One More Shot
R0 - America - Indiepix
Review written by and copyright: Eric Cotenas (20th July 2019).
The Film

"The following film is one of hundreds that were produced at the height of Apartheid for African audiences with no access to mainstream entertainment.

By early 1990, most of these films simply disappeared.

In 2013, Gravel Road Entertainment Group launced an iniative to locate and digitally restore these forgotten films for present and future generations."

Just out of prison, Tap-Tap calls on nightclub owner Fly who carries a flyswatter everywhere he goes eager to discover the whereabouts of former boxer Johnny Tough who was responsible for bringing him to justice. No one seems to know that Johnny is living in the countryside at a farm near an African tribe and currently entertaining the company of a martial arts colleague Chan. Fly, who runs a white slave operation on the side, hits upon the idea to kidnap Susan, the daughter of Johnny's lawyer Michael Wade in order to force him to reveal Johnny's whereabouts. Fly sends his muumuu-wearing procurer Rosemary to do the deed, and her thugs then cram Wade into a car trunk and force him to direct them to Johnny's farm; however, Johnny's still got his one-two punch on top of the high kicks he has been learning from his buddy Chan. Incredibly, they fight off Rosemary's three bodybuilders and think nothing of the reasons behind the attack, taking off to the gym where they fight the guys off again. Only then do Johnny and Chan discover Wade in the car trunk and have to race to find Tap-Tap and Fly before Susan is sold to an Arab sheik wearing blue jeans beneath his dishdasha.

One More Shot is like some of the other South African action films from this period those made for black audiences entirely independent of the governmental tax break scheme that brought American and British producers to the country to make exploitation films for export in that it dispenses entirely with character development and plays like a CliffNotes version of a Hollywood action film. In the case of One More Shot, however, feels endlessly padded at just under an hour. The first four minutes consists of a static shot of martial arts training to a bit of very eighties synth theme music where the only lyric is "One More Shot!" repeated periodically. This is followed by a roughly six minutes of breakdancing at Fly's club (another song whose only lyric repeated over and over is "Pretending") intercut with shots of African tribal dancers watched by two characters who will not be introduced as Johnny and Chan until later in the film (both the breakdancers and the African tribal dancing troupe get credits). Dialogue first comes around ten minutes into the film, and Tap-Tap dispenses with the pleasantries and gets down to telling Fly what he wants. The fight scenes are rudimentarily choreographed and covered with static cameras apparently for easy editing since the dialogue scenes have a bit more coverage, production values are modest but it is apparent that the filmmakers attempt to show off what they've got from the prominently-billed PUMA sportswear (which almost everyone wears with the logo displayed), a helicopter ride, and repeated use of a limited number of source music tracks from prolific South African music producer David Gresham's catalog. Performances range from flat to overdone, with the actress playing Rosemary standing out only because she seems to be having quite a bit of fun hamming it up as a villain. More stupefying than thrilling, One More Shot is probably best viewed as part of a binge watch than on its own.


Mastered in HD from unspecified sources, Indiepix's anamorphic, pillarboxed 1.29:1 progressive single-layer presentation is typical of what we have come to expect of Gravel Road's restorations. The digital noise-reduced image is free of surface damage but it is hard to tell how much fine detail is sacrificed and how much was there in the first place in the possibly 16mm photography with its lens flares and general lack of fill light in the sunny exteriors.


The Dolby Digital 2.0 mono soundtrack is advertised on the cover as being in Zulu, but the film is entirely in English with hard-coded English subtitles that transcribe all of the dialogue (which may be helpful with some of the thicker accents).


There are no extras apart from a newly-created trailer (1:07).


More stupefying than thrilling, One More Shot is probably best viewed as part of a binge watch than on its own.


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