The Video Vacuum (thevideovacuum) wrote,
The Video Vacuum
thevideovacuum

CLEOPATRA JONES AND THE CASINO OF GOLD (1975) ** ½

Tamara Dobson returns as Cleopatra Jones in this lukewarm sequel.  This time out, she’s trying to save some brothers from the clutches of the evil Dragon Lady (Stella Stevens).  Even though Cleopatra’s a lone wolf type of gal, her boss (Norman Fell) makes her partner up with a karate chopping chick named Mi Ling (Tanny) and together they bust the Dragon Lady’s titular gambling palace.

 

I liked the original Cleopatra Jones and this one wasn’t bad but it kinda left you wanting more.  The biggest disappointment came from the fact that Cleopatra often gets lost in her own movie.  Her sidekick gets all the best action sequences (like when she fights a bunch of dudes while her arms are tied up) and Stevens steals the show as the lesbian Dragon Lady.  It also doesn’t help that Cleopatra always wears a shit ton of make-up and some truly stupid looking outfits.  (She looks like Grace Jones after a Goodwill Store shopping spree.)

 

Warner Brothers was clearly hoping to ride the coattails of their successful Enter the Dragon, so there’s lots of Kung Fu action in this one.  Again, Cleopatra doesn’t partake too much in the chopsocky but there’s enough of it here to keep you mildly entertained.  The Hong Kong location work is impressive too and adds some pizzazz to the proceedings.

 

And the flick also contains one of my favorite Only in the Movies moments:  The old Look-Through-the-Henchmen’s-Pockets-and-Find-a-Matchbook-with-the-Villain’s-Location-On-it routine.  I always love it in old movies when the hero finds a matchbook to a night club or bar that acts as a hideout for the bad guy.  Then in the next scene the hero always walks into said club and instantly tips off the villain that he’s on to him.  I don’t know if you can still get away with scenes like this nowadays.  I mean, less and less people are smoking now, so it would become harder for heroes to catch a lucky break like that.  Even worse is if the henchman was trying to quit smoking and all he had in his pockets was some Nicorette gum.  And what happens if the dude uses a lighter?  I guess you’re just shit out of luck. 

 

Albert Popwell gets the best line of the movie when he tells a henchman, “We’re on C.P.T.  That’s Colored People Time!”

Tags: action, blaxploitation, c, kung fu, sequel
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