8/10
Entertaining, action-packed movie from the 1970's.
26 September 2010
Tommy Gibbs (Fred Williamson) is also known as Black Caesar, he finds himself shot by a corrupted police officer in the middle of the street in New York City. Since Gibbs is an well-known gangster, he has the ledger with the name of every bad cop and government officials on the mob's payroll. Gibbs is now public enemy number one in the city. He brings his father (Julius W. Harris) to the mob, Gibbs teaches his father every he knows. But someone in the gang is double-crossing Gibbs and he knows, there will be hell to pay. Revenge looks sweet for Black Caesar.

Written, Produced and Directed by Larry Cohen (It's Alive Trilogy, A Return to Salem's Lot, Q:The Winged Serpent) made an amusing, violent, if sometimes unintentionally funny sequel to "Black Caesar". Cohen is at his best, during some of the action sequences, the quick-paced editing and hand-held camera work. Williamson and Harris are fun to watch in this movie. Although the movie looks rushed, the story isn't as clear as its supposed to be and the film is quite sloppy at times.

DVD has an sharp anamorphic Widescreen (1.85:1) transfer and an decent Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono Sound. The DVD's best feature is the humorous and informative commentary track by Cohen. At times, his commentary track seems to be more entertaining than the movie! DVD also includes the original theatrical trailer and an teaser trailer. "Hell Up in Harlem" is a lot of fun, despite some real flaws. Some of Edwin Starr's songs are quite good. If you are an fan of Soul Cinema in the 1970's. Don't miss it. (*** ½/*****).
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