Monday, April 29, 2013
Director William Lustig, of MANIAC fame, basically does a remake of DEATH WISH here but it is an awesome remake with an all-star cast and bloody violence and just enough unique touches that work well. You got Robert Forster as your main victim of a street gang called The Headhunters, which are your standard 1980's racially-mixed kind of group. To aid in in his revenge he is very conveniently friends with a group of vigilantes who ride around in a van and are led by the great Fred "The Hammer" Williamson, who does a great acting job here in what is probably one of my favorite performances by the man. Maniac himself, Joe Spinell, shows up in a small part as a sleazy Jewish? lawyer. If that's not enough of a line-up Woody Strode also appears as a wise old black man who tries to impart some wisdom to Forster's vengeance-seeking self. A little boy gets shot-gunned to death amidst various gun battles, pimps get messed-up, there's a naked prison shower-room fistfights and, of course, revenge is had. Overall this one is a great little slice of 80's action/revenge goodness right up there with it's obvious Charles Bronson inspiration!