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Why J.D.’s Revenge is an Essential Blaxploitation Classic!

JD'S Revenge

In honor of Black History Month, I decided to revisit one of my favorite Blaxploitation horrors, J.D.’s Revenge. Truth be told, I haven’t watched a ton of Blaxploitation films, but this one has always stood out to me as a classic example of the sub-genre. Want to know why you should never volunteer to get hypnotized? Continue to read on to find out!

The film opens on 1942 New Orleans, where a gangster named J.D. Walker is at a slaughterhouse to see his sister Betty Jo. Before he can make his presence known, he decides to eavesdrop on his sister, who is having an argument with a man named Theotis Bliss. Apparently, Betty Jo has a secret that Theotis’s brother, Elija, shouldn’t know. Betty Jo doesn’t intend to keep her secret a secret so Theotis, in a panic, ends the dispute by slashing Betty Jo’s throat with a razor. J.D. appears to find the body of his sister but in an instant he is framed for murdering her. Unfortunately, for J.D. he is gunned down in horrifying slow motion.

JD Revenge MURDERER

The film jumps to 1976 where we meet Isaiah “Ike” Hendricks, a law student who works part time as a cab driver. After studying for hours, Ike, his girlfriend Christella and their two friends hit the town to party hard. While watching a hypnotist show at a night club, Ike decides to participate. Something weird happens during the hypnosis. Ike sees images of a murder occurring in a slaughterhouse. Shortly after, the hypnotist returns Ike back to reality. Ike doesn’t think anything of it, but soon he begins to experience terrible headaches and illusions. He even sees someone else when he gazes into a mirror! To the viewer, the face looks familiar. That’s because it’s the gangster from the beginning of the film J.D. Walker! Gradually, the soul of the hateful J.D. begins to take over Ike. J.D. causes Ike to seek revenge against Christella and even some elderly taxi passenger!

The actors and actresses all did an amazing job. Usually with Blaxploitation, films the acting tends to be way over the top. The top performer in the film is Ike, played by Glynn Turman. It was a lot of fun watching him transform from an easygoing law student to the zoot-suited, sociopathic gangster J.D. What I love about this film is how clever it is while modifying your perception of some of the characters.

J.D.’s Revenge becomes increasingly more entertaining as it unfolds. For all the pervs out there, this film does have plenty of nudity. There is also plenty of gore to keep the carnage lovers happy.

Surprisingly, this film is one of the best character study horror films I have come across. It represents the finest the Blaxploitation sub-genre has to offer.

JDs Revenge crazyOverall, J.D.’s Revenge is a highly effective Blaxploitation horror film that delivers effective atmosphere and a hint of Southern gothic culture. It is a Blaxploitation film that has chilling scenes and a wicked sense of humor. It is sharply filmed, which is always a plus for me! Feel free to check this film out. It is streaming for free on Prime as of this posting! You can thank me later.

WICKED RATING: [usr 6]
Title: J.D.’s Revenge
Director: Arthur Marks
Writer(s): Jaison Starkes
Stars: Glynn Turman, Louis Gossett Jr., Joan Pringle
Year: 1976
Studio/ Production Co: American International Pictures(AIP
Budget:  Unknown
Language: English
Length: 95 Minutes
Sub-Genre: Horror, Action, Thriller

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Written by Zena Dixon
In addition to contributing to Wicked Horror, Zena Dixon has been writing about all things creepy and horrific at Real Queen of Horror for over three years. She has also contributed to iHorror and Bloody Disgusting. She has always loved horror films and someday hopes to be known for writing and directing her own feature-length horror pictures.
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