Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Black Belt Jones does Thailand in Hot Potato

Along with Emmanuelle in Bangkok, another movie from 1976 that the Thailand Film Office would probably rather people forgot about is Hot Potato, an exploitive action vehicle for martial-arts star Jim Kelly that was filmed in Chiang Mai.

Only reason I mention Hot Potato now is because it's making the rounds on Cinemax, playing at 8 tonight Bangkok time, and I have a cool picture to go with these words.

I don't subscribe to cable and I am not equipped for the heavy lifting it would take to obtain the movie. So I've never seen it. And I'm only familiar with Jim Kelly through his role in Bruce Lee's Enter the Dragon. There, the Afro-coiffed actor was cast as Williams, a super-tough smooth-talking ladies man who's on the run after beating up a pair of white cops who were hassling him. He steals their police car and high-tails it for the tournament on Han's Island.

According to Wikipedia, Hot Potato was filmed in Chiang Mai and is a sequel to Black Belt Jones, which was Kelly's first film as a lead character following the break-out success of Enter the Dragon. In Hot Potato, Jones is sent to "Chang Lan, a fictional country somewhere in east Asia" along with a motley crew of mercenaries to rescue the kidnapped daughter of a senator or an ambassador.

The Wikipedia entry claims it is "one of 'the worst martial arts movies ever made'", and cites IMDb as the source. It could at least be diverting ironic viewing.

For me, I got enough of a taste in a short highlights reel on YouTube.

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