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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>
When John and Jake do a drive-by at the steel mill in an attempt to start the gang war, several fires in barrels are burning. When they make their second pass, the smoke and fire can be seen going backwards, back into the barrels. See more »
This is a powerful film and I'd love for you to see it.
This is a powerful film and I hope you see it. Caught it here recently on THIS TV Network, so likely it will come around again.
The opening scenes of Gary, Indiana present as an arresting message of what happens to prosperity when do-gooders, Wowsers, Uplifters, Eco-messiahs, Carrie Nations, lunatics, and other chronic nuisances chase industry and jobs away in the name of saving something or other. Plants close and shortly rust. People quit their homes and leave them to face nature's relentless onslaught along with the thugs who move in and make them into Den's of iNiquity.
Richard Roundtree, Fred Williamson, Ron 'Superfly' O'Neil, they're all here along with the great Pam Grier, Jim Brown - Captain Anders in 1968's "Ice Station Zebra", along with the late and very much missed Paul Winfield who evinced touching cinemagic in 'Green Eyes'.
Even if you don't enjoy films in general, let alone the Blaxploitation genre, anyone who's into UE, Urban Exploration, sometimes called Industrial Archaeology - and if you're not, you should be - you'll swoon as serial images of one decrevalent building after another after oxydizing blast furnace after abandoned ten storeys-high heat stoves march across your screen. Yes, Gary, Indiana in "Original Gangstas" is prime Urban Exploration territory.
The film's message is poignant as ever: Don't incite people, particularly those wise in years, to righteous indignation. It's an unwise practice to do so.
Be sure to watch for the David Lynch-esquire visual anachronisms, e.g. the film takes place in 1996, yet many police cruisers hail from the 80s as well as the 90s. The Gangstas drive cars whose model years span a fifty year period, thus keeping you off balance until the stunning conclusion.
The wry humor, "there goes the neighborhood", will catch you off guard as well, and send you tumb-bumbling off the couch, onto the floor, and scurrying to your video store for your own copy of "Original Gangstas". If you don't own a copy of this, you should. Now. So do it. Now.
Paul Vincent Zecchino
Manasota Key, Florida
11 October, 2010
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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