Black Samurai tells the not-so-epic tale of the kidnapping of the Hong Kong ambassador’s daughter. She is being held for ransom by an evil warlock. Desperate, the ambassador turns to an organization called D.R.A.G.O.N for help. Honestly, while pretty laughable, for a government agent, Black Samurai is one evil dude. Even though Jim Kelly is apparently some manner of law-enforcement official, he doesn’t arrest anyone. He deals out his own brand of justice: knocking most people out, while selecting a few at random for life-altering injury. Black Samurai represents exploitation at its finest. Why? Well, because its terrible.
It really is one of those so bad its good film because I found myself digging the fight scenes. One that springs to mind is a great one of Jim Kelly vs a vulture, and the final fight scene which is dubbed so horribly, you can’t even tell who is supposed to be talking sometimes. There’s a five minute scene where Kelly and an opponent move around sizing each other up. They’re talking the whole time, but no mouths move. Maybe they’re doing it telepathically? Either way it makes for a good laugh. Also, a scene toward the end of the film has a thug asking Jim Kelly if he thinks he’s Bruce Lee; Kelly replies that he is better! Hilarious stuff. This isn’t a B movie. This is more like an H movie. It’s WAY down on the chain. I’m buying it anyway!
Black Samurai is billed as an action movie, but it comes off as a comedy. Many of the scenes are just as absurd as the premise. The action onscreen makes you react by making crass comments and jokes. With all the cheese thrown at yo9u I can safely say that Jim Kelly is awesome. He is not the best actor, but his charisma tends to easily carry him through any given scene. Re-edited for an additional cut, I could only track down the second edition and as much as I’m dissapointed that I missed all the of the nudity and Bad Language, I still love this movie very much. This film won’t get a high grade based on quality alone but rest assured, once the actual fighting starts, there are black militants getting whacked in the face with sticks, guys getting stabbed in the junk, and kung-fu midgets!
I don’t think I have enough words to describe the finale of this film or why you should watch it. This is a first movie I notice Kelly in, and he performed in Hollywood much prior to other talents of Afro-America, surely. This title, as bad in production value as it is, definitely ranks up there with the most entertaining movies I’ve ever seen. I laughed so hard at times, I nearly cried. Either they were doing this tongue in cheek, which then makes it brilliant, or it was complete schlock. Either way, it’s a keeper for the library. All in all this film is not going to be remembered as great cinema but the charm of its silliness makes it enjoyable. Black Samurai gets a passing grade on pure enjoyment.