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Penitentiary III

Penitentiary III

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Penitentiary III  A man is framed for murder and sent to prison. He is beaten and tortured, then forced to fight the prison’s worst killer, a martial-arts fighting midget called Thud.

a Jamaa Fanaka classic!

Penitentiary III  After beginning in a very sort of “afro-Rocky” way, unsung berserk exploitation director, Jamaa Fanaka, return to his blaxploitation roots with this one. Tony Geary, former “General Hospital” star, returns to his roots as well, with his strangest film since he got raunchy with future “Ilsa” Dyanne Thorne, in “Blood Sabbath” (1972). Leon Isaac Kennedy returns as “Too Sweet”, and ends up boxing, in prison, again. But this time he meets an eventually helpful, mystical dwarf,”The Midnight Thud”, who teaches him Kung Fu when not smoking crack. Geary gets all strange as the nasty “Serengeti”, and seems to be channeling Chris Walken throughout. Fanaka knocks this out of our normal dimension, but doesn’t quite equal some of his other, less profitable work, like “Welcome Home Brother Charles” (aka “Soul Vengeance”), where other mystical midgets also assist the “hero”.

unbelievable – FEEL IT IN THE GUTS!

This film is one of the greatest human achievements ever. A boxer, “Too Sweet,” framed for murder, is sent to prison where he must fight a crack smoking, inmate raping, kung fu midget called the “Midnight Thud.” At first “Midnight” is a snarling beast, the willing retainer of another homosexual inmate – Serengetti – and his tranny ‘girlfriend’ and does nothing but smoke crack in his dungeon (yes, there is a dungeon) beneath the prison and snarl. Episodically he is released by his handlers (prison guards wearing welding suits and masks!) to discipline various inmates. In fact, his mere existence seems to threaten the manhood of the entire prison. There is evidently a LOT of crack smoking going on down there, since the floor of the dungeon is knee high in billowing crack smoke. Also, there are no women in this film, only transexuals. Even Too Sweets ‘conjugal visit’ near the end was clearly not a (biological) woman.

Later we discover ‘Thud’ is a great martial arts trainer and enjoys smoking expensive tobacco from fancy pipes (as well as crack), and he eventually trains Too Sweet – in a Rocky style montage episode – to win the prison boxing match. Wouldn’t you win too if a three foot crack addict was yelling “ENEMA TOO SWEET!” in YOUR corner?

The absurdity of this movie isn’t a slow burn but a head scratching, perfectly ballistic sustained crescendo; it never lets up, escalating into a jaw dropping finale. Bravo!

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