Michael Fischa Day: Crack House, aka Crackhouse (1989)

Micheal Fischa made his feature film debut with the oft-Mill Creek box set-programmed horror comedy My Mom’s a Werewolf. For this next film he went ’70s retro-blaxploitation with this oft-run HBO’er that stars that genre’s Richard Roundtree (Killpoint) and ex-NFL’er Jim Brown (Take a Hard Ride). And for you fans of the ABC-TV daytime soap General Hospital, there’s Anthony “Luke and the Ice Princess” Geary (who got his first B&S review with the TV Movie Intimate Agony) as their co-star.

Rick and Melissa are a pair of high school (bi-racial) lovers who strive to get out of their inner-city hell rife with drugs, crime, and poverty. Then Rick — upon the gang-related death of his brother — rejoins his old gang to avenge his brother’s death by a rival gang. He’s arrested, natch, and now Melissa falls under the spell of Anthony Geary — the school’s clandestine, heroine-pushing guidance counselor. His supplier: Jim Brown. And when Melissa can’t pay her drug debts, she’s becomes Brown’s crack hoe-cum-sex slave. And that leaves Roundtree, who, if you haven’t figured out by the theatrical one-sheet, is the cop out to take down Geary and Brown.

Is it any good? Well, it’s Cannon Films good . . . whatever that means. It’s sleazy, then campy in places, then brutal, and pretty trope-ridden when it comes to the portrayal of Hispanics and blacks and their territorial gang wars. But the direction from Michael Fischa is alright and the acting from all quarters is serviceable. But this ain’t no Chuck Norris Cannon flick . . . and it certainly ain’t up the to quality of the requisite gang flick, The Warriors. But for being a retro-blaxploitation flick, Crack House hits all of that genre’s tent poles. Oh, and yes . . . that is Angel Tompkins from the soft-sexploitationer The Teacher (which we reviewed as part of our Howard Avedis tribute this week) thespin’ away.

Next up for Fischa: Death Spa. Oh, do we love Death Spa around here; the asparagus! What a way to go for a third film — from a horror comedy, to a blaxploit’er, and then to a late-to-the-game ’80s slasher with a freaky scene that deals in stinky sparrow grasses.

The VoicesInMyHead You Tube page comes though again with a copy of this Micheal Fischa obscurity, which, it turns out, is easy to find on DVD as of late, thanks to MGM issuing it in a digital format. And this time, we’re embedding the trailer since we know Video Detective trailer uploads are video-embed elf proof.

As part of our two-month long “Cannon Month Tribute,” we took a second look at Crackhouse — as well as having a sit down with film critic Austin Trunick for a five-part interview to discuss Cannon’s library.

About the Author: You can learn more about the writings of R.D Francis on Facebook. He also writes for B&S About Movies.

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