Tuesday, December 12, 2006


On the third day of Blandmas my true love gave to me; 'Cleopatra Jones and the Casino of Gold'. MST3K fans will be pleased to note that this movie was undoubtedly the inspiration for Crow T. Robot's 'Chocolate Jones and the Temple of Funk'.

Only it's worse.

It's 1975, and blackilicious Amazonian secret agent Cleopatra Jones has flown to Hong Kong to help thwart a heroin trafficking ring. Obviously the American government thought that a very tall black woman wearing an orange pimp suit (with matching hat) and a green cravat would be nicely inconspicuous amidst the shorter, drabber and somewhat Chinese-ier population.

Despite the fact that she arrived without any luggage, she proceeds to change outfits for every single scene, each costume more flamboyant and impractical than the last. Oddly enough, however, her makeup remains exactly the same. This may be because the Cleopatra Jones method of cosmetic application goes something like this:

Step 1: Arrange cosmetics in a large bucket according to personal taste.

Step 2: Hire an industrial pile-driver.

Step 3: Place head, face down, between pile-driver and bucket.

Step 4: Activate pile-driver.

She doesn't have eyeshadow so much as entireheadshadow, and I think her eyeliner terminates somewhere around her elbows.

Cleo's nemesis is soon revealed to be a drug runner and casino owner known as The Dragon Lady, a title she presumably took because The Pushy Soccer Mom was already taken. Frankly, you'd expect to see her shouting into her cell phone at her personal trainer while weaving her SUV across three lanes of traffic, rather than running a casino and a heroin empire in Macau. Still, it's nice that she has a life outside the house.

So it comes down to this; a bossy WASP type versus a strong, capable Woman of Color. This being blaxploitation, that honky bitch is goin' down. The big climactic fight scene in The Dragon Lady's lavish casino is memorable for several reasons, not least of which being the presence of a well-formed and bra-less extra inexplicably running towards the camera with her blouse open. It's that sort of movie.

Oh, and Cleopatra Jones kills The Dragon Lady. Not that anyone cares when there are boobies jiggling in the periphery.


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