Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Brotherhood of Death (1976)

Director:  Bill Berry

Writers:  Bill Berry, Ronald Goldman\

Composer: ?

Starring:  Roy Jefferson, Le Tari, Haskell V. Anderson III, Mike Thomas, Michael Hodge, Ron David, Rick Ellis, Brian Donahue, Ed Heath, Mike Bass, Bryan Clark, Kandy Hooker, Henry Pankey

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Watch the brothers stick it to the Klan!

Plot:  A group of black Vietnam vets go up against the Ku Klux Klan.

My rating:  6.5/10

Will I watch it again?  Yes, but only if I get that sweet looking widescreen Blu-ray.

The only print I had access to was fullscreen but I'm willing to bet that if I saw the excellent widescreen print from the pricey Blu-ray I'd probably dig it a little more.  I guess it's a testament to the film that even with a shitty VHS looking copy, it holds up as a fun Blaxploitation action/revenge flick.  The IMDb trivia says that the lead actors were NFL players hired because they would do it on the cheap.  I cut non-actors a lot of slack whenever they're even remotely good and these guys are.  They're fun and they've got charisma (mostly).  I wouldn't dare cast them in Hamlet but this is a low budget B-picture from the 70s, riding a wave of black-themed action drive-in pictures and it totally succeeds.  And the white bad guys?  Fucking nasty fuckers.  Some of them are a little too good at being hateful.  There's a good deal of action and lots of folks doing some really bad things to each other but what I took away most from it was the sincerity from the actors and presumably the folks you didn't see who made this possible.  If this had a multi-million dollar budget I'd trash the shit out of it but, considering where it came from, it's pretty good.  I dug it.  I have it on an Anchor Bay double feature DVD with Fred Williamson's ONE DOWN, TWO TO GO (1982).  I'm watching that one now as I write this.  This film has no extras unlike the other picture.

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