I Saw That!

One woman's opinions about popular entertainment.

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Location: Chicago, Illinois, United States

Amateur boxing coach, Christian (but not so heavenly-minded that I'm no earthly good) singer, writer, self-defense advocate, childfree. feminist www.smartwomenboxingtraining.org

Monday, November 14, 2005

J.D.'s Revenge (1976)

A blacksplotation horror film if you will, that was another in the possession-by-something-evil genre, set off by The Exorcist (1973). In this one, a hard-working law student named Ike (Glynn Turman), goes to a hypnotist show and is put under. As a result, his soul gets opened to being taken over by long-dead gangster J.D. Walker (David McKnight). Walker was shot to death by a rival after he discovered his sister Betty Jo (Alice Juhert) murdered, her throat cut. Walker wants revenge on the person who killed her and him, and Ike is his vehicle to do so.

I wouldn't say that this was a truly scary film. It plays more like a drama. The best parts are watching Turman's character morph into the rough personality of the dead gangster. There is a scene where Ike, totally taken over by Walker, shows up at a club dressed head to toe in 1940's gear. Even his hair is conked, or permed, as we would say today. A woman comments, "I haven't seen a get-up like that in 25 years," and Ike puts on a hep cat laugh. Under Walker's control, Ike does a lot of mean stuff, including being very proficient with a razor blade. In another scene, Ike interupts a church service run by Bliss, who has become a popular pastor. When one of the deacons gets too close, he cuts him faster than the time it takes to let out a sneeze. Then he cooly wipes the blood off with a handkerchief, and deftly replaces it in his suit pocket, all in one motion.

Like in many blacksploitation films of the 1970s, this one is filled with liberal uses of the N-word, as well as disrespect of women. While controlled by Walker, Ike beats up his girlfriend, Christella (Joan Pringle). Of course, Ike doesn't remember doing that, but when the news reaches the ear of his best male buddy, the guy applauds his actions. He tells Ike that women expect their men to be rough sometimes. For shame.

Louis Gossett Jr. went on to win a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his work in the film, An Officer and A Gentleman (1982). Glynn Turman appeared in other films including, Cooley High (1975), and has a role on the 80s sitcom, "A Different World".


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