OLD SCHOOL VIDEO PICK
<b> JD'S REVENGE</B>
JD'S REVENGE
Review By: By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs

Year Released: 1976
Running Time: 96
Production Company: AIP/MGM
Directed by Arthur Marks
Director of Photography: Harry J. May
Screenwriter: Jaison Starkes
"JD'S REVENGE"

"Don’t You Like Your Daddy’s Conk?”Glynn Turman, “JD’s Revenge” (1976).

I am a huge fan of blaxploitation movies and “JD’s Revenge” is one of my favorites and especially that crazy line from the movie. I remember seeing “JD’s “Revenge”--now a Black, cult classic--at the State Theater in Los Angeles back in the day with my brother.

I liked the whole evil and ghostly body possession storyline. “JD’s Revenge” was different than most other blaxploitation movies. Plus, I love Glynn Turman. He is a phenomenal actor that has been around for a minute and makes everything he’s in even better from “Cooley High,” “Gremlins,” TV’s “Fargo” and “Queen Sugar” and many more.

In “JD’s Revenge” Turman stars alongside Louis Gossett Jr. (“The Cuban” and TV’s “Watchmen”), Joan Pringle (TV’s “Being Mary Jane”), David McKnight (TV’s “A House Divided”) and Earl Billings (“Gosnell” and “Antwone Fisher”).

Although there are horror elements to “JD’s Revenge,” it’s not real scary, but over the years I’ve made it a point to watch the movie religiously during the Halloween and holiday season.

“JD’s Revenge” was directed by the late, great Arthur Marks who died November 13, 2019 and was a prolific film and television director and producer. In addition to “JD’s Revenge” Marks directed “Bucktown” with Fred Williamson and Pam Grier, “Detroit 9000,” featuring Vonetta McGee and Scatman Crothers and “The Monkey Hustle” with Yaphet Kotto (TV’s “The Wire”), Rudy Ray Moore (The original “Dolemite”) and Thomas Carter (“The White Shadow”). Marks also produced and directed several episodes of the TV dramas, “Perry Mason,” “Starsky & Hutch” and “I Spy” among many others.

In “JD’s Revenge” Turman plays Isaac aka Ike, a cab driver and law school student living in New Orleans. He and his wife Christella (Pringle) are looking forward to having a fun night on the town with their friends. They stumble upon a nightclub and before you can say, “don’t you like your daddy’s conk?” Ike has been called up on stage as part of the club’s opening hypnosis act.

Well, when Ike is supposed to snap out of his hypnosis, he never quite does. Something strange occurs. The old, evil spirit of J.D. Walker (McKnight) a stone-cold gangster/hustler who was murdered in 1942, has now possessed Ike’s body/soul. J.D.’s ghost is out for revenge against the men Theotis Bliss (Fred Pinkard, TV’s “NYPD Blue”) and his brother, Elijah (Gossett, Jr. ), a local preacher he believes is responsible for killing his sister, Roberta “Betty Jo” Bliss (Alice Jubert, “Friday Foster”). Now J.D. plans to use Ike to do the dirty work and take them out.

The transformation of Ike to J.D’s spirit is what drives the film and seeing Ike inhabit everything about him from his voice/tone, his image which includes that hilarious and slicked “conked” hairstyle and fly clothes even adds a comedic spin to the drama.

For me, “JD’s Revenge” never gets old. If you haven’t already, check it out. It’s “Spooktacular.”

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