Recently out on DVD and Blu-ray is Penitentiary, director Jamaa Fanaka‘s late-period blaxploitation classic. Leon Issac Kennedy stars as Martel Gordone who, after unwittingly getting involved with a prostitute and attempting to save her from being assaulted by a John, which turns deadly, finds himself charged with a murder he didn’t commit. Locked up in the state penitentiary, Martel is forced to fend for himself among hardened criminals, until he’s introduced to the underground and lucrative world of in-prison boxing. Wilbur ‘Hi-Fi’ White, Thommy Pollard and Gloria Delaney co-star. The film, an underground smash that continues to be an in-demandfavorite, spawned two sequels and will find a new audience thanks to the hard work of Vinegar Syndrome — a fantastic distributor cult, horror, and erotic films from the 1960s-90s.
Restored in 4k from its original 35mm camera negative, the new DVD/Blu-ray of film is loaded with special features, including the following:
– Archival commentary track with Jamaa Fanaka (writer / producer / director)
– Commentary track with Sergio Mims (second assistant director)
– Too Sweet for Penitentiary – interview with Leon Isaac Kennedy (lead actor)
– Filming Penitentiary – interview with Marty Ollstein (cinematographer)
– Producing Penitentiary – interview with Alicia Dhanifu (producer)
– Original theatrical trailer
– English SDH Subtitles
Give Penitentiary a view and see an underated gem from the 1970s that showcases stunning fight sequences and action from start to finish. It’s one visit to the big house you won’t mind making!