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Hell Up In Harlem (1973)

Commentaries on this disc:

Commentary 1: Writer/Director Larry Cohen Rating:8.5/10 (2 votes) [graph]Login to vote or review
Reviewed by frankasu03 on March 24th, 2015:Find all reviews by frankasu03
Vintage Larry Cohen, this track. Listening to the prolific writer-director of such cult classics as "It's Alive," and "Q - The Winged Serpent," you can always hear the gears turning inside the mind of Larry. Not only is his recall of events 30 years earlier so vivid (the man can rattle off trivia for the entire running time), but he is incredibly self-aware about the product on the screen. Admittedly, "Hell Up In Harlem" was a slapdash attempt to capitalize on the Smash Hit "Black Caesar." With Star Williamson in tow for only some of the filming ("The Hammer" was predisposed on a Studio Picture for Universal at the time), Cohen attempted to create a worthy sequel. He admits the final product was not as strong as the original. But, the commentary divulges all of the tricks the director utilized to give the film the sheen of a major studio. Fred Williamson brought his wardrobe from "That Man Bolt," to lend the costuming a bigger-budget look. Much like the stolen parade footage from his other pictures, Cohen worked his magic to catch tremendous footage inside the air terminals of JFK and LAX in the cinema's "longest chase scene of all time." There's so much dense material to comb through, from the great era of blaxploitation film, that repeated listens might be in order. 9/10