Reviews written by registered user
|3 reviews in total|
Not a totally wretched film, as I had expected, but pretty boring
nonetheless. Should actually be "We escaped..." since its Jim
Christopher George, and a couple others that do escape [no spoiler, it
happens, without incident in the first 30 minutes]. And what I really mean
by that is that its difficult to tell [until the bitter end] who the focal
character was. Has some interesting
Marxist/Communist subplot, that gets buried under the rug after they
Let's see...you also get a really disappointing Shark attack, a leper
cameo, Jim Brown falls in love[!] and an exotica Les Baxter score! Looks
like it was filmed in Mexico by the Cormans.
So basically, the title gives it all away. Interestingly enough, check out director William Witney's career! Geez! and Darktown Stutters!!! Well, why couldnt he have made this that fun?? I escaped from Colonel Sander's Chicken Fryer?!?!
One of the more obscure Blaxploitation titles, but not too shabby. James Iglehart plays professional boxer Cal Jefferson who's on honeymoon with wife Shirley Washington in Hong Kong. They bicker a bit and she's a prude, all in good fun. Cal saves a drowning (mute) Chinese man's life, and is repaid by his unwanted servility. Cal dubs him "Charlie" (his version of Chow-Li) and after Charlie proves his worth, he gets to tag along with the newlyweds. Meanwhile, there's a bald-headed dude, that's all into Eastern culture, and has stolen some magical, powerful substance, that of course[!], gets mixed up with Cal's luggage. There's some decent kungfu fighting, massage parlor scenes, the inimitable Eddie Garcia, kidnappings, and more kungfu fighting. Despite being of the generally more deliquent Phillipinian-lensed Blax-species, it features a sometimes tongue-in-cheek script with a good chemistry between the leads. I liked it! Not currently on VHS or DVD, so you'll have to go to one of your friendly internet sources for a copy.
I was pleasantly surprised by the pacing and overall flow of this
blaxploitation flick by William Girdler. For the sake of argument, I would
compare it to Marks' Detroit 9000 - though, lacking in budget (well...)
complexity, it is markedly (no pun intended) better. The highlight of the
film is the maniacal baddie, again with the comparisons, who makes Dirty
Harry's nemesis (name?) a gentleman in light of this deranged killer. The
main character, Frank Savage, is also delightfully played with charisma
wit. Girdler's story is also interesting with generous amounts of dry
Contrary to what I had heard, there are no (hard) twists in the film, but there are some disturbing moments. While the murders are not particularly gruesome or graphic, the killer is just such a freak that it gives ya goosebumps - or maybe I am just a chicken. The supposed "rape" scene is somewhat implied, i.e. not-graphic, and lends itself to some interpretation on behalf of the killer's mental state (that is, did it actually happen?).
There were some things that bothered me. As another reviewer here notes, Savage eats some fried chicken while investigating (the murderers and his girl's subsequent disappearance). I dont think the fried chicken was intended as a slur, BUT it becomes quite frustrating that Savage cant put together the clues (despite some given by mr.bad-guy himself) and furthermore, doesn't seem altogether too bothered by the situation at hand. Also, the brief appearance of D'urville Martin doesnt really fit into the story either. Perhaps it was meant to build the relationship between Savage and his partner, but I found it unecessary. The lack of any perceivable tension shown by the public (Kentucky seems pretty deserted, too!) doesnt really relay the (alternate) title "Panic City". AKA's aside, there's no real sense of urgency or panic demonstrated in anyone's (but the killer, really) actions. Perhaps a budget constraint??...
Anyway, these are ONLY minor gripes. As a blax era film, I would go with a high score, an 8 or 9 (outta 10). As an ordinary film, perhaps a 7.
Its only marginally what I would consider a blax flick - not just because it was good, which seems to not be a word in the blax reviewer's vocabulary - its more of "race film".
The score, by Jerry Styner, is a hot blax score. There's also a balld sung by Richard Williams (of TV fame?) 'You My Lady'.