Thursday, July 28, 2016

Black Force (1975)

My favorite moment in the awful blaxploitation/martial-arts flick Black Force, sometimes known as Force Four (see the above poster), occurs right at the beginning. After an obnoxious disclaimer stating that all the martial-arts action in the film is real, the picture transforms into an interminable exhibition while the members of the titular fighting squad demonstrate their skills one at a time, leaping and punching across the floor of a dojo without opponents or even props, save their weapons. Hence this wondrous line of dialogue: “Hey, bro, lemme see you work those sais.” As opposed to, say, getting on with the story—but then again, once the story finally does commence, it’s a matter of being careful what you wished for, because, incredibly, the stupidity factor rises. Led by Jason (Owen Watson), the badass quartet is a band of mercenaries, or something of that sort, and they’re hired to recover a piece of stolen artwork. Their investigation and accompanying scuffles with bad guys lead them into the criminal underworld, where they confront various thugs interested in the stolen item. Clumsy editing, rotten post-production sound work, and terrible acting combine to make Black Force as confusing as it is uninteresting. Sure, there are some happening funk/soul grooves on the soundtrack, and the down-and-dirty production values mesh with the grimy inner-city locations at which much of the action takes place, but the movie is padded beyond belief, not just with undeservedly lengthy fight scenes but also with a pointlessly long musical performance during a party scene. 

Black Force: LAME

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