“From the film’s foreshadowing opening image of a wood-carved African sculpture under titles to its cult-favorite ultra-shock ending, Fanaka unblinkingly drives his thematic raison d'etre home with raw conviction and verve.”
— Mark Quigley, UCLA Film & TV Archive
Before directing the legendary PENITENTIARY trilogy, Jamaa Fanaka debuted with this offbeat genre film, which helped catapult him to recognition as one of the most important Black filmmakers working in 1970s independent cinema. In WELCOME HOME BROTHER CHARLES, a young Black man is sent to prison, after being brutalized by a corrupt racist cop. Upon release, he takes deadly revenge against the cops, lawyers, and thugs who got him busted . . . using a most unusual weapon. As much a parody of exploitation films as it is a proud piece of genre cinema, WELCOME HOME BROTHER CHARLES combines horror and exploitive tropes with stirring social subtext, resulting in a drive-in movie unlike any other.