Arthur Marks for AIP
directed by Arthur Marks
starring Glynn Turman, Louis Gossett jr, Joan Pringle, Carl W. Crudup, Julian Christopher (as James Louis Watkins), Fred Pinkard, Jo Anne Meredith, Alice Jubert, David McKnight, Stephanie Faulkner, Fuddle Bagley, Earl Billings, Paul Galloway, Barbara Tasker, Tom Alden, Melvin Bijou jr, Blue Lu Barker, Joseph Collins, Fred Ford, Chauncey Leon Gilbert, Ruth Kempf, Bob Minor, Tony Owens, Samuel 'Catfish' Routh, Hazel Roberts, Timothy Toseborough, Rhonda Shear, Danny Dunn
written by Jaison Starkes, music by Robert Prince
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Isaac (Glynn Turman) is an African-American who walks the straight and
narrow, he earns his living driving cabs by day and studies to be a lawyer
at night, pretty much to exhaustion. And he's in a relationship with
Chritella (Joan Pringle), whom he loves very much and would never hurt or
cheat on. But then, when he volunteers for a stage hypnotist, he's
possessed by the ghost of J.D. (David McKnight), a small time crook who
has been shot dead in 1942 after allegedly killing his sister (Alice
Jubert). In the process, Isaac experiences fits of rage, during one he
actually beats up Christella, and he also starts gambling and cheating on
Christella - with Roberta, who just happens to be a splitting image of
J.D.'s sister (and is thus also played by Alice Jubert). Roberta just
happens to be the daughter of Reverend Bliss (Louis Gossett jr), whom
Isaac somehow feels drawn to and who in turn takes a liking in Isaac -
though Bliss's brother Theotis (Fred Pinkard) is quick to warn the
reverend Isaac will mean trouble. And he isn't all that wrong, too, as
somehow both Bliss and Theotis have had something to do with the death of
J.D.'s sister which J.D. in Isaac's body now wants to avenge ...
somewhere at the crossroads of blaxploitation, gangster and horror flick
of the possession variety, J.D.'s Revenge is most certainly not the
most refined film of them all, as the story of the movie's a bit too
simplistic while the directorial effort could have done with an extra
helping of atmosphere - but if you're at all into 70s genre movies outside
of cookie cutter territory with slightly whacky storylines, than this
one's definitely one for you. And while it might not be the most
"refined" movie, it does have sex and violence in all the right
spots, accentuated with macho attitudes typical for the period, and Glynn
Turman does actually carry the movie very well, finding the right balance
between acting deranged and evoking sympathy.
No masterpiece most
certainly, but good entertainment from yesteryear!