Company: Olive Films
Starring: Fred Williamson, Bernie Hamilton, Vonetta McGee, William Smith, John Quade
Plot: Product Description: Former football player Fred Williamson brings his athletic prowess and acting chops to the role of B.J. Hammer in the street-smart, action pic Hammer. A boxer on-the-rise, Hammer is asked to throw a fight by the local Mob who have figured prominently in his success. His moral dilemma hits close to home when the life of his girlfriend, Lois’ is put in jeopardy.
My Review and Thoughts:
How I love thee, Olive Films. They have picked another Blaxploitation classic to embrace. Another fine example of a Blu-ray transfer. Olive Films always amazes me on some of the choices they make. Hammer is a true Drive-in, cult cinema classic. The transfer compared to the VHS and DVD is perfection. Vibrant in image beauty, and ear candy perfection. This is one those films that is a pure guilty pleasure. Olive Films has taken the 70’s Blaxploitation films, Coffy, Foxy Brown, Friday Foster and now this one, Hammer, and given all the fans a perfect example of entertainment. They honored the fans of these films, and honored the films themselves. I am excited, and happy that fans of these style films, get to experience top quality, when adventuring into these old classics.
What more could you want. Action and fights, pure popcorn entertainment.
This stars a wonderful man. I have met Mr. Williamson four times at various conventions through the years. Always a gentlemen and a delight to talk to, interact with. Loves taking pictures and autographing your items. Tall, huge and just plain magical to interact with. He is a fine performer and one who appreciates the fans, and allows the fans to get to know him. I loved meeting him for the 5th time this past April on the 25th at the Marble City Comic Con in Knoxville Tennessee, and as always it was a treat, and pure wonderment to interact with him. He is everything you can think of and more, when it comes to star, cult star.
Also starring Bernie Hamilton who was also was in the Horror Blaxploitation, Scream Blacula Scream. He is probably best known for his role of Captain Harold Dobey in the cult classic series Starsky and Hutch. Also starring in Hammer is the beautiful and stunning Vonetta McGee. Vonetta is a goddess of beauty, and all performer. She has graced cult classic cinema such as 1972’s Blacula, 1973’s Shaft in Africa, 1973’s Detroit 9000, 1984’s Repo Man. She made her way through the 70’s and 80’s on many films and TV. She was a brilliant performer that died way too soon at the young age of 65. She was one of those females that could grab a hold of the watcher, and never let them go.
I have to mention, two powerhouse actors that are in this film. Two character actors that I grew up watching with all their hardcore wonder of action, and tough guy persona's. Two pioneers of cult, and retro cinema. William Smith and John Quade. Smith was the very definition of tough in his prime. Fighting everything from cowboys to vampires. He graced the cinema world with a true tough guy testament of brawn and might. He has been acting since the 40’s and still acts today. From TV westerns like The Virginian, to feature films. Always a constant character that you remember. He has graced many wonderful Drive-In, B-movies, and Cult cinema that always leaves a lasting impression. Grave of the Vampire, Piranha, Invasion of the Bee Girls, Hell Comes to Frog Town, Maniac Cop, Memorial Valley Massacre and countless others. He also starred in other Blaxploitation films such as Black Samson and Boss Nigger. He also was a stable in TV and main stream films such as 1980’s, Any Which Way You Can, 1982’s Conan the Barbarian, 1984’s Red Dawn. He has the huge muscled body persona, and attitude that stood out, and gave a true memory to the cinema world. Also in Hammer is John Quade. Another character actor like William Smith who had an image and persona about him that made you remember him. Quade always played that tough guy, or bad guy persona that always made you hate him, or feel some type of emotional ordeal about him. I will always remember him as Sheriff Biggs in the 1977 masterpiece TV series, Roots.
Hammer is directed by Bruce D. Clark. Clark only directed 4 films, and each one of them were a mix of Drive-In, and B-movie cult like, cheesy cinema. From the revenge film, 1969’s Naked Angels, to the over the top sci-fi 1981's Galaxy of Terror. Clark defiantly had away with leaving a lasting impression, and Hammer is one of those prime examples of creating a lasting film. Hammer was, and is a pivotal Blaxploitation film.
Hammer was written by Charles Eric Johnson. Johnson wrote four other Blaxploitation films in the 70’s. 1973’s Slaughter’s Big Rip Off, 1973’s That Man Bolt, 1974’s Mean Mother, 1976’s The Monkey Hustle. Hammer would not be the only movie Fred Williamson acted in that Johnson wrote. In the 90’s Johnson wrote to action films that starred Fred Williamson. 1991’s Steele’s Law and 1992’s Three Day’s to a Kill. Johnson had away with creating Black Cinema. Strong black roles wrapped around some type of action or drama. One thing is for sure, Johnson left a lasting mark on the cinema world with the wonderful cult, Drive-In film I am reviewing, Hammer.
Original aspect ratio: 1.85:1
The transfer is a beautiful site. I own both VHS and DVD of Hammer from past releases. This blu-ray creates a whole new setting for this old 70’s film. Its imagery is crisp, colors are beautiful and vibrant. The sound is everything and more. A wonderful blu-ray product of audio and video.
Olive Films did a fantastic job transferring this must see, must own 70’s experience. The movie has never looked any better. The vibrant imagery and amazing sound come off the screen in a flawless way for this new modern generation to experience this cult Blaxploitation classic.
ON BLU-RAY JUNE 9TH
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