Action / Crime / Drama

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Rotten 30%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 30%
IMDb Rating 4.7 10 426


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July 08, 2015 at 06:41 AM



William Smith as Brenner
Fred Williamson as B.J. Hammer
Leon Isaac Kennedy as Bobby Williams
748.85 MB
23.976 fps
1hr 32 min
P/S 4 / 1

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Scott LeBrun (Hey_Sweden) 7 / 10

Solid blaxploitation fare.

Former football player Fred Williamson does well in his earliest starring vehicle, playing B.J. Hammer, fired from his job as a dock worker but soon finding success as a pugilist. He shrugs off suggestions that the local mob is playing a large part in his success, although the writing is on the wall. His sleazy manager, Big Sid (Charles Lampkin), IS a crime figure who also dabbles in drugs. Eventually, the mob will order him to take a fall in a fight, and abduct his girlfriend Lois (Vonetta McGee) to ensure his participation.

All in all, "Hammer" shows its audience a pretty good time. The director is Bruce D. Clark ("The Ski Bum", "Galaxy of Terror"), who utilizes some good camera angles and some quick cutting. The action scenes are fine, and there are effective doses of sex and violence to please an exploitation loving crowd. The story by Charles Eric Johnson is straightforward, and uses weary detective Davis (Bernie Hamilton ('Starsky and Hutch')), and the love interest Lois, to function as moral centres for our hero.

The violence may be somewhat hard to take for some viewers, but it's hard to be that upset when that typically bright red movie blood just looks so fake. An undeniable highlight is in seeing foxy exploitation starlet Marilyn Joi (in her film debut) do an incredibly erotic dance.

Fred brings all his athleticism and charisma to the starring role, and receives strong support from Hamilton, Lampkin, McGee, the eternally bad ass William Smith as an incredibly rotten thug, Mel Stewart as a trainer, D'Urville Martin as a pool hall regular, Stack Pierce as a guy named "Roughhouse", and John Quade as a goon. Leon Isaac Kennedy (the "Penitentiary" series) also makes his film debut as a kid named Bobby.

Set to a pulsing soul score by Solomon Burke, "Hammer" is decent (if predictable) fun that does leave you with a smile on your face.

Seven out of 10.

Reviewed by Prismark10 5 / 10

Nailed it

Hammer is former NHL star Fred Williamson's first blaxploitation film. Hard to believe that Blaxploitation gave more former black athletes work than Dancing with the Stars!

Williamson plays Hammer a decent guy, a dock worker in LA who gets into boxing but the promoter is crooked and wants him to take a dive or else there would be consequences for his girlfriend. People who cross the local Mr Big be it former boxers or trainers get to feel the full force of his henchman Brenner (William Smith) and he likes to dish out pain.

Unusually for a blaxploitation film the lead detective is played by a black man (Bernie Hamilton of Starsky & Hutch fame) who advises and helps out Hammer. The lack of antagonistic relationship between our hero and the police is refreshing.

Hammer is not a great film, rather formulaic but it is a well made film with good production values. It has its share of violence, nudity and sex. Williamson tones it down here, more of an ordinary Joe swiftly rising to the top.

Smith as the slimy, sleazy, racist villain steals the show. He was one of the best villains in the 1970s, the guy audiences loved to hate.

Reviewed by Woodyanders ([email protected]) 8 / 10

Enjoyable Fred Williamson blaxploitation vehicle

Rugged dock worker turned champion boxer B.J. Hammer (the almighty Fred Williamson in prime macho form) excels in the ring and rises to the top. However, things go sour when the local syndicate tells Hammer to take a dive in his next major fight. Director Bruce D. Clark, working from a compact script by Charles Johnson, maintains a constant brisk pace and makes neat use of the gritty urban locations while delivering plenty of rousing rough'n'ready fisticuffs and a generous sprinkling of tasty female nudity. Of course, Fred's smooth charisma and easygoing personality holds the picture together. The sturdy cast of familiar B-pic faces helps a lot: the lovely Vonetta McGhee as B.J.'s smart and loyal girlfriend Lois, the ever-reliable William Smith as vicious enforcer Brenner, Bernie Hamilton as helpful detective Davis, Charles Lampkin as slick top hood Big Sid, Elizabeth Harding as Sid's cheap floozy main squeeze Rhoda, Mel Stewart as tough venerable trainer Professor, D'Urville Martin as hip pool player Sonny, Stack Pierce as warehouse foreman Roughhouse, and John Quade as belligerent jerk Riley. The gorgeous Marilyn Joi burns up the screen in her film debut as a foxy exotic dancer. Robert Steadman's sharp cinematography makes cool and exciting occasional use of a hand-held camera. Soulman Solomon Burke's funky score hits the get-down groovy spot. Recommended viewing for fans of the Hammer.

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