By creating The Hebrew Hammer, Kesselman has brought to life a character rarely seen in Hollywood or off-Hollywood films: a sexy and powerful Jewish action hero.
Just as such indelible films as Melvin Van Peebles' 'Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song' and Gordon Parks' 'Shaft' were reactions to Hollywood's inability or unwillingness to portray strong, sexy Black characters in the early 70s, Kesselman's 'Hammer' is his way of creating a new hero for a new generation.
Like any exploitation film, The Hebrew Hammer pitches stereotypes like flaming fastballs at a knowing audience. But it would be wrong to say that Kesselman, by creating a 'Shaft' with peyos, is satirizing the Blaxploitation genre. Instead, Kesselman is honoring the genre, proud that he, too has made a picture with a built-in audience in mind.
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