CANNON MONTH 2: Crackhouse (1989)

EDITOR’S NOTE: Crackhouse wasn’t produced by Cannon or its sister company Pathé but was theatrically distributed by them. For another take on this movie, click here.

There was a whole day of director Michael Fischa’s movies on the site a few years ago. He specializes in the kind of movies that video rental did best: quick, cheap and fun. Good examples of his kind of movies include Death Spa and My Mom’s a Werewolf.

The big names are Richard Roundtree, who plays Johnson, a gang task force police officer, and Jim Brown as a drug dealer named Steadman.  However, the real stars of the story are Rick (Greg Gomez Thomsen) and Melissa (Cheryl Kay).

Rick wants to leave Los Pochos and head off to the Air Force while Melissa has fashion design dreams. One night, Rick borrows his cousin Jesus’ Chevy Nova to take Melissa on a date, but as soon as he gets the keys, The Grays pull a drive-by. Rick forgets his future and heads off for revenge and ends up getting arrested.

Rick refuses to see her; he’s a criminal now and she needs a better life. She doesn’t find it with Big Time (Clyde Risley Jones), who may save her from an assault but has no problem using her to pay his debts with Steadman and turning her into a crack whore. So Rick gets a plan along with Johnson. He’ll infiltrate the gang, turn over the evidence and rescue his girl. And hey — as soon as I saw Anthony Geary playing a teacher, I knew from Penitentiary III that he had to be on the side of wrongdoers.

Seeing as how this brings back exploitation stars Roundtree and Brown, it should do the same for at least one female cast member, as Angel Tompkins from The Teacher and The Bees is in this. There’s also an appearance — her only acting role actually — by Playboy Playmate of the Month for August 1985 Cher Butler.

It’s got a great title — that’s part of the selling of this movie, you see a film called Crackhouse on the shelf and gotta see it — and the cops get a battering ram in the conclusion. That’s pretty much all we needed in 1989.

You can watch this on Tubi.

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