Jim Brown is The Man. Period. No ifs or buts about it.
I am an unabashed Jim Brown fan, as I have said before. Brown was the greatest representation of hard black masculinity on the screen ever. After he stopped making films, everything went soft. Jim Brown was the real deal.
Which is why you can’t make movies like his 1972 film, “Slaughter,” today. It would be impossible to cast. Yes sure there are those who try to be all tough and hard, but they don’t quite cut it – especially those rappers-turned-actors. They look like they’re faking. And let’s be honest here. When it comes to real black masculinity on the screen today, pickings are very very slim. Who really could play Slaughter today? Nobody I can think of.
Solidly directed by Jack Starrett, a former actor-turned-director, and who had a real flair for B-movie exploitation films, “Slaughter” is simple and straight to the point. Brown plays a former Green Beret named, of course, Slaughter, whose parents are killed by gangsters. He kills one of the men responsible while the main bad guy, a sadistic racist scumbag, played too well by Rip Town, escapes to Mexico. Slaughter gets arrested for murder by a racist Fed agent who makes a deal with Brown to track down and get Torn. In the meantime, Brown romances and beds the very white Stella Stevens, who’s the girlfriend of Torn, which, naturally, engages him even more.
I’m telling you, the brothers were lined up around the block three-deep at the theaters when it came out.
Of course, the reviews weren’t great, but at least one critic got it when they said that, “’Slaughter’ features dated set-ups, stiff acting and horrifying dialogue [all three I strongly disagree with]. But it does have Jim Brown, who is on badass. Brown has a lot of charisma and he is always interesting to watch. This is a guy who, in the movie, portrays the proper stare, walk, and sexual bravura for his role. In addition to the fact that this is a non-stop action flick, ‘Slaughter’ will please even the hardest fan of the exploitation films.”
Sounds like perfect entertainment to me, and, at long last “Slaughter” is finally coming out on Blu-ray on Sept 22, from Olive Films. Hopefully Olive will also release the sequel, “Slaughter’s Big Rip Off,” which came out the following year, in 1973, and which is one of those rare sequels that’s even better than the original. One can only dream.
Here the trailer for Slaughter.