Original Gangstas (DVD) ~ Fred Williamson Cover Art

Original Gangstas (DVD)

Fred Williamson


Current Price: $20.00

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Review

Larry Cohen scratched out some of the most memorably offbeat exploitation films of the 1970s, including two of the most energetic blaxploitation action classics: Black Caesar and its sequel, Hell Up in Harlem, which made a star of Fred Williamson. In 1996 they reunited for this tribute to the good old days and producer-star Williamson brought along a few of his fellow 1970s blaxplo icons: Jim Brown (Slaughter), Pam Grier (Foxy Brown), Richard Roundtree (Shaft), and Ron O''Neal (Superfly). They play old friends and former members of a neighborhood gang in economically depressed Gary, Indiana, who reunite when a new generation of gangbangers using their old street name, the Rebels, turns the city into a war zone. It''s great fun to see the old faces back on the screen--Williamson is still buff and tough, and Brown and Grier have become more charismatic with age--but they''re let down by a slack script and lazy direction despite an almost nonstop barrage of gunfights and back-alley brawls. Even with revved-up 1990s firepower, the film never really captures the explosive energy of the films that made their reputations. You''re better off seeing the originals. Paul Winfield and Isabel Sanford also star, and Cohen casts cult faves Charles Napier, Wings Hauser, and Robert Forster in supporting roles. --Sean Axmaker

Release Note

The biggest and baddest stars of Soul Cinema, Fred Williamson (Black Caesar), Jim Brown (Slaughter), Pam Grier (Foxy Brown), Ron O''Neal (Superfly) and Richard Roundtree (Shaft) return to the genre that made them famous in this "big, brassy, overblown, pyrotechnic valentine" (Entertainment Today)! Also featuring Isabel Sanford ("The Jeffersons") as Bookman''s mother, this all-new, all-action tale of slick, ten-fisted retribution "delivers as generous a measure of sensational entertainment as any of the Shaft or Superfly pictures of a generation ago" (Long Beach Press-Telegram). Williamson is Bookman, a former hood who made it to the big time with his smooth football moves. But when the gang he founded back in his hometown starts shooting up the wrong peopleincluding his fatherhe returns to the old turf, rounds up some of his own posse and begins an all-out street war to return the neighborhood to its rightful state of justice!


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