The Glove/Review

From The Grindhouse Cinema Database

< The Glove
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The Glove has got to take the award for one of the most vaguely titled motion pictures ever released. What exactly is it about? The medical profession? A boxer and his cherished (singular) sports gear? A mysterious clue left behind at the scene of a murder?

The answer is none of the above. The Glove tells the story of a group of corrupt prison guards who, as a means of punishing “offending” inmates, don a specially-made “riot” leather and metal hand covering to beat, torture and maim their captives.

As Los Angeles bounty hunter Sam Kellogg, John (Enter The Dragon) Saxon turns in a performance filled with surprising nuance. Swaggering and cocky, but by turns sad and vulnerable (he’s trying to maintain a relationship with his “visiting rights only” young daughter), Saxon’s multi-dimensional display of emotion elevates the proceeding at hand.

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So does the presence of Rosey (The Thing With Two Heads) Grier. No stranger to exploitation cinema—and perfect at playing “serious” with a wink in his eye—Grier’s Victor Hale is a wrongfully accused man with a giant football-player frame (no stretch as Grier was a former footballer) and a heart of gold—even though he has no reservation about seeking out, pummeling and then violently killing his prison guard tormenters. He also sings and plays the guitar in an R & B band!

Good Los Angeles locations, a clever script (accompanied by a start-to-finish narration by Kellogg) and several deftly choreographed fight/destroy sequences (the completely demolished car and bathroom are winners!) make for entertaining viewing. So does a peek at alternative lifestyles (a gay couple living in a bungalow in the Valley) and the discrepancy between inner-city L.A. ghetto life and L.A.’s plentiful backyard pool-laden suburbs. (Look for former screen idol Joan Blondell as a scheming but loveable elderly bookkeeper on the run.)

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Josiah Howard is the author of four books including the seminal Blaxploitation Cinema: The Essential Reference Guide. His writing credits include articles for The New York Times, Reader’s Digest and The Village Voice. A veteran of more than 100 radio broadcasts he is a regular contributor to Grindhouse Cinema Database and in 2014-15 made regular appearances on TV One’s award-winning documentary series Unsung. Visit his Official Website.
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