Monday, January 6, 2014

Golden Needles (1974)

Director: Robert Clouse

Writers: S. Lee Pogostin, Sylvia Schneble

Composer: Lalo Schifrin

Starring: Joe Don Baker, Elizabeth Ashley, Ann Southern, Jim Kelly, Burgess Meredith, Roy Chiao, Frances Fong, Tony Lee, Alice Fong, Sonny Barnes, Pat E. Johnson, Edgar Justice

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Whoever owns them can rule the world

Plot: Various factions are fighting each other to gain possession of a very special statue. The statue itself is not worth much, the needles inside it are the true prize. These "golden needles" hold extraordinary and unique properties, if inserted in the right positions in a man he will gain super sexual prowess, if placed incorrectly he dies.

My rating: 5.5/10

Will I watch it again? No.

This should have been much better.  I like Joe Don Baker.  He's not that bad in this but when you saddle his likable-yet-not-very-charismatic persona with a middle of the road action thriller that's light on action, you get something that's stale and largely lifeless.  There's not much action; not nearly as much as you'd expect, especially when you've got director Robert "ENTER THE DRAGON (1973)" & "BLACK BELT JONES (1974)" Clouse behind the camera.  BBJ wasn't great by any stretch but it was loaded with crazy fights featuring Jim Kelly who's hardly in this picture and he's only in one action sequence.  Elizabeth Ashley is fun.  I really like her and I'm surprised I haven't seen more of her movies.  Burgess Meredith always brightens up any picture he's in.  The foot chase at the end was good but it's too little too late.  By the time it was over I'd been ready for the credits for half the picture.  The thing is, it looks great and Lalo Shifrin's score works well.  I guess it'd be like meeting someone who's attractive and looks intriguing on the surface but as soon as you get to know them you realize they're not all that interesting and you can tell this is going to be a very short relationship.

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