The mission of The Department of Afro-American Research Arts and Culture is to identify the global significance of the creative contributions pioneered by an international diaspora of Afro-Americans.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Berry Gordy's The Last Dragon (1985)

On August 19, 2008 actor Julius J. Carry III died from pancreatic cancer.
I’ll wait while some might try to place the name……….

Julius exemplified a blaxploitation “essence” but he superseded most in the genre for possibly three reasons 1) He made his film debut at the tail end of the era as Bucky in Disco Godfather 2) He ran the table as a “two-line” guest actor of every imaginable sitcom and action drama in the 80’s staying identifiable in the public eye in order to 3) Get cast as The Shogun Of Harlem Sho’ Nuff in Berry Gordy’s ‘soul-fu’ flick The Last Dragon.

Julius Carry was an actor.

Anybody who can claim 30 years in any industry, especially one as seasonal and shifty as Hollywood, must be deemed and respected as “knowin’ a little somethin’ about somethin’”. His filmography, as is the case for most actors of his genus and species, is thoroughly defined by the most over-the-top excessive caricature in a resume that only true exploitation can deliver………..
Admit it, that scene and character is DOPE!!

He has that “I’ve seen him on something before” look depending on which side the coin lands. Heads being Sho’Nuff in “Dragon” with tails being Lord Bowler on “The Adventures Of Brisco County, Jr.”

At the risk of not sounding cold, when we receive word of an Isaac Hayes or a Bernie Mac passing, it’s natural that their immediate presence in the media followed by a sudden departure causes a shocking impact to our hearts akin to family.

Actors like Julius Carry III not only get the "who's that again?" remarks but also may be overlooked when the question arises about the handful of Black actors who’ve logged 30 plus in Hollywood? Dick Anthony Williams, Ernie Hudson, William Marshall (who acted for 20 years before being cast at 48 years old as the bloodsuckling Mamuwalde in “Blacula”) and Julius J. Carry III.

Julius who?
We remember.

To Mr. Carry and all the big players and enduring figures in the industry who miraculously made it out the cycle, rest well.

Ahhh yes…… “The Last Dragon”: Provided by Funkback & Ripped by Cinemageddon user kegorogers

  • Taimak
  • Vanity
  • Christopher Murney
  • Julius Carry

From TV Guide:
An enjoyable pastiche of martial arts, romance, music, and video, THE LAST DRAGON presents a likable young hero, Leroy (Taimak), who aspires to become a kung fu master. Though black and living in Harlem with his family, Leroy lives like he’s Chinese. He dresses like a peasant and eats all his meals, including popcorn, with chopsticks. The kids in the neighborhood call him "Bruce Leroy," a joke connecting him with his hero, kung fu star Bruce Lee. Trouble arises in the form of a huge black man who calls himself "Sho' Nuff, the Shogun of Harlem" (Julius J. Carry III), who is determined to prove himself the kung fu master of the neighborhood. Leroy is a truly humble, quietly heroic character who possesses an admirable spirituality. The film stresses family values, friendship, self-respect, discipline, and romantic love, while presenting it all in a wholly entertaining format with little foul language or sadistic violence.

Link to soundtrack review
Various Artists- (Berry Gordy's) The Last Dragon


Anonymous said...

I remember him from
"The Fish that Saved Pittsburgh" with Julis Erving.

a personal favorite of mine.

RIP Good Brother!!!

Mike said...

I was talking about his character the oast few days. Sad to hear he has passed. RIP Shonuff. You entertained me for years and will remain a memorable character throughout my life.

The Last Dragon said...

Thank you for this fitting tribute to Julius Carry. A great actor and the man who gave us one of the greatest movie villains of all time: the meanest, prettiest, baddest mofo low down around this town, the Shogun of Harlem, Sho'nuff!!!

I've had a link to this post up on my Last Dragon Tribute Site ( for some time, finally goy around to leaving a comment.

Thanks again.

RIP Julius J. "Shonuff" Carry III

Visit the Museum of Black Cult Cinema for additional information and digital media.