Death Promise (1977)

Yet another example of the end of the world New York City of the late 1970s, Death Promise — not a threat, but a death promise — is all about the residents of a tenement building (but not Tenement) are being forced out of their homes by a realty company who goes past shutting off the air conditioning, power and water to murder, not to mention lighting fires in the hall and releasing rats, the bad guys kill off Charley’s old man boxer father, the man who was trying to keep the tenants all together in the face of these slumlord tactics.

Fortunately for the audience — and bad for the antagonists — Charley (Charles Bonet, Way of the Black DragonThe Black Dragon Revenges the Death of Bruce LeeDon’t Go in the House) and his friend Speedy (Speedy Leacock) are martial arts experts, making this movie the result of a one night stand between Enter the Dragon and Death Wish.

Beyond just ruining the board members of Iguana Realty’s lives, our friends are now planning on murdering each and every one of them. Well, it wasn’t called Maim Promise, so that makes sense.

To get his revenge, Charly’s master Shibata (Thompson Kao Kang, who was the action director of this movie, as well as a stuntman who appeared in movies like The Karate Killers; sadly he was killed by a Hong Kong cop in what was called a “trivial street quarrel”) reads him a letter from the dead dad, which sends him to study under Ying (Tony Liu, who was in The Big BossEnter the DragonFist of Fury and many more), where he learns how to take out everyone in his way. That means throwing stars, arrows to the head and death by rats.

Brought to theaters by Howard Mahler Films, the same people who brought From Beyond the GraveThe Big Doll HouseThe Killer Must Kill AgainDeep Red and Devil’s Express to your grindhouse, this movie boasts an incredible Neal Adams-drawn poster.

You can watch the Rifftrax version on Tubi or get the Vinegar Syndrome blu ray at Diabolik DVD.

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