Junesploitation 2021: Force Four (1975)

June 8: Junesploitation’s topic of the day — as suggested by F This Movie — is Blaxploitation.

FYI: This would also qualify for their upcoming June 14 topic of the day: Kung Fu (we did 1992’s Ninja Zombies, by the way).

The tale is a simple one: A jive-cool New York crime lord’s prized African artifact—a mystical voodoo doll—is stolen. And he wants it back. So he hires an all-black squad of martial artists to retrieve it at all costs, because, well, “it can’t fall into the wrong hands.”

The awfulness of this kung-fu battle begins with acting by graduates of the Ed Wood Thespian Academy, and goes downhill from there . . . with inept fight chorography, out-of-sync dubbing, and sound effects more ludicrous than all of the “punches” and “blows” in all Asian Kung-fu flicks combined. Basically, all the things you want in a Drive-In Kung fu marathon. Is this just inept or a homage to the films from the Orient? You decide.

Also known as Black Force, this big screen debut of Tanzania also served as the second and final movie of director Michael Fink, who made his debut with Velvet Smooth. And in a twist only a B&S About Movies reader can appreciate: Fink went on to become an acclaimed visual effects supervisor, choreographing the fight scenes in Stallone’s Tango & Cash and Mel Gibson’s Golden Globe and Oscar-winning Braveheart.

We reviewed the entire, unofficial “Nisei Goju-Ryu” karate trilogy, since all three films utilize the martial arts form developed by Hanshi Frank Ruiz, in our “Drive-In Friday: Karate Blaxploitation” feature with the sequels Velvet Smooth and Devil’s Express. Oh . . . we got inspired this Junesploitation month courtesy of the folks at F This Movie, so we reviewed, get this, another Karate Blaxploitation’er produced and directed by Al Adamson Cirio H. Santiago: Dynamite Brothers. Yes, by Uncle Al and Uncle Cy. And it rocks, watch it.

As for Force Four, you can watch it as a free-with-ads stream on TubiTV.

About the Author: You can read the music and film reviews of R.D Francis on Medium and learn more about his work on Facebook.

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