(director: Jack Starrett; screenwriters: Mark Hanna, Don Williams; cinematographer: Rosalio Solano; editor: Renn Reynolds; music: Luchi De Jesus; cast: Jim Brown (Slaughter), Stella Stevens (Ann), Rip Torn (Dominic Hoffo), Don Gordon (Harry), Cameron Mitchell (A.W. Price), Marlene Clark (Kim Walker), Robert Phillips (Morelli), Marion Brash (Jenny), Eddie LoRusso (Little Al), Norman Alfe (Felice); Runtime: 91; MPAA Rating: R; producer: Monroe Sachson; AIP/Olive Films; 1972)
“An absurd macho Mafia thriller.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
An absurd macho Mafia thriller. The acting by the star is robotic. Its hero is the NFL star Jim Brown, who plays Slaughter, a bad-ass ex-Green Beret hero from the Viet Nam War still called Captain by his pals. The schlocky blaxploitation action B-film is lamely directed by Jack Starrett (“Kiss My Grits”/”The Losers”) and written as tripe by Mark Hanna and Don Williams. It doesn’t have the style or entertainment value of Superfly, but appeals to the same viewers.
It begins with Billy Preston singing the lively tune of being ‘bold, beautiful and black.’
A car bomb explosion kills Slaughter’s parents in Cleveland, as his shady father was targeted by the syndicate because in his dealings with them he has something on their forced attempt to take over a computer concern. A downcast Slaughter vows to get those Italians responsible for the hit. At the apartment of his father’s white mistress Jenny (Marion Brash) he gets the name of someone involved in the hit before she’s gunned down.
Slaughter then crashes his car into the small plane of a syndicate team taking off at the airport for Central America and the fiery crash kills them. Cops on a stakeout immediately arrest him. Slaughter is told by the racist Treasury Department lead investigator Price (Cameron Mitchell) he ruined their stakeout, but they work out a deal to work together with him so they can bring down the syndicate and for Slaughter to avenge the death of his parents.
The ruthless evil gang leader Hoffo (Rip Torn) lives in Mexico, so that’s Slaughter’s next stop. There the agency gives him a partner, Harry (Don Gordon).
Slaughter scores Ann Cooper (Stella Stevens), the slutty mistress to the Mafia leader. The white lady has a nude scene with the brawny Brown character and two other nude scenes. The film offers nothing more than a chance for the viewer to catch the gorgeous blonde in the raw.
It’s a ludicrous film, with overall bad acting and a hack story. It’s a film about Black awareness that points it in another direction.
REVIEWED ON 8/5/2023 GRADE: C