In 1974, Jim Kelly starred in the classic blaxploitation martial arts flick Black Belt Jones. Four years later, he returned to star in The Tattoo Connection (aka Black Belt Jones 2), which even though it goes by the Black Belt Jones moniker, it has absolutely nothing to do with the first film. In fact, in this one Kelly plays a character named Lucas, and he’s a former CIA agent who’s been hired by an insurance company to recover the North Pole Star Diamond, which was stolen upon it’s arrival in Hong Kong.
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Penitentiary… I remember looking at the cover of this film every time I’d go to the videostore and thinking “Boy, that looks like a terrible cover.” I never rented it for some reason, and everytime I went back to that store it would stare at me in the face and dare me to rent it. “Hey there, buddy! You should rent me! Who else is cool enough to have a black dude on the front cover with a boxing glove punching through the bars? Well, I mean besides my sequel sitting right next to me, of course. Don’t worry about him though, I’m the original!” After the hallucinations from the lack of oxygen going into my brain subsided, I would again walk away and pick up another movie instead. Regardless of all those encounters, let’s use a little deductive reasoning and analyze that front cover to figure out what this movie is about, shall we?
- Since the guy is wearing boxing gloves, it’s gotta be about boxing
- He’s punching through the bars, so it has to have something to do with him getting out of jail.
- There’s a picture of a hot chick, so that’s gotta be his girlfriend or something, right?
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Slaughter’s big, bad, black and bold
The brother has a lot of soul
Don’t you make him mean and cross
‘Cause he’ll show you who’s the boss
You can probably gather with those words, that this Slaughter guy is probably a pretty hard ass dude. If you didn’t guess that, it’s too late because he’s probably already either punched you through a wall, or tackled you from a second story into a pool. That’s because Slaughter don’t mess around, and he doesn’t appreciate it when you blow up his daddy’s car, killing him in the process.
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Note to future self: If an extremely rich “friend” who enjoys hunting invites you to his house in middle of nowhere and tells you that you’ll be spending the weekend without the chance of leaving, regretfully decline the offer and write off “friend”. 1974’s The Beasts Must Die is a film in which Tom Newcliffe (Calvin Lockhart), the rich friend, invites 5 of his friends that have all been strangely surrounded by tragedy wherever they go, to his sprawling estate for the weekend. Tom is an avid hunter and has been said to “shoot anything that moves” in order to add it to his collection. You might think from this description that Tom is interested in adding the Homo Sapien to his trophy collection, but in fact he’s searching for something much more elusive. Tom reckon’s that the due to the strange circumstances surrounding the tragedies that his friends have been involved in, that one of them is… A WEREWOLF!
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