Dojo Review: Black Samurai
Director: Al Adamson
Fight choreographer: Jim Kelly
starring Jim Kelly, Marilyn Joi, Felix Silla, D’Urville Martin, Bill Roy, Essie Lin Chia
Bone:” who do the hell you thin you are, Muhammad Ali?”
Sand: “No, I’m better!”
Plot: Robert Sand (Jim Kelly) agent of D.R.A.G.O.N is called in when his girlfriend Toki ( Essie Lin Chia) is kidnapped by the evil Warlock Janico (Bill Roy) who demands a ransom ( a deadly freeze bomb) from Toki’s ambassador father. Sand has to rescue her and fight off Janico’s voodoo drug dealing thugs, crazy women, and a crazy bird!
Jim Kelly serves as fight choreographer on Black Samurai and it showcases Master Kelly’s strengths . We get some cool footage of Sand (Kelly) performing a form, some nunchaku work, and Jim with a Samurai sword in Sand’s hotel room. There are lots of multiple attack scenes with Jim using kicks to destroy these guys who just can’t seem to fight. His final battle with Bone (D’Urville Martin) is hilarious. While I think Jim had a talent for fight choreography and he looked like he was kicking serious butt ( I mean he is Jim Kelly); I wish he had a stronger more skilled opponent in the end. Bone looks so goofy trying to fight Jim. I wish Bone had some crazy secret technique that he pulled out so that Robert Sand (Jim Kelly) had to use some more of his skill to defeat him. All in all the fights were entertaining, but were not on par with Tattoo Connection and Black Belt Jones.
If you are a fan of Jim Kelly, Action, Martial Arts, and Blaxploitation movies like me then I think this makes a worthwhile addition to your library. While the movie will certainly win no awards for dramatic acting or great cinematography, it is an entertaining movie, especially if you don’t take it seriously. As a fan of Jim Kelly, I love watching him act and move. I think Hollywood really missed the boat with him as he had the potential to blow up and become a major action star. With that said, I think that if you are not a hardcore fan of either Jim Kelly, Blaxploitation, or martial arts movies, you probably won’t add this to your collection ( you may rent it , for example). The action is cool and we get to see how Jim rolled ( the car he drove in the film was actually his car), we get some cheesy acting from Janico ( Bill Roy) and some sultry lunacy from Synne ( the lovely Marilyn Joi). All in all Black Samurai is fun ride that gets weird and at times laughable. Check it out!
(gif image originally at http://gph.is/1adsRJi)
Check out Sneed the Jade Badger Tribute to Jim Kelly