Hell up in Harlem (1973)A sequel to Black Caesar. The beginning replays the ending of Black Caesar and inserts a couple of extra moments into it that aims to set up the events of Hell up in Harlem but in doing so it completely undoes the intelligence and subtlety of the ending of Black Caesar. Fuckthepastspoiltation!The storming of the castle with the grinning maids is particularly fun (Fred's expression when he gets kicked by the bikini woman is a cracker), and pimp style big poppa is pretty cool. I particularly like Fred Williamson, of all the male Blaxploitation regulars he is head and shoulders above the rest in terms of acting ability and stone cold charisma. Scubadivinginbudgiesmuglersploitation!
Black Cobra (1987)Cop film is such a thorough rip-off of the Stallone vehicle Cobra that Golan and Globus either had an “unofficial” hand in its making, or it was so pathetic that they couldn’t bring themselves to sue. To be fair, the movie does have a few good sequences (the one in the restaurant near the end in particular). But Fred Williamson plays the lead as so grim and humorless as to be genuinely unlikable. Film becomes surreal when the main bad guy BECOMES Brian Thompson for the final showdown.
I watched this too. I couldn't tell if it was just the unwatchable DVD transfer or if the movie was really bad, but I didn't have much fun with this. It's funny that "Cobra" is in the title, though, because at least with Stallone it was a play on his name COBRETTI. Here it's just, like, "Remember Cobra? This is Black Cobra." Like Blacula and Blackenstein.
I wanted to watch this too. I've got Black Cobra I, II, and III on a Mill Creek DVD set and this one is nearly unwatchable. But I honestly don't think there's a better transfer out there, which is a real shame. Even if the movie is bad, I want to be able to SEE how bad it actually is.
One Down, Two to Go (1976)Fred Williamson stars and directs (Double Threat!) who's been conned out of his karate tournament winnings and has to collect his money one way or another. Per JB's earlier Netflix suggestion checked this one out and on the whole wasn't nuts about it save for a handful of awesome moments from Williamson. Also this film has him smoking an odd cigar and has hot chicks a plenty (sadly no boobs). Also there seemed to be one sponsor who shows up a lot in this movie lets just say Holiday Innsploitation! All that being said don't screw with Fred Williamson
Because the Holiday Inn is where it's at, yo! Don't you remember their "Get the Funk Out" marketing campaign?
Boss N***er (1975)Because it's blaxploitation. Because it's a western. Because Fred Williamson wrote, produced, and starred. Because Jack Arnold, the director of Creature From The Black Lagoon and a host of other 50s genre classics, was the in the director's chair. Because even though it's not very strong in the plot department, Williamson is not just watchable, but always electric. Because of the four westerns that he made during this particular period, (The Legend of N***er Charlie, The Soul of N***er Charlie, and Adios, Amigo this film is the one that has been the most well preserved and is the one he will be remembered for more than any other.
William Lustig's VIGILANTE (1983) on Blu-ray for the first time.The 70's called, they want this early 80's revenge exploitation flick (complete with cool-but-unrelated cover artwork) back. Since "Vigilante" is set in the poor neighborhoods around Queens (Manhattan is just the distant backdrop) the late 70's and early 80's just blur into a collection of stereotypes, dated fashions and random scenes without consequences for the working class heroes (led by Williamson) that take it upon themselves to deal with the scum the police and courts won't take care of. "Vigilante" is split evenly between the already-organized group getting justice and Robert Forster's Paul Kersey-type average guy who suffers a devastating crime. After a brief switch to prison movie (complete with Woody Strode beating up dudes in showers) Forster joins the group to get revenge. Though it never descends to "Death Wish III" degrees of silliness Lustig treats the material too seriously at the expense of some Hammer time. By the time "Vigilante" ends you feel there's 1/4 story left to go and that Williamson showed up just to growl and collect a paycheck. And let's be honest here, gang: Fred can't act (or run without looking like a girl) worth shit, but he has charisma and screen presence. Though he isn't as much in "Vigilante" as I expected given Williamson gets 2nd billing, whenever Fred shows up the movie perks up and comes alive. You'd think they'd have room for him somewhere in the final 15 minutes.
One Down,Two to Go (1976)Netflix really did have some weak offerings for today, and the library wasn't much better, so I just went with this one. Parts of it were great (I may not know Kung Fu, but I know Gun Fu!), but at times I found myself getting distracted. Some of the scenes took way too long as well. Like the one where there's all these ugly dudes with no shirts just chilling around smoking. Too many ugly dudes who need shirts. The end scene cracked me up though.
WARRIORS OF THE WASTELAND. It’s a Junesploitation three-way with this Italian post-apocalypse flick starring Fred Williamson. Oh, there’s car action, too, so make it a foursome. In the far-distant future of 2019, the Earth has been all but destroyed in the nuclear holocaust. The few survivors are constantly harassed by raiders called “Templars,” who look like an even more low-rent version of those guys from MegaForce. (Ace Hunter-sploitation!) The only one who can stop the Templars is the heroic Scorpion, our Road Warrior stand-in. Williamson plays Scorpion’s buddy, the appropriately-named Nadir. Williamson's the only actor who’s having any fun with all this. Everything else is just dour and lifeless, even with the occasional car stunt and/or explosion. Yawn.
Have seen this and agree with everything you said.Gotta admit the headless body riding the motorcycle was kind of cool, huh?(PS - Am I the only one creeped out by the photo in this column?)
^^^ Why, because the pussycat's white? ;-)BTW, no mention of Megaweapon or the "Paper Chase" guy? I know it's Fred's day, but come on man! It's Megaweapon, AND the "Paper Chase" guy. :-)
This column's photo is by far my favorite...
No...it's the look on Williamson's face.Can't tell what it's supposed to be.
Megaweapon and the Paper Chase guy were from Warrior of the Lost World, not Warriors of the Wasteland. Trust me, I would never dishonor Megaweapon.
^^^ You're right, my bad, sorry. Your faith in Megaweapon is strong. Fred Williamson is also in "Warrior of the Lost World" along with, to my surprise, Jimmy Carter. 'Eat molasses, sucka!' :D
American Grindhouse (2010)Not really a Fred Williamson movie, but there is a chunk of this documentary devoted to him. And the movie's conclusion? He's awesome.
Three The Hard Way (1974)Maybe my hopes were too high after enjoying Black Belt Jones so much, but this one was a bit of a letdown. Jim Brown, Fred Williamson, and unfortunately mustachioed Jim Kelly team up to take down a white supremacist group who want to poison the water supply with a chemical that will only kill black people. Lots of shootouts, fistfights, and polyester suits follow. The action is very awkward...in my favorite (?) moment, Jim Brown is in a phone booth, the bad guys ram a truck into the phone booth, and in the next shot Brown is hanging from the back of the truck. Wait, what? There's a LOT of moments like that in this movie.
One of the main influences on Black Dynamite.Is this the one with the three motorcycle riding female "specialists"? An MTV moment.I felt the conclusion was a major let down. A few sticks of dynamite and lackluster explosions, and thats it.
Yeah, it was definitely a major influence on Black Dynamite, though BD was more entertaining all around. It is the one with the red white and blue motorcyclists (patriotismsploitation!) and you're right, that was a totally ready-for-MTV moment. Like every other "cool" beat in the movie, though, the establishing shot of the motorcyclists went on for about 30 seconds too long.
Zombie Apocalypse: Redemption (2011) So he year is something like, 12 A.Z. (cool, huh?) and the world is a post-apocalyptic hellscape. Mankind's leaders had figured the best way to fight off the zombies was to detonate the world's ENTIRE NUCLEAR ARSENAL in "strategic locations" and "the results were disastrous." No shit. So anyway, this guy Moses is leading his people through the desert. And who is this fuckin' Moses?"I'm the fuckin' Moses!" Fred Williamson says, looking great for his age. Unfortunately his acting skills haven't aged well and he's not "funny bad", he's "grandpa forgot to take his meds bad". The whole movie takes itself way too seriously for how bad it is - I spent most of the time just wondering how shit like this even gets made - just to sell to Netflix? Why would Netflix even buy it?Anyway, it did contain one of the BEST LINES EVER that's going to become a household phrase for me: "When I want your opinion...I'll rape it out of you." RapeCuluresploitation!