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Original Gangstas Details


Larry Cohen, who directed a number of interesting and subversive exploitation films in the 1970s and 1980s, including Larry Cohen and Larry Cohen, reunited some of the biggest stars of the blaxploitation era for this tough-minded action opus. John Bookman (Fred Williamson) is a successful football coach who was born in Gary, Indiana but now lives in Los Angeles. When Bookman's father is shot, he returns home for the first time in years to discover that Gary has been all but taken over by a number of brutally violent youth gangs. Bookman learns that his father was shot in retaliation for going to the police after a young man was killed by gang bangers outside his grocery store; even worse, the kid who pulled the trigger was a member of the Rebels, the gang that he helped form as a teenager. Outraged, Bookman joins forces with the boy's parents, who also happen to be old friends: Jake Trevor (Jim Brown) and Laurie Thompson (Pam Grier). John, Laurie, and Jake organize the neighborhood against the gangs, with John's old gang brothers Bubba (Ron O'Neal) and Slick (Richard Roundtree) tagging along to show the young gangstas what the old school can do. If Williamson, Brown, Grier, O'Neal, and Roundtree all look a bit older than they did in their glory days, they all still boast charisma to spare, and anyone who liked their older films will have a good time with this one. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

  • Release date:August 11, 1996


Fred Williamson
as John Bookman
Jim Brown
as Jake Trevor
Pam Grier
as Laurie Thompson
Paul Winfield
as Reverend Dorsey
Richard Roundtree
as Businessman
Ron O'Neal
as Businessman
Isabel Sanford
as Gracie Bookman
Charles Napier
as The Mayor
Robert Forster
as Detective Slatten
Eddie Bo Smith, Jr.
as Damien
Wings Hauser
as Michael Casey


Larry Cohen
Fred Williamson
Vladimir Horunzhy
Vladimir Horunzhy
Composer (Music Score)
Peter B. Ellis
David Kern
Lisa Moffie
Costume Designer
Craig Campobasso