Soul Vengeance-Movie Review

Soul Vengeance, Welcome Home Brother Charlie Film Review

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Soul Vengeance

Aka: Welcome Home Brother Charles
Dir: Jamaa-Fanaka
USA 1975 98 mins. 24 secs.
(DVD from Xenon Pictures
)

Sometimes that worse part about tracking down rare movies is that they eventually surface. What once seemed a lost treasure quite often fails to live up to expectations or worse still, destroys childhood memories of wild and delirious cinema adventurers.

One of the most elusive blaxploitation films "Soul Vengeance" has just recently escaped from the cesspool of 42nd street into the DVD commode. More commonly know as "Welcome Home Brother Charles", this was the UCLA student film of Jamaa-Fanaka who went on to helm such exuberant hits as "Black Sister's Revenge" and the three "Penitentiary" movies. Charles Murray (Marlo Monte), a smalltime drug dealer returns to the streets after a 3 year hiatus in the white man's prison only to find that the 'hood has left him behind. His girlfriend now strips at his ex-partner's club, his kid brother is in a gang and the racist cops that railroaded him are media heroes. Although wanting to go straight he is compelled to seek vengeance against those who have done him wrong and he does so with the only weapon he has ... his twelve foot penis! Charles seduces their wives before strangling his enemies with certainly the most outrageous appendage in exploitation cinema.

The problem with this film is that it fails to live up to its reputation. The giant penis appears only in one scene and it is never made clear exactly why Charles managed to grow his manhood so large. The entire movie appears as a flashback with some scenes apparently inserted in the wrong order. We could forgive this poor editing if its one redeeming factor was used to its full potential. "Soul Vengeance" is best seen as part of a double or triple bill where its shortcomings could be hidden amongst other exploitation content.

Greg Sonier


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