Ever heard that old saying "If it ain't Broke don't fix it"? Well if more movie sequels would take that to head there would be a lot more good films out there. Luckily for us director Jamaa Fanaka took this to heart when he made Penitentiary.
Quick recap, in Penitentiary boxer Too Sweet if set up for a crime he didn't commit, gets thrown in jail, gets put in a cell with a killer named Half Dead who he beats up after Half Dead tries to rape him. From there he gets put in an underground boxing tournament run by the warden, wins, gets released early.
Now in Penitentiary II we find Too Sweet working at a gym on parole. He doesn't box anymore after the events of part one. He's living a nice quiet life with his sister and brother in law and is even seeing someone..
Sadly for ol Too Sweet Half Dead (played in this one by the great Ernie Hudson) breaks out of jail and then procedes to rape and kill Too Sweets girlfriend. Too Sweet decides to honer her memory by fighting again in a big match held in prison.
But as Half Dead is still on the lose he kidnaps Too Sweets family and tells him he has to take a dive in the fight. Will Too Sweet save the day with the help of his new trainer Mr. T. Spoilers alert, yes.
Action packed, and just nasty enough to be regarded as exploitation Penitentiary II is a fantastic follow up. With Rudy Ray Moore and Mr To you can't go wrong. Hudson was amazing as Half Dead. It's fun to go back and watch him in such a slimey over the top role. The film never drags and moves right along.
Also put out by Vinegar Syndrome this also boasts amazing audio and video quality. And it's loaded with special features as well.
Region free Blu-ray/DVD combo pack
• Newly scanned and restored in 2k from 35mm original camera negative
• Archival commentary track with Jamaa Fanaka (writer / producer / director)
• “In the Raw” – archival interview with Jamaa Fanaka
• “Too Sweet on the Outside” – interview with Leon Isaac Kennedy
• Isolated soundtrack
• Original theatrical trailer
• Reversible cover artwork
• English SDH subtitles
Head on over and pick this up for a great double feature with Penitentiary
Overall 3 out of 5 Stars