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Marvin Bookman is a small shop owner in Gary, Indiana, USA. After he sees a drive-by shooting of Laurie Thompson's son by a local gang, he gives up the license number of the car to the police. The gang doesn't like this so they go to the store and rough him up. Soon, John Bookman comes to town to set the wrong things right. With the help of Laurie and his old friend Jake, they attempt to take back the streets and show the new breed of gang members what the true originals can do. Written by
Josh Pasnak <email@example.com>
Excellent Low Budget Action--No Matter What The Star Says
It has always amazed me how the star of this film, Fred Williamson, has gone to such great lengths to badmouth this flick and the work of his former friend, writer-director Larry Cohen. I've read it and I've heard it on DVD audio commentaries--"Hiring Larry for Original Gangstas was a mistake," Williamson says. Yet he has nothing but praise for his own work as a writer-director.
Is the Hammer on crack, or what? This is a very slick, very cool little low budget action flick that shows the old time stars to great advantage. Cohen did a great job. In fact, if you took all the good parts from every movie that Fred Williamson produced and directed himself and put them together, the film you'd end up with would still be 1/100th the film this one is (of course a compilation of "good parts" from Hammer's self-directed flicks would only be 15 minutes long).
I love Fred Williamson. His pre-1976 movies like "Black Caesar" and "Bucktown" are classics, and I like him as a performer. I'd LOVE to see him work in more mainstream movies, as a lead. But the man has only been in three halfway decent films in the past quarter century: "Starsky and Hutch," "From Dusk Til Dawn," and "OG." And "OG" is the best of the three in my opinion. His self produced-directed efforts, his Italian-Euro cheapazoid flicks--they ALL rank as some of the absolute worst movies of all time.
So, don't listen to the star of the show, just watch the movie. "Original Gangstas" is a solid flick.
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