Friday, February 4, 2011

Welcome Home Brother Charles

Welcome Home Brother Charles A.K.A. Soul Vengeance (1975)
Dir: Jamea Fanka

A few years back I watched a film called Blaxploiteasin' which was a compilation of Blaxploitation trailers where I first had heard of this film and shortly there after I saw the trailer again on a volume of 42nd street Pete's trailer compilations, and after seeing the short add for this film for some reason I really wanted to check this one out. Now with Blaxploitation History month upon us I felt this would be the perfect time to track it down and check it out and I have to say, I was truly let down by this one as it is in honesty just bland and the pay off though funny and ridiculous it is just lame and not worth watching the first hour of the film waiting for it.
    The story in itself is simple enough, as Charles is arrested during a drug deal went wrong and upon being taken into custody dirty cop Harry beats Charles and attempts to castrate him in the process due to his Penis envy and apparent jealousy of all black men assuming they are all well endowed. His theory is later solidified as Harry's wife is caught cheating on him with a black man and when she is confronted about it she is quick to tell him how inadequate he is in comparison to her big black lover. So Charles is sentenced to three years in prison after having an outburst during his court date.

After a short Black and white montage of still photos , Charles is released from prison to find that not much has changed on the streets and all his friends are still doing the same old things, He also finds that the neighborhood pimp Teto has recruited Charles' Girlfriends while he was away. While down and out Charles meets up with a prostitute that was on the scene when he was arrested three years prior and the two start up a relationship. After moving in with each other Carmen quits Hooking and gets a job at a diner while Charles struggles to seek employment. One night while watching the news Charles sees his arresting officer harry on the tube discussing his latest bust and this sets Charles off to seek Revenge for the apparent experiments that were done on him while he was imprisoned. Charles disguised as a phone repair man sneaks into Harry's house and reveals his Manhood to the officers wife and apparently his penis has magic powers as she becomes under his spell after seeing it. After the two elope Charles returns later that night and kills Harry mysteriously.

From this point on Charles seeks out the others responsible for his sentencing in rinse and repeat fashion where he seduces the wives with his magical dick and kills the respective villains. Never quite knowing how Charles is offing these baddies until one scene where he meets the Prosecutor who put him behind bars, At this point which is about an hour and ten minutes into the film we get the big pay off. It seems Charles' is in fact using his Manhood as his Weapon, Because for some strange unexplained reason his penis can now grow as much as he wants it to  and he is strangling these men with his member as if it were a boa constrictor. This has got to be the stupidest pay off ever but I can imagine it was good for a ton of laughs when it was first released in theaters , whether intentional or not who knows.

As these bodies start turning up with strange markings on them to say the least, Harry's partner is on the case and feels he knows what and who is responsible for the odd killings that are taking place and he acts as if none of this is out of the ordinary just brushing it off as normal because the man is black so he must have a giant monster penis capable of doing these acts. Charles makes his way to the judges house and he is stopped by the detective just in the nick of time , but Charles manages to get the officers gun and makes a dash for freedom leading him to a roof top where the film began. The officer calls in Carmen to attempt to talk Charles down from the ledge but she has other plans as the credits roll.

Now I don't know if this was the first killer penis film but I have to imagine it was so I do give it props for that I mean it did spawn several actual funny films in it's small sub-genre such as Pervert, Killer Condom, One Eyed Monster and the more recent gem Bad Biology but as far as Blaxploitation films go this one is pretty bad and really just downright awful. I know that not all the films I review this month are going to be classics but this one was just a bore and the pay off , though funny  was not worth sitting through the hour plus lead up to it . And as awful as this sounds The pay off is pretty anti climatic as we only see his "weapon" of choice for a brief moment right before the end of the film. Now I hear that there is a uncut version that exists out there but the director has not released it as  of  yet and I imagine that version is probably better and may explain more about how he got the powers and it does show more of the murders on screen which would make for some good laughs. The problem with this film is that the way Charles goes about killing his victims you would think they would go for a more comedic approach but the film takes itself so seriously it is just downright sad. If they played into the fact it was a killer penis film more and upped the jokes this could have been a awesome film and would no doubt become a cult classic but with the approach they took it makes this a lame and forgettable Blaxploitation flick and One thing a movie about a killer dick should not be is forgettable.

Ass-Kickin' : 4 ( not much of note at all mostly just dialog)
Ass and Tittay's:3 ( For a movie about a killer penis seducing women we only get two pairs of breasts)
Jive: 5 ( below par for the genre, Not one quote worth remembering)
Funk: 5 ( Pretty bland soundtrack in a genre full of classic music this one falls epically short)
Playa's and Whitey's:4 ( A pretty bland cast and nothing worth mentioning)
Overall on the Funk-O-Meter: 4.5 out of 10

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