Monday, August 20, 2012

Leon Isaac Kennedy

In 1979, the Blaxploitation era was over, but fans of those films still had the grindhouse circuit to satisfy their needs for cheap action, gritty characters and low budget dialog that ranged from ridiculous to brilliant.

That was about the time that Leon Isaac Kennedy burst onto the scene with the popular low budget prison boxing film, Penitentiary. It would still be a few years away from Disney running the grindhouse crowd out of 42nd Street and he would become one of the last action stars of that colorful era.

Another boxing film, Body and Sole, followed, as well as two more Penitentiary  movies, but the book was closing fast and Quentin Tarantino was not around yet to bring that type of film into the mainstream. And while fans of grindhouse cinema waited for their beloved films to be discovered, Leon Isaac Kennedy fell into obscurity.

He had the looks and talent to either be an action star or dramatic actor, but timing is everything and as corporate America took over the movies, Leon Isaac Kennedy and his low budget action films were somehow sadly lost in the exchange.

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