Plot: Charles (Marlo Monte) is a small time dealer hustling to make ends meet, but times are tough, especially with white police always on the hunt. After he is busted by a pair of cops, he thinks he is just going to do some time, but instead, one of the cops decides to make an example out of Charles. While his partner looks the other way, the officer beats Charles repeatedly, even while the man is cuffed and unable to defend himself, then he even tries to castrate Charles. After three years of misery in prison, Charles is released and as a free man, he has a refreshed outlook on life and wants to avoid the pitfalls of his former lifestyle. But one of his rivals now has his former lover and Charles finds it hard to discover where his place in the world is, now that he wants to leave drugs, pimping, and other crimes in the past. When he finally finds himself pushed over the edge, he seeks out vengeance in a most unusual fashion…
Entertainment Value: Also known as Soul Vengeance, Welcome Home Brother Charles is infamous thanks to a wild plot device that allows Charles to strangle his enemies with his mystical penis, but that’s not all this movie has to offer. This is a mean spirited, over the top slice of blaxploitation that would almost seem like a satire of the genre if things weren’t always played so straight. The tone is dead serious throughout, even as Charles exacts his revenge via his penis, which to me, makes the movie that much more fun and over the top. The pace is a little slow at times, but the narrative is effective and allows Charles ample space to develop and unravel, which is crucial to push him to the extremes that allow the finale. If you need a story that makes sense however, this one takes some odd turns and does little to explain them, but that shouldn’t be an issue for cult cinema fans. Marlo Monte plays Charles and while he is ham handed at times, his performance is serious in tone and he brings a wild intensity to the role. The rest of the cast also bring a serious approach, though as I’ve said, that leads to some over the top moments, but that’s part of the fun. Welcome Home Brother Charles is a movie that deserves a place in the collection of anyone who appreciates blaxploitation, cult cinema, or penis obsessed motion pictures.
A couple of topless scenes can be found here, but the real goldmine is the boa constrictor size penis that chokes the life out of Charles’ enemies. The movie doesn’t give us a lot of clear looks at the monster, but when it can be seen, it is hilarious and looks as ridiculous as you’d expect. This is the kind of pure madness cult film fans live for, a truly outlandish and creative element. A little blood, but not much. The violence is mild and involves some beat downs, none of which is graphic or blood soaked. The memorable kills are achieved with Charles’ superpowered penis, which ensures a clean, off the wall death in those scenes. I think the dialogue here is a lot of fun, as it is intense, mean spirited, and riddled with dysfunction throughout. A lot of selfish people driven by greed or hate, spewing their rhetoric and threats, while there’s also some ridiculous attempts to be profound sprinkled in at times. As for the insanity scale, you have to give some points for a movie where a magical penis is used as a weapon, not to mention the sheer volume of dysfunction involved here.
Overall Insanity: 5/10
The Disc: A new widescreen treatment is offered by Vinegar Syndrome, taken from a new 2k scan of the original camera negative. The tolls of time are evident, but the movie looks quite good and shows less damage than expected. The grain is thick, but natural and detail is solid, all things considered. The extras include a featurette on director Jamaa Fanaka, an interview with actress Jerri Hayes, theatrical and teaser trailers, and a second feature film, Fanaka’s Emma Mae.