Made on the quick and cheap to cash in on Black Caeser’s popularity, Hell Up in Harlem lacks nearly everything that made its predecessor so groovy – a coherent (if clumsy) visual scheme, a forceful social consciousness, and James Brown’s funkadelic “Paid Tha Cost to Be the Boss.” Shot on weekends while writer/director Larry Cohen was finishing It’s Alive and star Fred Williamson was filming That Man Bolt, this shoddy, rushed sequel magically resurrects ghetto kingpin Tommy Burns (Williamson) so he can once again fight the white powers-that-be, this time around embodied by sleazy district attorney DiAngelo (Gerald Gordon). Joining forces with Papa Gibbs (Julius Gibbs), Tommy reclaims his turf, marries a religious woman, relinquishes his NYC syndicate to his father, moves to Beverly Hills (and into Cohen’s actual home, which also appears in his prior two films), and finally returns to Harlem once underling Zack (Tony King) stages a DiAngelo-funded coup. Excluding the sexual assault of Tommy’s ex-wife Helen (Gloria Hendry) in a town car, as well as the later images of elderly African-American maids grinning as they shoot their despicable employers, Hell Up in Harlem barely touches upon American racial injustice. Just as problematic a shortcoming, however, is Cohen’s graceless scene construction, full of crummy cinematography and mismatched edits. Nonetheless, it’s somewhat amusing to see former NFL giant Williamson running, dodging and leaping his way through an airport terminal and parking lot like an early, more menacing version of Mr. Hertz himself, O.J. Simpson.