Black Shampoo is a 70s blaxploitation groaner that gained extra currency in the 1980s due to its ubiquity on the “Midnight Movies” shelves of the first wave of VHS rental stores.
While it’s not nearly as brain-damaged as Rudy Ray Moore’s cheerfully demented Dolemite films, or, say, The Black Gestapo, Black Shampoo is still pretty mind-melting. It was directed by Greydon Clark, who helmed such grind house gems as Satan’s Cheerleaders, Dracula vs. Frankenstein and Skinheads.
Black Shampoo is a bit like two films in one: In the first part of the film, as with Warren Beatty’s Shampoo, we meet a super-stud playboy hairdresser (John Daniels). As we find out, he also happens to be a highly skilled fighter.
Here’s the plot description from the DVD cover. It’s pretty succinct:
John Daniels plays Jonathan Knight, the owner of “Mr. Jonathan’s” the most successful hair salon for women on the Sunset Strip. His reputation as a lover has become so awesome that he is sought after almost as much in that capacity as he is for 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, played by Tanya Boyd (Celeste in Days of Our Lives), from her former boss. Action explodes when the “loving” machine becomes the “killing” machine. Jonathan, chainsaw in hand, gets down to the get down on the vicious mob gang that wrecked his shop and kidnapped his woman.
Chainsaw in hand? Yes, chainsaw in hand. Black Shampoo is highly entertaining, if somewhat crude. I confess to having watched this sucker three times!