I recognize that this little slice of exploitation… I’m not sure that this one here qualifies completely as true Blaxploitation… but I know it is called ‘Slaughter’ because this is the name of Jim Brown’s character and all, no first name of course, but I’m thinking that a better title might’ve been ‘Stella’s Titties’ because I’m guessing anybody who saw this way back in 1973… or yesterday as was the case over here… is what one would remember most about this movie.
Mister and Mrs. Slaughter are heading out to dinner one night when their automobile explodes into a fiery plume of molten metal and disintegration. Now I’m thinking that the Slaughter’s are certainly dead considering the miniature nuclear bomb that has just gone off in their Ford Galaxy but the next scene shows the concerned Slaughter (Brown) at the hospital awaiting results. What I wouldn’t have given to see what those doctors were trying to revive. Also at this locale was a pesky reporter played by Marlene Clark who could’ve given less than a damn about Slaughter’s parent being imploded by fire and just wanted a scoop. Or some lovin. One or the other.
You know Slaughter has to get to the bottom of this and this will lead him to a Madam who I guess his father frequented on occasion who seems to know any and everything about old man Slaughter. Apparently in the ‘70’s keeping whores on the side is simply accepted as normal behavior. She gets murdered up by the way. Slaughter makes his way back to the crib for some much needed relaxation only to find that pesky reporter buck ass naked at his home. Obviously this woman is not very bright because she snuck in Slaughter’s apartment and got shot at until Slaughter ran out of bullets before Slaughter finally realized that the woman just wanted sex and didn’t want to murder his ass. She did not get any lovin’ that evening. Or ever. I’ve been through a couple of ‘Slaughter’ flicks and I could’ve told this woman that as a general rule of thumb Slaughter doesn’t have sex with Black women.
Things get kind of convoluted but Captain Slaughter, a former Green Beret, needs to trek on down to South America to find out who killed his folks. You see this pesky reporter who gets no sex works for the Treasury Department. Please don’t ask any questions, just accept. This woman should’ve have told her colleague Harry (Don Gordon) who will be Slaughter’s partner, who is waiting for Slaughter’s in his hotel room, that he REALLY doesn’t like folks waiting for him at his crib. An ass kicking will ensue.
We’re not going to get into why they killed Slaughter’s dad because we really don’t know other than it has something to do with punch cards, but we do know that Hoffo, overplayed with glorious racist glee by Rip Torn, is behind it. Hoffo has a moll by his side named Ann (Stella Stevens) and Ann is under orders from big boss Felici (Norman Alfe) to get close to Slaughter to which Ann replies with … hell yeah…
Slaughter and Ann will proceed to have an awful lot of sex… I mean Ann really went above beyond what I’m guessing what was required of her, and Slaughter will proceed to kill most of South America. They all had it coming.
In the annals of blaxploitation type films, and I’ve seen my fair share including this one an awful long time ago, ‘Slaughter’ is one of the weaker ones. I’ll have you know that the sequel ‘Slaughter’s Big Rip Off’ was much better. It’s not that this movie was terrible, I mean it is terrible in the grand scheme of things… but not unwatchable… it’s just the director, the late Jack Starrett, does a few things film wise which didn’t help this movie such as lingering on scenes way too long. I get it, Slaughter’s walking down the hallway and he looks cool doing it. Do I have to watch him walk down the entire hallway? There are ton of lingering scenes like that in this movie. And the narrative supporting this movie was about as scatterbrained as it gets.
Now these things can’t be avoided but there is still a lot to love about ‘Slaughter’. For starters Slaughter is a total badass. One of the baddest ever. You can cut him, you can shoot him, you can stab him, you can even jump in an airplane but he is going to get you and he is going to kill you. Then there’s Rip Torn. Who would’ve guessed that this old man, so beloved and cherished today, started his career as possibly the most over the top racist character since like forever. And lest we forget Stella, with her and her buddies being the film’s true stars. Stella and Jim sure did spend a lot of time naked together in this movie. I’m thinking being completely naked, and he was completely naked as me and my brother were forced to observe, pressed up against Stella Stevens and forced to palm her titties over and over again had to be a challenge for Mr. Brown. The consummate professional that man. I read an interview with Ms. Stevens saying that Rip Torn is the most horrible person she ever had to work with. I’m thinking he was kicking her ass for real in this movie during that one sided fight scene. Note to racist bad guys: When trapped in a wrecked car dripping gas and a big angry Black man is standing over you and you would like for him to assist you in getting out of this car, this isn’t the best time to drop an N-bomb. When he asks you ‘Did you kill my people’… the wrong answer is ‘Yes, it was me N-word, now get me out of this car’. A better answer would be ‘No sir, but I think I know who did it and together we find those scoundrels’. Probably wouldn’t work either but it’s a much better answer than the one Hoffo gave.
Frenetic action, Rip Torn being racist, Jim Brown wearing clothes three sizes too small and Stella Stevens twins. No, ‘Slaughter’ isn’t going into the hall of fame of exploitation any time soon, but as you can plainly see, it does have its charms.