Back in the day, 42nd St. grindhouses were filled with grimy exploitation flicks catering to drug-dazed burnouts, damaged Vietnam vets, Black Belt Magazine subscribers and other soldiers of cinematic fortune; Death Promise must’ve played like gangbusters to this panoply of human weirdness with its brutal mix of blaxploitation badassery, chop-socky action and stick-it-to-the-man attitude. In the vicious tenements of back-alley NYC, landlords will raise your rent, cut your power, flood hallways with filthy rats, and even commit murder. But this time, they messed with the wrong renters — and there’s gonna be hell to pay. When a popular, peace-loving senior is killed, his martial-arts-master son (looking like a Puerto Rican Anthony Kiedis) vows bloody revenge. With his perpetually shirtless sidekick, he’ll smash through every door and punch through every hired thug to find the men responsible. Jam-packed with a fist-pumping, brain-smashing energy that will keep you riveted — plus more classic kung-fu sound effects, actors looking into the camera and visible boom mics than you can count, Death Promise SERIOUSLY DELIVERS, along with a funky theme song you’ll never, ever forget. Has this ever screened on 35mm anywhere in the U.S. in the past few decades…?
Dir. Robert Warmflash, 1977, 35mm, 95 min.

Watch the trailer for “Death Promise”!
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