SOLD OUT: BLACK SAMURAI (1977) – 21st November, Templegate Dojo, Temple Meads

Listen up you jive turkeys! We’re showing Jim Kelly’s cult blaxploitation/martial arts movie Black Samurai at an actual Bristol dojo! Can you dig it?

Black Samurai

By 1977, the blaxploitation genre was slowly running out of steam. Jim Kelly, who had been on the verge of becoming a superstar after almost stealing the show in 1973’s Enter the Dragon, and headlining Black Belt Jones and Three The Hard Way, also found his popularity waning.

The 80s were on the horizon and with them, the age of the great white action hero, and so it was with this last roll on the dice that Kelly looked to cement his standing alongside genre superstars like Fred Williamson and Pam Grier.

Unfortunately it did not go to plan.

Directed by prolific B-movie director Al Adamson (Dynamite Brothers, Dracula Vs. Frankenstein), Black Samurai is a mis-mash attempt to make a blaxploitation Bond film, as well as throwing in a whole host of ultra-bizarre nonsense – voodoo devil worship, killer midgets and a trained attack vulture!

One thing that makes the film stand out is its woefully-shot fight scenes. None of them take advantage of Kelly’s astounding martial prowess and you can see him having to painfully slow himself down when faced with indept stuntmen who have no sense of timing.

This, as well as the bizarre dialogue and weird editing you’d expect from the films we show, makes for a movie that pushes the boundaries of reality and common sense.

As one reviewer points out: “When you’re hunting down a ruthless “warlock” who plans to hold the world ransom with a “freeze bomb”, you sometimes need to fight an eagle in hand-to-hand combat.”


When: 8.00pm, Friday 21st November

Location: Templegate Dojo, Jacob Street entrance (behind Unity St), Bristol, BS2 0HN

£5 (in advance)/£6 (on the night) (all profits to My Tactics)

Robert Sands (Jim Kelly), super-agent of D.R.A.G.O.N. (Defense Reserve Agency Guardian Of Nations) is interrupted from his vacation to rescue former flame Toki (Essie Lin Chia), daughter of a top Eastern Ambassador who has been kidnapped by the evil Janicot (Bill Roy), Warlock leader of a devil-worshipping cult.

Advance tickets sold out. Tickets available on the door tonight.

“The action sequences are rad, featuring Jim Kelly beating the shit out of almost everyone he meets, including several little people stuntmen, yelling his own sound effects and swishing his feet around like a boxer.”

“Combining a hideously cheesy plot and acting with decent fight scenes between Kelly and a host of oddball opponents, the movie is either a B-movie fan’s dream or an insult to one’s intelligence.” Mark Pollard,

“Kelly has to react so slowly to the stuntmen, setting up and delivering so perfunctorily on every body blow that the whole thing starts to look like a Village People waltz. You can literally see the pulled punches as the cast counts down in their head amid the moves.”