Wednesday, January 9, 2013

T.N.T. Jackson (1974)



A failed attempt to generate another female blaxploitation icon in the vein of Cleopatra Jones and Foxy Brown, this very short feature combines the worst elements of blaxploitation with the worst elements of Asian-themed martial-arts flicks. It’s two shitty movies for the price of one! Lovely Jeannie Bell plays T.N.T. Jackson, a young woman who travels to Hong Kong after her brother dies there under mysterious circumstances. Using her ass-kicking karate skills, she impresses members of the local underworld and learns that her brother was involved with heroin dealers including Charlie (Stan Shaw). T.N.T. seduces Charlie to get close to him and learn about his operation, and T.N.T. clashes with another female American in Charlie’s circle, pretty blonde Elaine (Pat Anderson), who turns out to be an undercover cop. (Rest assured that she’s a karate expert, too, just like nearly everyone else in the movie.) Over the course of 68 dull and grungy minutes, T.N.T. gets vengeance and upsets a far-reaching drug operation. She also gets naked repeatedly, as in an absurdly exploitive topless karate scene. (Watch for the continuity error during that scene in which her black panties suddenly become white for one shot.) Badly acted, cheaply filmed, sluggishly paced, and ugly on nearly every level, T.N.T. Jackson isn’t the worst movie of its type, but it’s a far cry from the Pam Grier-starring films it was presumably intended to emulate. While the story makes sense, more or less, the myriad karate scenes get mind-numbing very quickly. As for the cast, Bell is appealing if not particularly memorable, Anderson is sexy as her adversary-turned-ally, and it’s a bummer to see the sensitive actor Shaw stuck in a one-note role as a cocksure thug.

T.N.T. Jackson: LAME

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