Tuesday, November 23, 2010

BROTHERHOOD OF DEATH (1976) - Bill Berry


All the vengeful vet films I've watched up until now featured angry, homicidal white men returning home from war. So, I figured, hey, it's time to give the Brothers in Arms their shot at some post-war payback. The premise to this blaxploitation-cum-vetsploitation flick sounded promising. A group of black soldiers home from Vietnam use some of the tricks they learned fighting Charlie to go head to head with the Klan after a string of racially motivated local rapes/murders. What's not to love about three black avengers punching bloody buckshot holes into KKK hayseeds in white sheets?

The direction, for one, or complete lack thereof. The acting for another. I didn't expect Apocalypse Now caliber helicopter shooting or Brando quoting Joseph Conrad from this '70s drive-in quickie, but I did expect some action. It's an exploitation picture and, more importantly, a revenge picture. Don't make me wait until the last five minutes for a little payback and then give me a scene involving a handful semi-poisonous garden snakes. After the shit these guys took first in 'Nam and then back home in the Deep South, they deserve at least 45 solid minutes of ass-kicking if not the full 75. Am I right?

The only real reason to watch this movie is if you happen to be a fan of the '70s-era Washington Redskins, which seem to comprise about half the cast. Even then, I'd recommend opting out for some old NFL highlights tapes instead.

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