Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Death Promise (1977)

Martial artists Charlie and Speedy love to run through New York in their yellow jogging suits, and practice martial arts at their local dojo.  As they run, a narrator informs us of the evil of New York slum lords.

Charlie has the misfortune of living in a tenement building that some local business men, (cough cough slum lords), want to demolish because it's in the way of their amassing a greater fortune through development. Charlies father, an ex-prize fighter, also lives in the building and is none too pleased with the thugs who mess with the tenants.

Since the slum lords can't just kick everyone out of the building, they do whatever they can to make the tenants move.  This involves hiring goons to rip out the electrical wiring, shut off the water,  turn off the gas, and dump boxes full of rats in the hallways.

Whenever the tenants catch the thugs doing things such as trying to set the building on fire using gasoline, they angrily grab the thugs and then release them unharmed.  Charlie's dad is in charge and he says the thugs don't know who is hiring them. So there's no point to beating them because they can't learn anything from them.

As you may guess, the slum lords aren't happy about Charlie's dad organizing a resistance to their plans, so pretty soon he's lying in a pool of blood on the cold hard floor.  Awww no, now you've gone and made Charlie mad. And if there's one person you don't want mad, it's a guy who knows martial arts.

Charlie's master sends him off to learn an even deadlier martial art, and after studying Charlie returns and teams up with his old friend Speedy who has his own reasons for wanting revenge, besides the fact that he liked Charlies dad.

The rest of the movie is pretty predictable for a low budget martial arts action movie.  The one thing out of the ordinary is the scene in the high rise that consists of five minutes of men screaming. It gets pretty annoying.

I decided to check this one out since it stars Charles Bonet, who was in a movie called The Death of Bruce Lee, which is an unintentionally hilariously bad film which also stars Ron van Clief.  So I was curious as to what other movies Charles had done.

The great thing about this movie is it was filmed in New York in the 1970s, so the city scenes are really interesting.  Bonet isn't much of an actor, but that's part of why it's entertaining.  There are some good scenes featuring a guy with two nunchucks.

Ridiculous dialogue:

Speedy - Remember I told you I had my own reasons for helping you?  Well this is the sucker who killed my brother.
Charlie - Your brother?  What brother?  I didn't even know you had a brother.
Speedy - I don't anymore. This mother killed him.

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