Black Belt Jones
Reviewed by Ken M. Wilson
Rating: 8.5 Beans
ccording to the trailer for this film, "he's quick, he's black, and he's bad... get ready for the meanest, choppinest dude on earth." No doubt about it... "Black Belt Jones" is perhaps my favorite blaxploitation film of all time.
"Black Belt Jones" stars Jim Kelly, former International Middleweight Karate Champion featured in Bruce Lee's "Enter the Dragon," in a battle with the mob. Why? Well, Pops (played by none other than Scatman "Hong-Kong Phooey" Crothers) is the owner of the karate school that apparently taught BB Jones his super-fly moves. When the mob wants to trick Pops out of his building to make way for a civic center, Pops declares "no deal." Shortly thereafter, Pops is found dead and all hell breaks loose. Enter his long-lost daughter Sidney, add her to the mixture of 40 students that go nowhere without their gi, and bring in one Black Belt Jones hell-bent on revenge and you've got yourself the makings of a legendary flick.
When you want to sit back and laugh at a truly bad film, this is *THE* one for which you should be reaching. For you non-believers out there, sit through the first ten minutes and I guarantee that you'll be hooked. The combination of Black Belt Jones' attire, the sounds he makes while he's choppin' punks, and the baad-assss theme song is unrivaled in cinematic history. Other beautiful moments include the "catch me and I'm yours" love scene between Black Belt Jones and Sidney, the slow-mo action sequences of dudes flying up and back after they've experienced Black Belt's wrath, the pool ball scene with Pinky, and how could we forget the bouncing white women on the trampoline? It's all here, folks. I kid you not. Even the dialogue is top-notch. It'll be weeks before I'll be able to stop hollering "oooooooooooh!" whenever I wail on someone.
I'm serious. If you have not seen this film then I suggest you get your sorry ass up from your seat right now and get down to the video store. Surprisingly, many places carry it but that's still not good enough. Buy this film today. Right now. You aren't a true member of the "BM Night" crowd until you own "Black Belt Jones." You won't be disappointed.
Ken's Cameo Corner: With as wrapped up in "Black Belt Jones" as I was, I'm amazed that I even had time to spot bit-part celebs. However, in this one, you can't help but to spot them. First off is "The Love Boat" alum Ted "Isaac" Lange as a militant black student shouting obscenities (yeah, I would have loved to have seen him pull that shit on Capt. Stubing) and the second was Marla "Florence Johnston" Gibbs -- the sassy maid on "The Jeffersons" -- as a timid barkeep. I ask you, can this movie get ANY better?!?