Hammer: Bruce D. Clark’s Blaxploitation Movie, Starring Fred Williamson

From the Archive

Bruce D. Clark. directed Hammer, an urban blaxploitation movie about boxing and the Mafia

The film was released after the successes of Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song and Shaft, 1971 films that popularized black cinema.

B.J. Hammer is played by Fred Williamson, who became a staple of the genre.

Narrative:

Boxer B.J. Hammer rises up the ranks with help from the Mafia.

However, Hammer doesn’t realize that the help comes with a price: He is asked to throw a fight.

Gangsters threaten to harm his girlfriend in an attempt to force him to go through with their plan. Hammer is forced to figure out a way to save his dignity and the life of his girlfriend when she is kidnapped by the gangsters.

“The Hammer” has become Williamson’s official nickname, earned during his time playing professional football.

Williamson is also credited as playing “Hammer, the ladies man,” in the 1980 martial arts film Fist of Fear, Touch of Death and as “The Hammer” in a 2006 direct-to-video release called Spaced Out.

In 2004 it was released on DVD. In 2010 it was digitized in High Definition (1080i) and broadcast on MGM HD. In 2015 it was released on Blu-Ray DVD by Olive Films.

Cast

Fred Williamson as B.J. Hammer
Bernie Hamilton as Davis
Vonetta McGee as Lois
Charles Lampkin as Sid “Big Sid”
William Smith as Brenner
Elizabeth Harding as Rhoda
Mel Stewart as Professor
Stack Pierce as “Roughhouse”
John Quade as Riley
D’Urville Martin as Sonny
Leon Isaac as Bobby Williams
Reception and legacy