Black Samurai (1976)

Rating: *
Review Date: 6/17/18
Cast: Jim Kelly, Chia Essie Lin, Marilyn Joi

Robert Sand (Jim Kelly) is a top agent for a government intelligence agency called D.R.A.G.O.N. (Defense Reserve Agency Guardian Of Nations). When his girlfriend Toki (Chia Essie Lin) is kidnapped by a devil worshipping crime lord named Janicot (aka The Warlock), Sand is on the case to rescue her. In addition to Janicot's army of karate killers, Sand also has to face at least four midget assassins, a couple of African tribesmen, a wicked priestess with a sword, voodoo magic, poisonous snakes, and a killer vulture. Fortunately, he's got some high tech gadgets to help him out, including a weaponized sports car, a miniature flame-thrower, and a flying jetpack.

I really like Jim Kelly, but this is one of the most incompetent films I've ever seen. The acting is terrible, the writing is atrocious, the dubbing is appallingly bad, the editing is unbelievably awful, and the soundtrack is hilariously inept. The copy I saw also had some of the dialog bleeped out, which made it even worse. The film makes no sense whatsoever, and is merely an excuse to string some action scenes together. Unfortunately, the action isn't that great and Kelly's stunt team has a hard time keeping up with him. There's only one fight scene that looks marginally competent, and it ends way too quickly. Arguably, the highlight of the film is seeing Sand fly around in a jetpack like the one featured in "Thunderball" (1965). It's fascinating to watch and the scene goes on for a decent amount of time, unlike James Bond's disappointingly short flight. While the film has a certain amount of low budget campy charm, it's tedious to watch and hard to recommend.