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  Truck Turner Hot Buttered Action
Year: 1974
Director: Jonathan Kaplan
Stars: Isaac Hayes, Yaphet Kotto, Alan Weeks, Annazette Chase, Nichelle Nichols, Sam Laws, Paul Harris, Dick Miller, Scatman Crothers, Charles Cyphers
Genre: Action, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 2 votes)
Review: Ex-football player Truck Turner (Isaac Hayes) is a bounty hunter who, with his partner Jerry (Alan Weeks) has been hired to track down a vicious pimp. After a lengthy pursuit, they finally track him down, but he won't come quietly, leading to a situation where the pimp's madam (Nichelle Nichols) has Turner hunted by the toughest members of the Los Angeles crime scene...

Written by Oscar Williams and Michael Allin, from a story by Jerry Wilkes, this blaxploitation thriller provided Isaac Hayes with his second acting role. The thinking behind this seemed to be that he won an Oscar for composing the music for Shaft, so why not place him in front of the camera, too? He had wished to play the role of the racially groundbreaking detective, after all, even if ultimately he was not cast. And also get him to write the score, which he does. Although the tall, burly Hayes wouldn't win an Oscar for starring here, he can throw a punch and looks good firing a gun, which is all that really counts.

The world of Truck Turner is what you'd expect: the characters live above the law, and money, violence and revenge are the order of the day. There is an abundance of action scenes, usually featuring Turner getting into gunfights and fist fights. A car chase shows the pimp to be the world's worst driver, crashing into just about everything around (fruit cart, barrel, other cars, etc.). When bringing in a racist rapist at the start, Turner takes off his handcuffs and beats him up by the roadside, just for the hell of it.

On a lighter note, you can get a few good laughs out of the film, too. When Jerry is stopped for speeding, the cop criticises the photo on his driver's licence for being too ugly. When Turner picks up his girlfriend after her spell in prison, she sulkily asks him why he didn't bring her flowers - he responds by showing her he brought some beer instead (don't worry, he buys her some Kentucky Fried Chicken on the way home, the old romantic). And listen for the noise punches make - something like a cow falling over.

There are a handful of outrageous moments, such as the pimp's funeral, where cocaine is sprinkled into the coffin as a mark of respect. But nothing will prepare you for seeing Lieutenant Uhura herself as a high class, foul mouthed madam. She warns that two of the prostitutes who have fled "better learn to sell pussy in Iceland" - and she doesn't mess around when threatening to have Turner killed. For the grand finale, a shootout in a hospital ensues, with gang boss Blue (Yaphet Kotto) making sure that the patients end up feeling worse than when they came in. While not the best of the blaxploitation movies, Truck Turner has enough verve to make it better than some.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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