Written by: Carroll Jenkins on July 17th, 2009
Theatrical Release Date: USA, 1973
Directors: Henry Levin, David Lowell Rich
Writers: Charles Eric Johnson, Ranald MacDougall
Cast: Fred Williamson, Byron Webster, Miko Mayama, Teresa Graves, Masatoshi Nakamura, John Orchard, Jack Ging, Ken Kazama, Vassili Lambrinos, Paul Mantee, David Chow
DVD released: January 11th, 2005
Approximate running time: 103 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono English
Subtitles: English, French
DVD Release: Universal Studios
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $14.98
This is very high budget for a blaxploitation feature, and the production spans the globe: from China to LA to Las Vegas to Hong Kong. There is humor, action, martial arts, torture, drugs, blackmail, violence, betrayal, babes, and mild gore. Everything a super cool international action/adventure should have. Fred was at his peak and riding the success of Black Caesar, all the [many] supporting characters are good, and the film features a very large cast of incidental characters and extras.
That Man Bolt barely qualifies as blaxploitation, since there are only two black characters: Fred Williamson and Teresa Graves, though there is a funky instrumental score. The film actually plays more like a Sonny Chiba flick with Fred Williamson filling in for Shinichi (Sonny). There is a little humor in the mix to start, but about halfway through things take a seriously dark turn. Following the acupuncture torture, Bolt isn’t in such a good mood anymore, and the body count starts to rise.
Widescreen anamorphic 1:85 with English subtitles. As a Soul Showcase title, it’s a bare bones affair but looks quite fine.
Not ‘black’ enough to rank high on the blaxploitation lists, and no overt nudity or gore to score high exploitation points. If those are your primary concerns then perhaps you should pass, but as a well paced and spicy mélange of international intrigue That Man Bolt is a BLAST.