Robbers, The
Let Sleeping Cops Lie
Abominable
Funeral, The
Burning Sea, The
Godzilla Singular Point
Ace of Aces
Innocents, The
Beast and the Magic Sword, The
Last Hard Men, The
Found Footage Phenomenon, The
Night Trap
   
 
Newest Articles
3 From Arrow Player: Sweet Sugar, Girls Nite Out and Manhattan Baby
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
   
 
  Black Belt Jones Acting Chops
Year: 1974
Director: Robert Clouse
Stars: Jim Kelly, Gloria Hendry, Scatman Crothers, Eric Laneuville, Alan Weeks, Andre Philippe, Vincent Barbi, Mel Novak, Mailk Carter, Eddie Smith, Alex Brown, Clarence Barnes, Earl Jolly Brown, Jac Emil, Wayne Musgrove, Ray C. Davis, Leroy Wofford
Genre: Thriller, Martial Arts, TrashBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: The Mafia in Los Angeles are making moves on the local authority, ensuring through blackmail and even murder that they get their way. They are trying to buy up some inner city land for a civic centre with the blessing of that authority, a deal which will make them thousands, but the area they are wanting to demolish includes one large building which is holding out against the developers: the martial arts school of Pop Byrd (Scatman Crothers). The criminals are not going to let him stand in their way, so it's up to one man to stop them: step forward man of action Black Belt Jones (Jim Kelly).

Nobody is going to claim that this is one of the all time great martial arts movies, even with a superb exponent like Kelly as the star, but what it is is a highly entertaining blaxploitation movie. Obviously filmed on a shoestring, it's location filming throughout with the hero walking the mean streets and fully able to handle himself against anyone stupid enough to stand in his way, and that includes some gangsters, though not the cops, as Jones is actually on their side and works for them to clean up neighbourhoods and, in the title sequence, act as bodyguard to threatened officials.

During that sequence Kelly disposes of a bunch of assailants in a car park, making such short work of them that you do wish he had a better opponent to combat as pretty much every thug who throws themselves at him is dispatched with a couple of strikes in a few seconds. Kelly's signature move appears to be to go for his opponents' bollocks, so expect a host of scenes where he boots hapless bad guys between the legs or even goes for that old favourite, the crotch punch. While that may get you thrown out of a typical contest, here it does Jones the power of good in getting one over on the hoodlums.

One thing that is most hilarious about all this is that every good guy, with the exception of the white police detectives and officers, turns out to be an expert in kung fu or karate. This means the most unlikely people busting some killer moves, including the great Scatman Crothers himself, surely in training for his voice work on seventies cash-in cartoon Hong Kong Phooey, although sadly he only seems up to a few punches. Even sadder, his roguish character is bumped off within about twenty minutes, providing the rest of the heroes with their revenge motive against the Mafia.

Along with Jones, it turns out Byrd's daughter Sydney (Gloria Hendry from Live and Let Die) is talented in the beating people up department as well, injecting the film with a strong dose of "don't mess with this sister" feminism: when Jones tells her to stay home and do his dishes, she draws her gun and blows the crockery away, intoning "They're done!" Additionally, they share a touching sequence of karate love play amongst the sand dunes, with guitar smashing and rolling about in the sand added bonuses. But it's the proper action setpieces you want to see, and Black Belt Jones doesn't disappoint - if you're looking for laughs, that is. This ludicrousness climaxes in a bit reminisent of a kung fu equivalent of the washing machine skit from Confessions of a Window Cleaner, with Kelly doling out the thumps in a welter of soap suds. If you only know him from Enter the Dragon, then you owe it to yourself to check him out in this; it might not be the most professional, but it is fun. Music by Dennis Coffey (doing the funky theme) and Luchi De Jesus.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 4245 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Robert Clouse  (1928 - 1997)

American director who, after directing Darker Than Amber, settled into a string of martial arts thrillers starting with the Bruce Lee favourite Enter the Dragon. His other films include Golden Needles, Black Belt Jones, The Ultimate Warrior, Game of Death, The London Connection, The Big Brawl, camp classic Gymkata, China O'Brien and its first sequel.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
Mary Sibley
  Desbris M
  Sheila Reeves
Paul Smith
   

 

Last Updated: