Black Shampoo (1976) (Blu-ray/DVD Review)

Black Shampoo (1976) (Blu-ray/DVD Review)

Black Shampoo (1976) (Blu-ray/DVD Review)

0 comments 📅21 February 2019, 04:01

Black Shampoo (1976) (Blu-ray/DVD Review)
Directed By: Greydon Clark
Starring: John Daniels, Tanya Boyd, Joseph Carlo
Rated: UR/Region O/1:85/1080p/Number of Discs 2
Available from VCI Entertainment

John Daniels stars as Jonathan Knight, the owner of “Mr. Jonathans,” the most successful hair salon for women on the Sunset Strip. Jonathan is tall, muscular, black and ballsy. His reputation as a lover has become so awesome that he is sought after almost as much in that capacity as in his experience as a hair stylist. Everything is cool for Jonathan until he messes with the mob in an effort to protect his young attractive receptionist from her former boss. Action explodes when the “lovin’ machine” becomes the “killing machine”. Jonathan, equipped with chainsaw in hand, gets down on the vicious mob gang.

Greydon Clark made a lot of stuff I’d call “Grindhouse” films. I think I own a good lot of them. While most his movies are in that group, they still seem to get by on the story and Black Shampoo might be a sight to see for a number of reasons, but the story does seem to lack whatever it takes for most to grab you for at least some of the time of its running time. The story starts off with the promise of a good enough plot, with our leading character Johnathan running a salon and doing more for women than just fixing their hair. Alls well that ends well there until he messes around with the wrong woman and that sends things into an area we’ve seen before. Yes, we’ve not only seen it done before but seen it done better before. Still, I won’t try to pretend that this one doesn’t have its moments regardless as he rushes in to save the day or at least save his receptionist. This is a movie that seems to toss everything it can at the wall wanting something to stick, as we see mob folks not only kidnap women but beat-up Jonathan’s gay hairdressers as well. No, Black Shampoo doesn’t live up to the levels of some of the more elite entries into the world of blaxploitation, but it at least tried to hit those levels and the effort it easy to see, even if it all doesn’t click.

The movie does give us sex, violence, and a rather epic finale that involves a chainsaw. I wish the rest of the movie was more like the last part of it. If so, then maybe we could look back on something like Black Shampoo a bit more fondly than most of us in the review business then to do. As far as director Greydon Clark goes, this isn’t Tom, Without Warning, or even Satan’s Cheerleaders. He was a cult director that found his stride, but that came after Black Shampoo it seems. The movie does have its moments, especially if you are a fan of a good T and A show every once in a while. You can at least give props to VCI for giving this a very nice looking widescreen DVD release. They put effort into this that isn’t lost on this reviewer and we even get a few nice extras on top of it. So, if you want to see one of the lesser films of the blaxploitation sub-genre, then this is the best way you are going to see it, even if it might not live up to the expectations you have for it going in.


– Commentary by Director Greydon Clark
– Greydon Clark Text Interview
– John Daniels Radio Interview
– John Daniels Text Interview
– Behind the Scenes Photo Gallery
– Original Trailer
– Deleted Scenes

Quality of Transfer: 83%

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