As you can guess from the title, I have yet another example of blaxploitation to watch today. This is yet another movie that didn’t make much of an impact on me when I first watched it so I don’t really remember if I liked it or not. That is the problem with have a bunch of movies like I do, it can be hard to keep track of them all. I guess that is one good thing about this blog; I am able to write down my opinion so if I forget a certain movie, I can look back and see what I thought and if it is worth giving a second chance. Now, let’s get to watching Black Fist.
The plot: In Los Angeles, a street fighter named Leroy Fisk is brought before a man called Logan and told that he can fight for him. When Leroy starts to argue with Logan’s bodyguards, Logan arranges an exhibition match with one of his fighters called Moose. Leroy is able to knock Moose down and bloody him up some but Moose is able to grab him and start hammering on his ribs and kidneys until Leroy is unable to fight back. Later, Logan tells Leroy that he has some skill but needs to learn how to really street fight if he wants to work for him and sets him up with a trainer, Ira, to teach him how to properly street fight. Meanwhile, a crooked cop named Heineken approaches a man named Fleichman, who owes money to Heineken and his boss. Fleichman is short but says he can get the rest after his man’s next fight. Fleichman is speaking with Logan, who is interested in trimming his stable of fighters, and Fleichman offers a trade for Leroy against his fighter but Leroy ends up winning the match. Later, Fleichman tries to plead his case to Heineken’s boss but when he gets upset and refuses to pay the rest of the money he owes, Heineken’s boss orders Fleichman to be killed. Meanwhile, Leroy is using his newfound money to make life better for his wife Bea and their son but he is approached by Heineken, who tells him he can either start paying him off or he will arrest him for illegal street fights. After a couple of fights and having to pay Heineken part of his take, Leroy approaches Logan, upset about the situation, and Logan tells him he will take care of Heineken but it will take time. Later, Ira tells Leroy that Logan and Heineken are in on the scam together, which upsets Leroy. As Leroy mopes about the situation, his friend Fletch shows up, having heard about his troubles with Heineken, and gives Leory Heineken’s notebook, which he had stolen. Inside the notebook are all of the details about the money Heineken receives from Leroy and the other street fighters, as well as from prostitutes and what Logan receives as well. Leroy confronts Heineken with the book, who goes to Logan to discuss the situation and Logan says not to worry about Leroy. Some time later, Leroy calls Heineken and tells him to come to his place and when he gets there, Leroy shows him Fletch’s body, which was left there as a message for him. Leroy tells Heineken that he is done with the fights and has Heineken deal with the body, then goes to speak with Logan himself. Logan arranges a fight between Leroy and Moose but Leroy insists he increase his pay to $25,000, then he tells Bea that if he wins this fight he is done with Logan and his men and they can take the winnings and open the club that they want. Logan is betting heavily on Moose to win and, at his assurance of Moose’s victory, Logan’s boss bets $50,000 on Moose. Meanwhile, Leroy goes to see Big Henry and bets all the money he has saved up on himself to win but is warned that if he doesn’t win, he had better hope that Moose kills him during the fight. Leroy ends up winning his fight against Moose and buys the club and as he celebrates with Bea, her brother shows up. Leroy decides they should celebrate and they start to head out but Leroy is called back to deal with an issue with the club so he hands Bea’s brother his keys but when they get in the car, it explodes. Logan and his men are celebrating Leroy’s death but Heineken shows up and tells them that they didn’t kill Leroy, but his pregnant wife and her brother. Leroy secretly attends Bea’s funeral, then sends his son off with his aunt for safety. He then returns to town in disguise and begins beating up people to find out who killed Bea and when he finds out that Logan did it, he kills one of his bodyguards and then works on a plan to get to Logan. Heineken is told about the girl helping Leroy and he pays her a visit and when she refuses to tell him where Leroy is, he attempts to rape her but Leroy shows up and stops him. Leroy takes Heineken to a meat locker and ties him up on one of the hooks and leaves him there to freeze to death. Avon, Logan’s other bodyguard shows up at the home of Logan’s boss, Mr. Ingo, and tells him that he killed Logan and Ingo congratulates him and says he is promoted to Logan’s position, but then has him killed. Ingo then contacts Leroy and invites him to his place and when Leroy gets there, he shows Leroy Avon’s body. Ingo then says that he took care of Logan as well and that now they can be partners but Leroy realizes that he was the one that had Fletch killed. Ingo goes to shoot Leroy but Leroy struggles with him and ends up shooting Ingo be accident. As Leroy stares at the body, he is haunted by Bea’s voice warning him about associating with gangsters and as he stares at his reflection in the bathroom, he begins lashing out and punching the glass as he realizes he brought all this on himself.
This wasn’t too bad of a movie but it did get a little confusing at times. The acting was decent, with Richard Lawson (Leroy), Dabney Coleman (Heineken), and Robert Burr (Logan) doing good jobs in their roles. The story could have been told better, as they didn’t really get into Leroy’s motivation for fighting until almost halfway into the movie; you were basically left to think that it was a typical “grew up on the wrong side of the tracks and fighting was the only way he could make a living” plot. After his wife dies, the revenge aspect was ok but they kind of jumped around to different scenes so it was a little difficult to really keep track of what all was happening. The fight scenes were pretty good all around but there wasn’t really enough action to keep you interested and the pacing of the story honestly left you bored. It wasn’t bad but it’s not exactly something worth hunting after to watch.
Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5