Written by: Michael Den Boer on June 8th, 2015
BluRay released: June 9th, 2015
Approximate running times: 91 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Sound: DTS-HD Mono English
BluRay Release: Olive Films
Region Coding: Region A
Retail Price: $29.95
Synopsis: A fight with a co-worker leads to a dock worker named B.J. Hammer being approached by a man named Davis who has ties to organized crime and wants to manage Hammer’s career as a fighter. Will Davis be able to manage Hammer all the way to the top or will those who are ultimately pulling the strings pressure the Hammer to throw the most important fight of his career?
Hammer was directed by Bruce Clark who also direct the schlocky Sci-Fi film Galaxy of Terror. The screenplay for Hammer was written by Charles Eric Johnson (Slaughter’s Big Rip-Off, That Man Bolt) and cinematographer Robert Steadman (Dogs, Good Guys Wear Black).
Hammer is a film that was clearly created for its leading man Fred Williamson (his nickname is ‘The Hammer’) and after appearing a few films in supporting roles this film would mark his first film as the lead. Also though there are many similarities in the character that he would portray in this film, it would still be a few more films before he perfected the ‘Hammer’ persona.
Content wise, the narrative is your standard rise and fall story line. And when Hammer is not training or boxing the film throws in a love story sub plot for good measure. Also these moments also serve as a nice counterpoint to his interactions with the other characters in this film. Since his love interest Lois is also the only character that accepts Hammer for who he is, while everyone in this film is trying to exploit him in some way.
For a film about a boxer the fights scenes is should not come as a surprise that this film is action heavy. When Hammer is not in the ring, he is kicking ass out in the streets. In fact the film’s opening set up features a fight between Hammer and a racist dock worker. Of course like so many other action film’s they save the best action set piece for last as no one is truly safe from the wrath of Hammer by this point in the film.
Performance wise everything in this film begins and ends with Fred Williamson (Black Caesar, Hell up in Harlem) who dominates every time he appears onscreen. Other performances of note include Vonetta McGee (The Great Silence, Melinda) in the role of Lois and Stack Pierce in the role Roughhouse a former boxer and associate of Davis. This character gets the most gruesome of deaths as he is chased down an alley and a car rams his body up against a wall.
Hammer comes on a 25 GB single layer (21.6 GB) BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive widescreen. This is another worldwide Blu-Ray debut and this time around the film is finally presented in its original aspect ratio. Where previous home video release presented in the film in a 1.33:1 aspect ratio. Colors, black levels and image clarity are just a few areas where this transfer greatly improves upon that aforementioned transfer. Also there are no issues with DNR or compression.
This film comes with one audio option, a DTS-HD mono mix in English. There are no issues with background noise or distortion and the audio sounds clear, balanced and robust when it needs too.
This release comes with no extra content.
Overall Hammer gets a audio / video presentation from Olive Films.
Note: Olive Films are also releasing this film on DVD