Monday, 18 August 2014
T.N.T. Jackson (1974)
... yeah, I couldn't help myself.
But the influence of Pam Grier's film, which came out the year before this, is pretty blatant here. T.N.T. Jackson is looking for revenge for the death of her brother, just like Coffy. And she's going undercover in the drugs scene to do it. Just like Coffy. And if her method of revenge is badly staged martial arts instead of Coffy's shotgun and afro-razors ... well, that's frankly to the film's detriment.
To be fair, the film is not entirely without merits. I like that it has two females with some agency, for instance. I mean naturally it makes sure they both take their tops off (heck, T.N.T. engages in an entire fight scene wearing only a pair of panties), and it resolves one woman's fate in a way that made me want to kick the writer where it hurts, but at least T.N.T. infiltrates the criminal gang by being tough, not by being beautiful. But beyond that, I'm hard pressed to think of much to recommend it: the acting is generally poor, the script no more than functional, and the action ... well, Bruce Lee wouldn't exactly have been feeling threatened.
At the end of the day Jeannie Bell is no Pam Grier, T.N.T. Jackson is no Coffy, and those martial arts sequences are really, really not very good. This will never be more than a pretender to Coffy's crown as queen of the mean streets.