Silver Emulsion

Film Reviews

Uncle Jasper reviews: Death Dimension (1978)

Death Dimension (1978)

Starring Jim Kelly, Harold Sakata, George Lazenby, Myron Lee, Terry Moore, Aldo Ray, Bob Minor, Patch Mackenzie

Directed By Al Adamson


On paper, Death Dimension comes off as a film that could do no wrong. Take everybody’s favorite afro sporting karate legend, Jim Kelly. Put him up against ice bomb wielding loose cannon, Harold “Odd Job” Sakata (of Goldfinger fame). Throw in a copious amount of boobs, car chases, and repeated karate punches to the balls. Just to make things interesting, toss another struggling James Bond dropout in need of a paycheck (George Lazenby) into the mix. Sounds fucking fantastic! I’d practically be begging those guys at the ticket stand to take my money away.

Yes sir. You’d have to have a sadistic, mad lust for disaster to fuck something this awesome up. But the minds behind Death Dimension manage to do just that against all odds. What should end up being a karate fighting, titty groping, asphalt burning good time instead winds up a boring lesson of what not to do in the editor’s chair. Scenes drag on much longer than necessary, while others should have been excised from the very beginning. An extended sequence at a Nevada whore-ranch serves no real purpose other than to fit a few more seconds of boob time on screen. How hard is it to just flash a pair of breasts on the screen if that’s what you want? Do you really have to show Jim pulling up to the building, walking up to the establishment, greeting the woman up front, selecting a prostitute and taking her to a room for a mere five seconds of boobage?  I know Jim Kelly probably didn’t mind shooting the scene, but it only takes the viewer that much further away from the already jumbled narrative.

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December 9, 2010 Posted by | 1970s, Action, Blaxploitation, Martial Arts, Movie Reviews, Uncle Jasper Reviews | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Uncle Jasper reviews: T.N.T. Jackson (1975)

T.N.T. Jackson (1975)

Starring Jeannie Bell, Stan Shaw, Chiquito, Pat Anderson, Ken Metcalfe, Imelda Ilanan, Leo Martinez

Directed by Cirio Santiago


T.N.T. Jackson may well be the most generic exploitation film of any genre that I have ever seen. Far from a negative criticism, this movie actually seems to benefit from touching on virtually every genre cliché and fleeting convention in the vernacular of grindhouse cinema. From bouncy afros, bouncy boobs, and lines of guys in white uniforms practicing karate punches, this film has you covered.

It’s also a lesson in bang for your buck economy, as T.N.T. manages to cram it all into a wonderfully slim, 71 minute running time, making this essentially one of the prime, go-to films for those hungry blaxploitation fiends in dire need of a quick fix. You want heroin dealers, kung fu fights, and titties? Then by golly, T.N.T. Jackson is set to deliver.

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November 29, 2010 Posted by | 1970s, Action, Blaxploitation, Martial Arts, Movie Reviews, Uncle Jasper Reviews | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Uncle Jasper reviews: The Thing with Two Heads (1972)

The Thing with Two Heads (1972)

Starring Rosey Grier, Ray Milland, Don Marshall, Roger Perry, Chelsea Brown, Kathrine Baumann, John Dullaghan

Directed By Lee Frost


I can get behind any film that casts an Academy Award winning actor alongside ex-defensive tackle Rosie Grier as a half bigot, half convict… thing with two heads. In concept alone, this film is a stroke of genius. You can tackle the race issue with slow burning drama ala Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, or dress it up in the guise of a police investigation like they did with In the heat of the Night. But it takes a real visionary to slap a racist-spouting, prosthetic Ray Milland head on Rosie Greer’s shoulder and call it a day.

The Thing with Two Heads could have a brilliant statement, forever ridding the world of racism and making boys and girls of all colors join hands and sing in the streets, but instead it decides that what we really need to mend hate and end injustice are a shitload of car chases and dirtbike races! Don’t get me wrong here. I don’t need no message up in my movies in order for me to appreciate them. I can get along just fine with explosions, dismemberment, or lasers. But this film sets itself up for some very interesting opportunities and chooses not to explore them. Dawn of the Dead is a great film because it has the blood, gore, and head-explosions that we all know and love, but it also mines its own premise to reveal maybe just a little something about human nature and society at large without sacrificing all of that fun stuff.

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September 13, 2010 Posted by | 1970s, Action, Blaxploitation, Movie Reviews, Science Fiction, Uncle Jasper Reviews | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Uncle Jasper reviews: Bucktown (1975)

Bucktown (1975)

Starring Fred Williamson, Pam Grier, Thalmus Rasulala, Tony King, Bernie Hamilton, Art Lund, Tierre Turner, Carl Weathers

Directed By Arthur Marks


On paper Bucktown seems like a blaxploitation fan’s dream come true. Fred Williamson, Pam Grier and seasoned genre filmmaker Arthur Marks on all accounts should make for a potent combination. Maybe I expected too much from that stockpile of talent, because unfortunately the film ends up being merely adequate in large part due to the silly ass plot that would be feasible in maybe the Holy Crusades or Feudal Japan, but not so much in 1970’s Missouri.

The action begins when Duke (Fred Williamson) steps off a train in Bucktown, Missouri to claim his recently deceased brother’s estate, which includes his flashy red-light district nightclub. Told that he must stay in town 60 days before the estate can be properly turned over, Duke decides to wait and tend to the business before selling it. All is not well in Bucktown however, as Duke soon finds out. The entire municipality is being strong-armed by a gang of corrupt police officers who extort cash from local businesses, solicit prostitutes, and participate in illegal gambling rings. Not to mention that they are racist as fuck. Seriously, even by typical genre standards these guys hurl out the most hateful, redneck slurs this side of the battle of Gettysburg.

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August 12, 2010 Posted by | 1970s, Action, Blaxploitation, Movie Reviews, Uncle Jasper Reviews | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Uncle Jasper reviews: Blackenstein [The Black Frankenstein] (1973)

Blackenstein [The Black Frankenstein] (1973)

Starring John Hart, Ivory Stone, Joe De Sue, Roosevelt Jackson

Directed By William A. Levey


After the runaway success of Blacula, it was only a matter of time before other studios would attempt to cash in on the blaxploitation/horror sub-genre. The most obvious attempt was 1973’s Blackenstein, a movie that takes everything Blacula did right and throws it completely out the window.

When Vietnam Vet, Eddie Turner (Joe De Sue) loses all of his limbs from a land mine, his fiancée Dr. Walker consults her old teacher, mad scientist Dr. Stein (John Hart) for help. Dr. Stein attempts to attach new limbs to Eddie, and all is going according to plan. But when his assistant, Malcomb professes his love for Dr. Walker and is rejected, he secretly switches the bottles of DNA solution out of spite. The unbalanced solution is injected into Eddie, mutating him into Blackenstein, a hideous (?) monster who escapes the laboratory every night, limping around Los Angeles like a 93 year-old woman, killing random strangers by ripping out their intestines.

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May 24, 2010 Posted by | 1970s, Blaxploitation, Horror, Movie Reviews, Trash, Uncle Jasper Reviews | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Uncle Jasper reviews: Scream Blacula Scream (1973)

Scream Blacula Scream (1973)

Starring William Marshall, Don Mitchell, Pam Grier, Michael Conrad, Richard Lawson, Lynne Moody, Janee Michelle

Directed By Bob Kelljan


I have to admit I was pretty nervous about gearing down to review Scream Blacula Scream, 1973’s follow up to the surprise horror-blaxploitation hit, Blacula. I was almost certain I’d have to go through the motions and crank out the typical “Shoddy, uninspired sequel to surprisingly good b-movie” review.  Luckily that isn’t the case here. William Marshall turns in a performance that is every bit as classic as the original. And well, this time we have Pam Grier along for the ride… and she does voodoo! And Blacula kicks the shit out of pimps! But let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves here.

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May 20, 2010 Posted by | 1970s, Blaxploitation, Horror, Movie Reviews, Uncle Jasper Reviews | , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Uncle Jasper reviews: Blacula (1972)

Blacula (1972)

Starring William Marshall, Vonetta McGee, Denise Nicholas, Gordon Pinsent, Charles Macaulay, Thalmus Rasulala

Directed By William Crain


Transylvania, 1780 – Castle Dracula

It is a dark and stormy night and Count Dracula is entertaining African Prince Mamuwalde and his wife. (Because, as we all know, Dracula was well known for his important contributions to politics in 18th century Europe.) The lovely couple are enjoying small talk and champagne with Dracula when the Prince gets down to business and discusses the concerns of his people. All is going fine until Dracula scoffs at the prince’s attempt to convince him to do something about the slave trade. Tensions flare and the Count even has the audacity to propose a deal for Mamuwalde’s beautiful Zulu wife!  Dracula’s honkies of the night restrain the Prince, as the lord of darkness bares his fangs and sinks them deep into his neck, cursing him for all eternity and christening him… “Blacula”.

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May 17, 2010 Posted by | 1970s, Blaxploitation, Horror, Movie Reviews, Uncle Jasper Reviews | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Uncle Jasper reviews: Friday Foster (1975)

Allow me to introduce my buddy, Uncle Jasper.  He’s gonna chime in from time to time with a review, so give him a big welcome. First up, Friday Foster with Pam Grier!


Friday Foster (1975)

Starring Pam Grier, Yaphet Kotto, Carl Weathers, Scatman Crothers, Eartha Kitt and Godfrey Cambridge

Directed By Arthur Marks


I admit it, by the end of this movie I had no fucking clue what was going on… Some convoluted plot about a bunch of white dudes in afro wigs conspiring to take out all of the nation’s black leaders. But my God, if the merit of a film lies in its ability to entertain, then this is a masterpiece in the same league as Dolemite and Fantasy Mission Force.

Look, all you need to know is that Pam Grier has never looked better and Yaphet Kotto has never been more charming. I swear to God, every time he flashed that goofy-ass gap-toothed grin of his I kept thinking how much he resembled a black Ernest Borgnine. He and Pam make an awesome duo and I would have loved to see them share the screen more often. Scatman Crothers is somewhere in there as a pervy priest, and the black dude from The Love Boat is great as the neighborhood pimp (“You have to admit… my shit is HEAVY!!” he tells Pam). Somewhere in the middle you have Eartha Kitt as an over the top fashion designer and Carl Weathers backing a delivery truck into some effeminate dude in a phone booth, crushing him to death. Whew! What a cast they rounded up for this one! It plays like the Grand Hotel of 1970s black cinema.

This film would be one of Pam’s last for American International. It is nowhere near as raw as Coffy and lacks the urgency of Foxy Brown, but it would be silly to even compare them. The point of this movie isn’t to provoke outrage, it’s a party movie that just wants us all to look good and have fun. I’m not saying that Friday Foster is the superior film, but Pam does have a little more breathing room here and it’s nice to see her in the arms of a suave millionaire for a change instead of being hog-tied and raped by some drunken hillbilly.

This movie has enough car chases, rooftop fights, machine guns and titties to overcome any shortcoming it may have in terms of plot. In fact, this film stares plot straight in the face and laughs at it. Anybody willing enough to not take it too seriously will be greatly rewarded.

April 26, 2010 Posted by | 1970s, Action, Blaxploitation, Movie Reviews, Uncle Jasper Reviews | , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments