Film #226: JD'S REVENGE
2 out of 5 stars
Back in the mid-Seventies, modern American culture was recovering from two shocks: the release of THE EXORCIST and the phenomena known as “blaxploitation.” Enter… JD’S REVENGE. The film, about the spirit of a murdered 1940s-era pimp/hustler who possesses the body of a young law student, sports a VERY dated look and a plot that is pretty damn obvious. Starring Glynn Turman (TAKERS, SUPER 8), Louis Gossett, Jr (IRON EAGLE, ENEMY MINE), Joan Pringle (WHITE SHADOW, GIA), and Carl W. Crudup (MONKEY HUSTLE), the film sports universally adequate acting (although Turman does do the most heavy-lifting acting-wise). The direction – by Arthur Marks (FRIDAY FOSTER, DETROIT 9000) – is competent as well, although he never strays too far from familiar ground. The problem here is that the script, while undoubtedly unique in its day, plays clichéd and trite now. Further, all blood in the film is of the Tempura paint variety, but that’s ok since the film has other things on its mind than gore (it’s more about the duality/dichotomy inherent in the Black culture of the day: educated/respectable citizen vs. street-wise hustler). In the end though, JD’S REVENGE is just too dated and well, “hokey,” to be taken seriously. For “urban-based” supernatural fare, rent SUGAR HILL or ABBY instead.