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Black Samurai (1977)

 -  Action | Crime  -  February 1977 (USA)
3.5
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Ratings: 3.5/10 from 583 users  
Reviews: 22 user | 15 critic

Robert Sand, agent of D.R.A.G.O.N. (Defense Reserve Agency Guardian Of Nations), is playing tennis on his vacation with a beautiful black girl, when his commanding officers ask him to save a Chinese girl who happens to be Sand's girlfriend, and the daughter of a top Eastern Ambassador. The ransom for the abduction was the secret for a terrific new weapon - the freeze bomb - but the 'Warlock' ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Robert Sand
Bill Roy ...
Janicot
Roberto Contreras ...
Chavez
Marilyn Joi ...
Synne
Essie Lin Chia ...
Toki Konuma
...
Pines
...
Bone
Jace Khan ...
Jace
Erwin Fuller ...
Bodyguard
Peter Dane ...
Farnsworth
...
Rheinhardt
Cowboy Lang ...
Himself
Little Tokyo ...
Himself
Jerry Marin ...
Shotgun Spiro
Alfonzo Walters ...
Leopard Man
Edit

Storyline

Robert Sand, agent of D.R.A.G.O.N. Defense Reserve Agency Guardian Of Nations, is playing tennis on his vacation with a beautiful black girl, when his commanding officers ask him to save a Chinese girl named Toki who happens to be Sand's girlfriend, and the daughter of a top Eastern Ambassador. The ransom for the abduction was the secret for a terrific new weapon - the freeze bomb - but the 'Warlock' behind the deed is also into the business of drug dealing and Voodoo ritual murders. The search takes him from Hong Kong to California through Miami, and plenty of action, against bad men, bad girl, and bad animals. Written by Anthony Pereyra {hypersonic91@yahoo.com}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

tennis | murder | drugs | voodoo | warlock | See All (84) »

Taglines:

The Cool Master of Kung-Fu and Karate!

Genres:

Action | Crime

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

February 1977 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Black Terminator  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(DVD)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jim Kelly also choreographed the martial arts scenes. See more »

Goofs

During the jet-pack sequence, the handles of the jet-pack constantly switch between being horizontally and vertically aligned. See more »

Quotes

[last lines]
Robert Sand: I guess that's the end, huh?
See more »

Connections

References The Man with the Golden Gun (1974) See more »

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User Reviews

Low quality in every regard – poor even by the standards of the blaxploitation genre
6 May 2012 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

It has been a while since I watched Black Belt Jones, but that was the previous Jim Kelly film I had seen and recently the mood took me for some blaxploitation films. Where the previous film had Kelly fighting for his own streets, here we have him as a much in demand secret agent. He plays Robert Sand (Bobby to his mates) who is on holiday playing tennis with some hotties with the phone off the hook whenever his employers come to him for help in breaking a right of black-magic using international drug dealers. Sands of course says no, until he finds the group have kidnapped the daughter of the Japanese Ambassador to the US (Toki) who also happens to be Sand's girlfriend (albeit not one he is particularly faithful to). Sand sets out to rescue her and bring down the gang all at once.

I quite like Blaxploitation films when they work; the best of them manage to be really good and make the most of limited resources, but there can still be good ones that try and have fun while being inherently poor. Unfortunately Black Samurai seems to either not be aware of its own limitations or just seems content to totally ignore them and hope it will all just come together. By this I mean that it doesn't play to its strengths very well but instead plays to an ideal that it can't achieve either financially or in terms of the skills of those involved. There are big moments of this (like the jet-pack scene) but generally the whole film is poor and just seems worse for how far from its own target it falls. The plot is clunky and very little fun at all while the action sequences don't even offer cheesy thrills because they are mostly poorly done. It is a shame because I like Kelly but he looks poor because of how bad the extras are at even things like falling down.

Technically the film shows how little effort went into this. The direction and shot selection is poor but it is the audio that is most shocking. Quality varies between lines within the same scene but more annoying is the ADR/dubbing done after the film. When it at its best it is just out of synch but at its worst lines are dubbed onto people who aren't even speaking at the time – the fight with Bones and Sand is hilarious as a result. And so the film goes – it fills time when it can, point a camera roughly where people are standing when they're doing something and generally fails to be fun, dramatic, exciting or even funny in a cheesy retro way. The cast can't do much. Kelly is not a great presence but he is totally wasted here – uncool, not allowed to impressive physically and just looks uncomfortable for most of it. The supporting cast are weaker – Joi and Chia are cute but never given the chance to be a sexy distraction in the film as they should have been. Meanwhile the main villains stand and pull faces while rubbish henchmen fall over awkwardly.

A poor film then – even by the standards of the genre. It seems to think it can make big things work despite having no talent or resources to achieve it and the end result is poor no matter how you look at it. It says a lot when you consider that the entertainment high-point of the film is a fight with a vulture where Kelly lies on his back doing defensive arm movements while someone waves a stuffed toy in his face, intercut with a white stuntman standing in for Kelly who appears to have had a panicking vulture stapled to his chest – and even this only works because of how unintentionally daft it all looks.


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