Thursday, May 16, 2013
TNT Jackson (1974)
Santiago made the film for Roger Corman's New World Pictures and it's a fairly blatant attempt to create a new Pam Grier since the real deal was just getting popular. The film is, to be frank, quite terrible. The action scenes are shot badly with an obvious stunt double for Bell; the film somehow manages to drag despite running a lean 72 minutes, the plot is essentially non-existent, the editing is choppy as hell in places, the score is criminally un-funky until the last nine minutes or so considering the period in which it was made and for the most part it comes off like a re-hash of any number of better action films of the period.
Performances are not really too much to talk about as Bell is rather wooden and unlikable (though she's very attractive which is the main reason she was hired) though Stan Shaw makes for an acceptably slimy killer.
Having said that, the film is actually pretty entertaining if you like bad kung fu films. The action is plentiful (the highlight being a pretty decent chick fight and Bell taking on some bad guys while topless), the film is shot badly enough that it's funny and there are the usual out of nowhere twists one gets in this sort of film that generally make one chuckle. The bad guy's girlfriend turning out to be a fed is a decent enough twist but the payoff of her killing the drug dealer (and herself in the process) comes off as perfunctory.
TNT Jackson is not a good movie by any stretch but it's worth seeing if you're in search of something bad in a funny way.