Original Gangstas Review

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A violent street gang, the Rebels, rule the streets of Gary, Indiana. The Rebels shoot Marvin Bookman, a store-keeper, for giving the police information about a drive-by shooting they committed. Marvin's son, former NFL star John who created the Rebels, returns to Gary to be with his father and, with a little help from his friends, to destroy the Rebels his way.


Larry Cohen’s contemporary respin on the Blaxploitation genre sees football coach John Bookman (Fred Williamson) returning to his home-town to find it overrun by gangs. A kind of urban Western develops as he enlists his old buddies to protect the community. There is some fun to be had here, but slow passages, hackneyed rap villains and a pace that falls uncomfortably between tongue-in-cheek adventure and serious social comment tarnish what is otherwise a passably entertaining tale of old boyz ’n’ the hood.

Dour drama with little to recommend it.