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 ...
See full summary »
Tommy Gibbs is a tough kid, raised in the ghetto, who aspires to be a kingpin criminal. As a young boy, his leg is broken by a bad cop on the take, during a payoff gone bad. Nursing his ... See full summary »
Duke Johnson visits a small Southern town, intent on burying his brother. After the funeral, he learns that he must stay for 60 days, for the estate to be processed. A few locals convince ... See full summary »
Susan switches identities with her new friend Nicole, so that Nicole can pay for her medical bills with Susan's insurance. Then Susan finds herself trapped in her new identity when Nicole ends up dead under questionable circumstances.
Josh Baker meets a very special woman, Cheryl, in the streets of New York. Suddenly she collapses, and she's picked up by an ambulance. When Josh wants to visit her in the hospital, it ... See full summary »
James Earl Jones,
A black detective becomes embroiled in a web of danger while searching for a fortune in missing drug money.During the course of his investigation, he encounters various old connections, ... See full summary »
Keenen Ivory Wayans
Keenen Ivory Wayans,
Charles S. Dutton,
Jada Pinkett Smith
Trying to get his act together, a con artist gets a job in a credit card company. He falls in love with a fellow employee, he steals a couple of cards, everything is going great. But soon, ... See full summary »
A thief breaks into the home of a wealthy, happily married Beverly Hills couple. He soon finds out, though, that the couple is neither as wealthy as he thought they were and are not as ... See full summary »
Joyce Van Patten
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The scene with the two police cars exploding is lifted directly from "RoboCop 2" - also an Orion picture. See more »
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 »
Hit the Gas
Performed by 3X Krazy
Produced by Tone Capone for Dollars & Spenc Productions
Co-Produced by One Drop Scott
Written by Tone Capone (as Anthony Gilmour), Lamore Jacks, Charles Williams, Ramone Curtis, One Drop Scott (as Scott Roberts)
Publishing: True Science Publishing (ASCAP)
Courtesy of Str8 Game Records See more »
A sense of place - recommended for town planners and architects
This movie is correctly graded as a B picture. And yet it is more: an honest hommage to a real, existing town in the throes of death. Before I picked up Original Gangstas as a cheap video cassette, I did not know that the town of Gary existed. I didn't even know a town like Gary could exist (this proves once more: maybe we Europeans are kind of naive in the ways we evaluate the US's wealth and power and its effects.). Now I know better.
There is a certain similarity between this film and Jules Dassin's legendary documentary/crime movie The Naked City of 1948. Both use a style that wants to "tell a city". With the title credits the town is introduced to the viewers, with aereal footage, ordinary street scenes and a voice-over that tells something about the history of the town and a few selected buildings (the bakery, the cinema etc.). It is really educational. Very good location shooting gives a vivid impression of the specific urban wasteland. Gary becomes a real place. I also had the impression that the mood of the people who are forced or willing to live in present day Gary is accurately recorded: A mixture of anger, shame and - above all - fear. People are desperate, they don't see a future and the affiliation of youngsters to a gang appears for many to be the only way to survive.
In the story the main character played by Fred Williamson (also the producer and a Gary native who certainly put some very personal feelings into this movie) descends on the town as an aging "knight in shining armour". He assembles his old, middle aged buddies (plus Pam Grier!) and stages a war against the gangs. I did not care much for the story and its action scenes with unvariably high death tolls, but I must admit that this movie realistically highlights in a specific place a specific problem that is disquieting and difficult to solve.
12 of 13 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?