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  • Isaac Hayes is bail bondsman Truck Turner; he's a man's man, no he's a man's man's man. Charming with the ladies and mean with the baddies, "he's like a bulldog with eyes up his ass". For someone more famous for his funky and cool music, which also won him the Oscar for the score of Shaft, Hayes displays an abundance of natural charisma and screen presence that it's really a shame he didn't have more lead roles in his day. He was also considered for the role of Shaft but it ended up in Richard Roundtree's hands.

    Truck Turner the movie is every bit the blaxploitation classic one should expect. Filled with hot rods, jive ass broads, pimps and crooks, superb dialogues in that outdated but always funny 70's genre lingo and enough slow motion gunfights to equal Sam Peckinpah, Truck Turner is a thrill a minute and one of the best the genre has to offer. It starts off as a buddy movie as Turner and his bail bondsman friend are trying to track down a pimp called Gator and before long it turns 180 degrees into a revenge movie to rival Coffy. There's a long chase sequence in the first act that ranks among the best of the decade: it has everything from cars chasing and crushing their way through anything to gunfights en route and ends with a good old bar fight. That's just one of the good parts of the movie, as it manages to work on all levels: the action is nice in that good old fashioned way, the dialogues are not just filler, the drama works when it has to and the comedic timing is spot on.

    Eighteen days from the posting of this review Isaac Hayes passed away and heaven became a little funkier. We'll always have stuff like Truck Turner to remember and cherish him for. RIP man.
  • A fan of 70s Blaxploitation cinema, I've had "Truck Turner" of 1974 sitting on my DVD shelf for some time now, always eager to watch it, and the recent death of Isaac Hayes (R.I.P. big man) was reason enough to finally do so. And I was not disappointed. Isaac Hayes is probably most prominent in Blaxploitation cinema for composing and performing the theme song for the sub-genre's most famous film, Gordon Parks' "Shaft" of 1971, and he also starred as the super-tough and super-cool eponymous hero in a flick that ranges among the most entertaining of its kind - namely this, "Truck Turner". The bald and bearded Mac 'Truck' Turner is a former football player turned bounty hunter and Hayes is supremely bad-ass in the role. Inbetween crime-busting and drinking sessions with his colleague Jerry (Alan Weeks), Truck, who sleeps with his holster on and whose mere name makes the bad guys shake in fear, pays visits to his sexy girlfriend who tends to get jailed for her quick temper...

    The film basically has everything good blaxploitation cinema needs: A super-tough bad-ass of a hero as you will only see them in 70s cinema, a cool sidekick, eccentric villains, violent shootouts, funky music, delightfully vulgar slang dialogue including many unforgettable lines and, last but definitely not least, dozens of sexy and dangerous women. None other than Star Trek's Nichelle Nichols plays the beautiful and lethal crime-madame and prostitution-mastermind Dorinda, and Yaphet Kotto (Alien) makes a perfect crime-boss in his role of Harvard Blue. Alan Weeks makes a good sidekick for Truck Turner and beautiful Annazette Chase fits greatly in the role of Truck's girlfriend. Isaac Hayes himself is great, simply the definition of Bad-Ass in his role. Every line he says is the epitome of coolness, and so is everything he does. The funky theme-song, which was, of course, composed and sung by Hayes himself, is great and contributes a lot to the unique blaxploitation feeling. The film furthermore profits from great camera work - Truck blows them baddies away from some very cool angles. All in all, "Truck Turner" should not be missed by a fan of 70s Exploitation cinema. Highly Recommended!
  • Truck Turner and his partner Jerry are bounty hunters for bail bonds men. Turner has a reputation for being an intimidating and confident force and can command top dollar for the jobs nobody else is willing to take. When the job of retrieving pimp Gator Johnson turns sour, Tuner has to kill Gator and invokes the ire of his girl Dorinda. While Dorinda tries to hold her stable of girls together in a male dominated industry, she offers up a significant business share in her girls to the man who is able to kill Turner for her revenge.

    I have taken recently to watching some Blaxploitation films mostly because I find the genre to be agreeably trashy and in a way the weaknesses can be accepted and almost enjoyed as part of the experience that you have come for. Trashily made, violent, tough black male leads, gorgeous females with lots of sass, funky soundtrack, solid action and unintentional laughs – all of these things sort of come with the territory. Truck Turner actually stands out as one of the more enjoyable of the genre, while still very much being a genre film with all the staples in place. The film is built on the usual sense of tough cool in the packaging and in the lead character and the plot pretty much does what you expect as a revenge plot provides plenty of gun battles and bright red blood squibs going off – none of it particularly thrilling but none of it dull either.

    Where it actually benefits is in the casting. Hayes is not the best actor of course but he does have a lazy cool charm about him and he leads the film well. He is totally out-acted though by Nichelle Nichols who is not only sexy but is convincingly full of murderous rage – as others have said, it is a world away from her character on Star Trek but she really dominates the screen here with a marvellously over the top and driven house-mother harpie. Kotto is not quite as good but he is a very good presence and deserved to be used a bit better than he was. That said he still rocks most of his scenes and is rewarded with a memorable final scene. Weeks is funny, Chase is cute and beyond that everyone is par for the genre course, with plenty of bad hair and overacting in the men and lots of flesh in the women.

    Truck Turner is still a genre film of course and it needs to be met on those terms but it does stand out as a good example of the genre – tough, cool, good performances, lots of pimp etc stereotypes and plenty of silly gun action. Far from being a great film, it is still a very good genre piece.
  • In Los Angeles, the tough bounty hunter Mac 'Truck' Turner (Isaac Hayes ) and his partner and friend Jerry (Alan Weeks) work for Nate Dinwiddie (Sam Laws) hunting down fugitives from the law. When the drug dealer and pimp Richard Leroy 'Gator' Johnson (Paul Harris) is murdered by Turner, Gator´s woman Dorinda (Nichelle Nichols) hiresthe gangster Harvard Blue (Yaphet Kotto) and his professional killers to kill Turner. Will they succeed?

    "Truck Turner" is another full of action blaxploitation movie from the 70´s. The tall Isaac Hayes is funny in the role of a tough bounty hunter and former football player hard to be killed and the film is highly entertaining. My vote is seven.

    Title (Brazil): "Truck Turner"
  • After months of searching, I finally caught up with the Isaac Hayes blaxploitation hit Truck Turner. It's just not fair! This great action movie, Hayes' only lead role ever, is amazingly hard to find! I paid $15 to buy it at a Best Buy store, and I really got my money's worth. While I expected something along the lines of Shaft (and I wasn't disappointed there), I noticed a lot of similarities between this movie, made in 1974, and recent releases like L.A. Confidential and Jackie Brown! The plot: Hayes plays Mack "Truck" Turner, a former football star who was forced to retire due to an injury. Now he works as a bounty hunter with his partner Jerry (Alan Weeks is great!) When he kills his most recent target, a pimp named Gator, he's in trouble with Mack Daddy Harvard Blue and his vicious hoes, as well as a one-eyed assassin and a lot of other unpleasant characters! Isaac Hayes proves that he can act almost as good as he can sing! Nichelle Nicols of "Star Trek" gives the second-best performance in the movie as a hoe, Scatman Crothers is slick as Duke, the only pimp who backs Truck, and Annazette Chase is surprisingly good as Truck's lady! This one is a real classic. If you like Isaac Hayes, or "blaxploitation", and you find this movie somewhere, no matter how much it costs, buy it. It's worth it. **** out of ****
  • This is a 10 out of 10, amazing black action film from 1974. Pre-Scientology Isaac Hayes acts plain ig'nant as bad ass bounty hunter Mack "Truck" Turner. The movie is brimming with action, great music, and hilarious dialogue and situations. There are almost too many great things about the movie. Yaphet Kotto is one of the most underrated actors ever, and he's amazing as the evil pimp Velvet Blue! Lt. Uhura from Star Trek as a merciless female pimp! A white pimp with a diamond studded eyepatch! This is a movie that every adult in America should see, seriously. I could never find words to describe how absolutely amazing and entertaining this movie is. SEE IT, NOW!!!!!!! I'm surprised that this movie isn't more well known and celebrated in the world of blaxploitation.
  • The once-almighty American International Pictures had every bit of success going in the 70s with movies like BLACK CAESAR, BLACULA, COFFY, and many others, that turned the blaxploitation genre into a phenomenon. TRUCK TURNER continues the timeless tradition with style. With Isaac Hayes in his only notable role of a bounty hunter, you can expect this to be the meanest, most wildest, most violent "blaction" flick on celluloid. Aiming the gun close to the camera looked fascinating. The combination of action and exploitation is not just smooth as velvet, but also rough as guts. Apparently, critics wanted to dismiss this film from all the graphic violence it displays, and while that still remains the case, it gave the genre a step forward and was much needed to satisfy its fans. Hayes' music score is pure all the way, and runs along with the plentiful, but simple straightforward action sequences. I felt the piano score was tiringly repetitive for a film that offered more punch. It wouldn't be a blaxploiter without some groove, humor, and soul poured in, and there's a lot here. TRUCK TURNER is one of the finer movies from an era that's been vanished a good long time, but do check out BLACK CAESAR, SUPER FLY, and BLACK BELT JONES for the very best. Great fun for all "blaxplo" fanatics!
  • Blaxploitation films are so frequently ridiculed and parodied (much of it with reason) these days, that it's easy to forget that some of them were actually pretty good. Shaft (1971) paved the way for the sub-genre with its strutting bad-ass lead who's a sex-machine to all the chicks, and Isaac Hayes' Oscar-winning score (for what he will forever be best remembered for). Hayes himself steps into the lead role here as ex- American football star and bail bondsman Mac 'Truck' Turner, who according to Yaphet Kotto's bad-guy pimp Blue, is "like a bulldog with eyes up his ass!", and displays some surprisingly charismatic qualities that makes it quite a shame he didn't appear in more.

    Greasy lawyer Fogarty (the great Dick Miller) employs bounty-hunters 'Truck' Turner and his partner Jerry (Alan Weeks - with the best grin in cinema) to track down a low-down pusher and pimp named Gator (Paul Harris). After an extended chase scene, Turner and Jerry manage to kill Gator, much to the dismay of Gator's lady Dorinda (Nichelle Nichols - Uhura!). Dorinda rounds up the big pimps and offers her valuable collection of whores in exchange for Turner's head, a deal in which Blue accepts. Wanting to settle down with his girlfriend Annie (Annazette Chase), Turner finds his life turned upside when Blue employs a gang of hired killers.

    Beginning almost as a buddy-comedy, the witty script and some genuine chemistry serve up some amusing early scenes, showing off Hayes' natural screen presence. But this turns into pure police procedural blaxploitation as the main plot kicks in, with jive-talk, pimps in some of the most delightfully ludicrous dress I've ever seen, car-chases, slow-motion shoot-outs, cocaine, hookers, and of course a tragically neglected soundtrack from Hayes himself. The action scenes are surprisingly good, and Corman protégé Jonathan Kaplan (director of fellow Grindhouse Project feature Night Call Nurses (1972) - review #443) makes sure he includes as much slow-motion men falling off rooftops and gushing fake blood as possible. Bloody good fun, and probably better than Shaft.

    www.the-wrath-of-blog.blogspot.com
  • Truck Turner is an ex-football star, built like a Mack truck. Fortunately his name IS Mac (though why they released it as BLACK BULLET in Australia is beyond me) which makes for a sensible nickname. There is practically nothing else remotely sensible thereon in, when Mac goes head-to-head with a bunch of no-good…well, macks (pimps).

    It is a typically paradoxical blaxpolitation film. It serves as both a reminder why the genre were so enjoyable - brazen heroes and villains, loads of sexy chicks for each, a top soul soundtrack - and why it had to die eventually - the burden of uninspired cashing in, here there and everywhere.

    BLACK BULLET is as b-grade as they come, and it's surprisingly nasty in places. With a similar cast and crew to the far-superior BLACK BELT JONES (a blaxploitation gem), you expect tongue in cheek, but by the time you've heard the world `bitch' a thousand times, it starts to lose its comic gleam.

    But at the end of the day it's all in good fun. It's just a shame the modern gangstas didn't get the joke.
  • As blackploitation movies go, this is one of the really better ones. Hayes has great screen presence and is in fine form here as a bounty hunter, who you don't want to push too many of his buttons. I love the start, where he finds his cat has p...ed on another of his shirts. His partner best/friend is a racey talking dude who Hayes coaxs into taking his new sports car on a speed run, and of course he's pulled over and ticketed, where Hayes smugly says after, "In future you should drive more carefully". A.k.a Black Bullet, this is good solid rate entertainment. Hayes who of course is Truck Turner, or Truck Mac Turner, if you wanna get more technical, has gone too far with his latest bounty, that has him accidentally killing him. The dead pimp's girlfriend, who runs her own stable of high class girls, is none too pleased, and puts a bounty on Truck's head, employing, mob guy acquaintance (Kotto) to take him down. As a madam, she's a sour, loose tongued ho, a real nasty so and so, describing some of her beauties, with references to finger lickin' Fried Chicken, and turnpikes. And if you want to leave her stable, girls, you better have one hell of a reason. In the wake of this tragedy. Kotto, even pays his respects by slagging into an open casket containing the poor SOB. How respectful is that. She wants so bad to kill Hayes, where earlier questioned in a salon, surrounded by her beauties, she plays funny buggers, Hayes finding this scene not so funny. I've never seen such hostility between cop and madam in this, than I have in other blackploitation movies which gave it a nasty edge about it, I liked. After one ho, knife's Hayes partner (Weeks) in the back Hayes, he knocks her out than says "Bitch" in a "Damn you" manner. Hayes too has a woman, he really loves, and will do anything to protect her, even if it means setting up for theft and putting her in prison. The last twenty minute revenge part of the film was great, Kotto staggering back to his car, outside a hospital, after killing Weeks, and being shot in the back by Hayes, showing such determination for the black guy. When he steps inside the car, his head hits the horn. Dead. Too, I loved the shootout bit between Hayes and the Madam, where I was rooting for Hayes, always the winner here. If blackploitation movies are your thing, and by high chance, you haven't seen this-my advice to you. Hunt it down. This one's a classic, and one with style, plus some of Hayes's scores, the magic singing voice of a black god, who could act too.
  • Lempea11 October 2011
    Warning: Spoilers
    I've always loved Blaxploitation films but don't know them all, and I recently found Truck Turner by complete chance. I LOVED it, Turner is such a bad-ass! He would kick Dirty Harry's and Shaft's asses big time! The film itself is also technically quite interesting, both in the direction, cinematography and editing; I loved the camera on Blue's face when he's about to die, or the shots that make Turner appear taller or his gun appear gigantic. The movie is also very funny at times, maybe more than it was actually intended: the vocabulary, several one-liners and the way the main characters bully anyone in the way just cracked me up. Hayes' music is also great, as usual.

    Great fun, great performances, great flick overall. A must-see for any who loves Blaxploitation. I wish I could see more of him; Turner deserved one or several sequels.
  • Isaac Hayes provides whole new dimensions to the term "Coolness" in his own and first Blaxploitation highlight "Truck Turner" (not counting the Italian Blaxploitation-Crime thriller crossover "Three Tough Guys"). Prior to this movie Hayes was only known as the performer of the legendary Shaft theme, but God bless the person who came up with the idea of giving him his very own movie-franchise! Hayes is brilliant and much cooler & tougher than all the other Blaxploitation heroes together, in my humble opinion. If I were to be stuck in a dark alley late at night, I would rather run into a combination of Richard Roundtree, Fred Williamson and Jim Brown than facing the gigantically postured and naturally petrifying Hayes. The plot of "Truck Turner" is rudimentary but nevertheless engaging and literally stuffed with awesome characters, witty comical undertones and phenomenal action sequences. I truly adore how each and every character that walks through the screen, even including Truck and his lovely wife, is a bit of a "badass" and living on the edge of the law him/herself. Mack 'Truck' Turner is a former football player who now works as a feared bounty hunter since an injury ruined his career. Truck loves his wife, even though she's a recidivist shoplifter and all the women in the neighborhood crave him, and there isn't a single thug on the streets who doesn't fear and respects him. Together with his partner Jerry he's tailing the fugitive big shot pimp Gator, but when the latter gets killed during a spontaneous bust, all hell breaks loose. Gator's main bi-atch Dorinda (Nichelle Nichols, acting like the black version of Ilsa Harem keeper of the Oil Sheiks) gathers all the city's most prominent pimps and promises the ownership of all her top-class prostitutes to whoever succeeds in killing Truck. Seeing the main story lines are so thin, "Truck Turner" mostly benefices from its 'shoot first ask questions later' action sequences, the splendid soundtrack and multiple stellar performances. Hayes receives great support from Yaphet Kotto (as a really creepy super-pimp), Alan Weeks (as the sidekick) and Sam Laws (as their employer). There are also excellent cameos for prominent B-actors like Scatman Crothers and Dick Miller. The violent climax in the hospital is simply awesome and has an original and tense anti-climax. Another downright brilliant and unforgettable scene takes place during the pimp's funeral. Pure 70's goodness!
  • Carrying around a 44 Magnum that was probably bought at the same place Dirty Harry Callahan bought his, Isaac Hayes essays the role of Truck Turner, former pro-football player turned skip tracer. Hayes is not too squeamish about what he has to do to bring back a given quarry and along with partner Alan Weeks, being a skip tracer he's not bound by the rules that Clint Eastwood has to live by as a cop.

    My best recollection of Isaac Hayes is as the jail house friend of James Garner in The Rockford Files. Gandolf Fitch was a man of few words and a very short fuse and next to him, Truck Turner is positively garrulous.

    The first part of the film is almost lighthearted in nature as we see Hayes and Weeks go about their jobs and we Hayes's relationship with girlfriend Anazette Chase. She's a nice woman, but an incurable shoplifter that Hayes constantly has to bail out and pay the fines or the merchandise for. The end of the first half though concludes with a car chase to rival Bullitt in which Weeks is wounded and their skip trace, a pimp played by Paul Harris is killed.

    After this the film changes mood so abruptly it's like watching a second film. Harris's woman and partner Nichelle Nichols wants Hayes dead and will pay anything for it and brings in a whole bunch of business competitors led by Yaphett Kotto to do the job. The second half of the film is a serious of gunfights, climaxed by a blazing shootout in a hospital.

    For those who remember Nichelle Nichols as the nice Lieutenant Uhura forever with that earpiece and trying to open channels on the starship Enterprise, you won't recognize the murderous fury that's in this character played by the same woman. She steals the film from Hayes in every scene she's in. I would not want her on my case.

    Truck Turner is a good action film with an astonishing portrayal from Nichelle Nichols. Star Trek fans might want to check this one out.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    A bounty hunter, Mack Truck Turner(Isaac Hayes)has a contract out on him by Dorinda(Nichelle Nichols, in a role bound to shock folks who know her as Ohura on STAR TREK), the vengeance seeking broad whose pimp daddy was murdered by him in self defense. Her fellow pimps across the city decide to take her up on that offer, but they aren't so lucky because Truck is hard to kill, and smarter than all of them(..that plus these hoodlums are all lousy shots because once they have aim, fire, and miss, Truck's taking them out). Harvard Blue(Yaphet Kotto), a sadistic pimp with quite a reputation, offers Dorinda his services for most of her prostitution business and hires assassins to target Truck, seriously hurting his boss and killing his bounty hunter partner. Soon Blue and his cronies themselves become the prey and Trucker the predator with a lot of dead bodies left after the dust settles.

    Tailor made vehicle for Isaac Hayes, getting a terrific role as a nearly unstoppable bad ass with an unglamorous career chasing down pedophiles, rapists, junkies and pimps(..along with Alan Weeks as his partner Jerry)for bond claimer Nate Dinwiddie(Sam Laws). I LOVED how the camera lens stretches the nose of Truck's gun giving the weapon a very intimidating look you just know is gonna cause some damage to the scum shot at.

    What a great cast of black actors! Yaphet Kotto is as intense and charismatic as Hayes, and what a finale in the hospital! Nichols as the vehement head hunter wanting Turner's death sure surprises(..just watch the scene where she scolds her whores who challenge her credibility as a proper pimp madame or how Nichols insults her male colleagues demeaning their manhood out of fear regarding Truck)in how she conducts herself towards those she has contempt for. I'd hate to not mention Weeks as Turner's buddy and fellow hunter whose life is constantly threatened due to the dangerous job(..and being associated with Turner)..he has some of the best lines and delivers them with pitch perfect accuracy. And Annazette Chase as Annie, Turner's thief girlfriend who can not seem to stay out of prison(..very amusing sequence has Turner setting the poor girl up for shoplifting out of fear for her safety!). Other amusing cameos from Scatman Crothers(..as a retired pimp with a hairpiece!), John Carpenter vet Charles Cyphers(..as a drunk!)and Dick Miller as a lawyer who often pays for Turner and Jerry's services.

    Lots of attitude, "colorful"(..often hilarious)street language, the gritty environment of New York City, and extreme graphic violence featuring plenty of bullets & blood. Solid entry in the blacksploitation genre.
  • Well straight off, I've got to say that the dialogue throughout the first half of this film had me in absolute non stop, side splitting hysterics. In terms of script, I can't honestly off the top of my head think of another film that comes even close to this! Just check out the conversation between our main man (the awesomely cool Issac Hayes) and his bounty hunting partner (the always excellent Alan Weeks) concerning Hayes cat peeing on his shirt as an example to illustrate the above – absolutely priceless! In fact everything and I mean everything about the film (for the said first half) is absolutely meriting of a full ten stars. Our main protagonists are instantly likable, the seventies fashions are groovy, the music is super cool and the action is spot on.

    Unfortunately although the film remains superb throughout, the feel good factor that so permeates throughout the proceedings early on is all but abandoned in favour of a far more brutal approach in the second half. Don't get me wrong, this in itself isn't a bad thing, it's just that the sudden loss of all humour is sadly missed.

    On the other hand, the action (and indeed gore!) picks up a major pace at the same point as if to compensate for this subtraction. And if it's violent action that you're after then you've come to the right place because Truck Turner proves to be one hell of an adversary to the villains in this. Special mention must be made of the main villains (played by the excellent Yaphet Kotto) eventual demise which utilises an intriguing reverse POV camera shot, meticulously mimicking his staggering death throes – great stuff!

    All in all, this is quite rightly regarded as a true blaxploitation classic. Simply awesome stuff!
  • H5O24 October 2000
    Seeing this blaxploitation classic for the first time revealed a lot more, and I used to see part of a clip of this film on MTV, when they used to have a TV show called Liquid Television, which aired around 1992. The only scene that I can recall was when Issac Hayes stated that "tell them you've been hit by a truck." Issac Hayes might have earned the Oscar a few years back for the Shaft theme, and at one time, a candidate for Shaft. Although the music score (compliments of Issac Hayes) was a little funkier than Shaft (1971), there were a lot of themes common with the blaxploitation genre, like pimp hats and Cadillacs. One thing that Star Trek fans will notice is Nichelle Nichols as a foul-mouthed madam who beats up women, which was at the right time, where Star Trek reruns were popular, and Trek alumni had to find other employment.

    Yaphet Kotto might have held an orange kitty cat (shades of The Godfather and Ernst Stavro Blofeld, or Dr. Evil), but portrays another villain, this time, more menacing than Dr. Kananga from Live and Let Die (1973). He does not hit women this time, but has ties to the mob, where in one scene, his "insurance company" consisted of Mafia hitmen, where he would avenge a former pimp's death as retribution, and finally meets his maker. Although Samuel L. Jackson, Ving Rhames, Laurence Fishburne, and Bill Duke have transcended beyond blaxploitation, the classic scene where Issac Hayes stares at the camera has been copied to this day, and even Quentin Tarantino were influenced by timeless classics.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Truck is a bounty hunter who gets a job to track down a guy named Gator.

    When he and his partner find him, a chase ensues and Gator is killed. This makes Gator's woman, Dorinda, very angry and she puts a hit on Truck.

    The man who agrees to kill Truck is named Blue. The question is whether Truck can survive with Blue and his gang on his trail....

    This movie is the pinnacle of seventies exploitation cinema. It wears it's tongue firmly in cheek, and although the third act is decidedly dark compared to the first two, it's constantly funny, and has been referenced with it's connotation and sharp dialogue ever since.

    Saying that the film is laugh out loud funny isn't criticising the film, but when Turner is chasing Gator, and Gator hit's every object in sight, it's hard not to find the film funny.

    This sort of film could never be made now, thanks to the derogatory way that women are treated, and of course the use of one word, but in this case, people could argue that it was a term of endearment. Hayes is fantastic as the titular character, and there is some brutal camera-work, especially the initial punch up and the point of view of Kottos demise.

    It's very easy to watch, story is simple as is narrative, and it's a breezy, fun film while it lasts.
  • The first ever Blaxploitation Film i saw was Shaft and I was hooked but I have to say that i thought a lot of these films were extremely tacky, even for my tastes. Truck Turner is one of those low budget features that breaks the mold and solidifies the codes and conventions of Blaxploitation Cinema as something we can easily recognise and relate to.

    A fan of '70's film, I thought that Truck Turner was an exceptional piece of film that entertains on so many levels. Its seventies chauvinism, racism, indifference to politics and crude violence is what so many politically correct crime/action films lack today and there is no shortage of style; no matter how absurd it gets.

    One moment the comedy is flying thick and fast and suddenly there is gunfire and bloodshed, epic car chases and barroom brawls. With Isaac Hayes providing the soundtrack himself, what you get is a simply cool action film that is not afraid to speak its mind and make the most out of a very basic plot.

    I'd even go so far as to call it original for its time!
  • Isaac Hayes effortlessly projects tons of cool in this starring feature. He plays the title role, a football star turned skip tracer (a detective who tracks down bail jumpers) who works with a partner, Jerry (Alan Weeks). He gets an assignment to nab a ruthless pimp named Gator (Paul Harris). In the course of attempting to apprehend Gator, Truck and Jerry are forced to gun the man down. This doesn't sit well with Gators' woman, a madam and maniacal harridan named Dorinda (Nichelle Nichols, a long way from Lt. Uhura). So she recruits other pimps to act as assassins and take out Truck.

    Hayes's screen presence makes all the difference. This is a mighty fine vehicle for him, and he composes the delightful score as well. He has fine chemistry with both the amiable Weeks and the very sexy Annazette Chase as Trucks' frustrated girlfriend Annie. Jonathan Kaplan ("The Accused", "Heart Like a Wheel") directs in high style, and there's quite an enjoyable amount of action. Things get effectively violent, too, with lots of squibs going off and much gushing of the red stuff. "Truck Turner" is not without a sense of humour, as proved by the "funeral for a pimp" sequence. The final shootout inside the hospital is visceral and exciting.

    Nichols is a fiery and striking villainess with a foul mouth, and the other supporting players fare pretty well. Yaphet Kotto does what he can with an under-written role as an ambitious crook who understands Truck better than most of the inept would be killers in the story. But get a load of the actors who also appear: Sam Laws, Charles Cyphers, Scatman Crothers (sporting a hilarious, ridiculous wig), Dick Miller, Stan Shaw, Henry Kingi, Don Megowan, Tara Strohmeier, Mel Novak, Matthew "Stymie" Beard, Johnny Ray McGhee, and John Dennis. Look for director Kaplan in an uncredited cameo as a cook.

    "Truck Turner" is solid and diverting, a good example of the blaxploitation genre overall.

    Eight out of 10.
  • "Truck Turner" is probably my favorite blaxploitation flick. All the genre's tropes are here, and it's just an entertaining movie. Car chases, shootouts, characters both cool and slimy, it's got 'em all. Isaac Hayes is awesome casting in the lead role, dude just exudes tough and he brings some great personality. And Yaphet Kotto's gotta be one of the most memorable pimps in screen history. Same for trash-talking Nichelle Nichols. Oh man, she's just something that's gotta be seen to be believed. Kotto and Hayes are no slouches, but Nichols steals the movie.

    8/10
  • dworldeater22 January 2019
    8/10
    Great
    Truck Turner is a great film vehicle for Issac Hayes and a very solid and entertaining entry for the blaxsploitation genre. Mack"Truck"Turner is a bounty hunter who also gets some help from his friend Jerry (Adam Weeks). Things take a darker turn when they are trying to apprehend a pimp named Gator, which provokes an all out war with the underworld. The main villain is a tough as nails pimp Harvard Blue(Yaphet Kotto), is totally mean and vicious and is a fine performance from Yaphet Kotto. Nicole Nichols (Uhura of Star Trek fame) is also very good as well. The film is very fast paced, action packed with cool dialogue and very violent with some bloody Sam Peckinpah styled shoot outs. Issac Hayes is great as the leading man and also did the music for the film. Truck Turner is Issac Hayes debut as an actor and he was one cool cat. This also is a very cool film that I highly recommend.
  • Isaac Hayes acts well in some parts, not so great in others. The soundtrack is a miss except the title song, which is too similar to that of Shaft. The action is sped up awkwardly and the plot is by the numbers, but there's enough charm and low budget appeal here to still be worth checking out. Hardly a classic of the time, but not unwatchable either.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Rough'n'tumble bounty hunter Truck Turner (smoothly played with charisma to burn by Isaac Hayes) runs afoul of both sadistic pimp Harvard Blue (Yaphet Kotto in fine ruthless form) and vengeful whorehouse madam Dorinda (Nichelle "Lt. Uhura" Nichols, spitting fire and paint-peeling profanity with startling ferocity).

    Director Jonathan Kaplan, working from a tart script by Oscar Williams and William Allin, keeps the exciting and entertaining story hurtling along at a brisk pace, maintains a tough gritty tone throughout, makes excellent use of grungy urban locations, stages the rousing action set pieces with rip-roaring verve (the wild climactic shoot-out at a hospital rates as a real stupendous doozy!), delivers oodles of bloody'n'brutal violence, and further sweetens the deal with a wickedly funny sense of brash humor. Moreover, it's acted with zest by a bang-up cast: Alan Weeks as Truck's easygoing partner Jerry, Annazette Chase as Truck's sassy klepto girlfriend Annie, Sam Laws as laid-back bail bondsman Nate Dinwiddie, Paul Harris as vicious pimp Gator, Dick Miller as sleazy lawyer Fogarty, Scatman Crothers as friendly informant Duke, and John Kramer as the slippery Desmond. The funky-throbbing score by Hayes hits the right-on pulsating spot. Charles F. Wheeler's dynamic cinematography provides a vibrant and stylish look. A total blast.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    The late 60s and early to mid 70s was when the height of the iconic blaxploitation cinema was booming in theaters. This sub-genre of movies usually included an almost all African American cast where the lead character was after justice and or revenge. Besides the amazing Fred Williamson being the poster child for these films, Oscar winner Isaac Hayes was right up there, standing with Williamson. With the amount of success that 'Shaft' had in 1972, the studios wanted Hayes for his own film. Just two years after 'Shaft', Hayes starred in 'Truck Turner', which is one of the best blaxploitation films you'll ever see.

    It's highly entertaining, full of action and one liners, and even served as inspiration for future films and comedy sketches throughout the years. Even 41 years late, 'Truck Turner' with Isaac Hayes still holds up with the rest of them. That being said, the acting by Hayes really isn't anything to commend here, as this was one of his first outings into acting, but luckily director Jonathan Kaplan weaves is more action and chases into 'Truck Turner' than having Hayes try and deliver melodramatic monologues. It was a wise choice and made the film much better.

    The film follows Mack Turner (Hayes), who goes by the name Truck, hence the title. Truck used to play pro-football, but had to retire after a bad injury. Now he is one of the best bail bondsman bounty hunters in the area, along with his partner Jerry (Alan Weeks). There is no criminal or bond jumper to difficult for Truck and Jerry to find and capture. They soon get a difficult criminal to capture by the name of Gator (Paul Harris), who is a violent pimp. Truck and Jerry have trouble locating him, since his madam girlfriend Dorinda (Nichelle Nichols) has him in hiding.

    To make matters worse, Dorinda puts out a bounty to all the criminals and violent pimps for Truck's head on a stick (in so many words). Meanwhile, another rowdy pimp by the name of Harvard Blue (Yaphet Kotto) is playing both sides for his own secret reasons. It's a lot like 'Warriors' when you think about it. A couple of people are trying to not get killed by a bunch of people looking for them on the city streets.

    Here though, you have the wit and seduction of Isaac Hayes front and center. I don't know who's idea it was, but it's hilarious to watch every single female in the film minus Dorinda, fall head over heels for Truck, no matter what he does. It's just hilariously fantastic from start to finish. The action never really lets up either, and has some great chase and fight sequences, including a surprising death scene.

    Nichelle Nichols is by far my favorite character here, because I was so used to seeing her as the bold and great character on 'Star Trek', but here, she is rude, vicious, and plain old evil. What a fantastic performance. 'Truck Turner' is one of those rare gems of a film that people rarely discuss, but you know it's almost always on their minds, for just how much fun it really is. With energetic performances, a great cast, and one heck of an original music score, 'Truck Turner' still is pure cinematic joy.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I don't know if Isaac Hayes is more of a musician, who became an actor. However, he plays a really cool character, and the movie has a good message. The "bad guys" are black, white, and other ethnic groups, too. Truck Turner is not a bad man. He has a girlfriend who loves her cat. Truck Turner is cool with the cat, and the bad guys get the cat. That would make anyone mad. Truck Turner also has to win back his girlfriend, which is real life. His best friend is beaten up really badly, which is realistic. He has to dodge a lot of bullets. Hayes is a reluctant hero. He doesn't love fighting bad guys, but just can't give up, either. So, it is a fun, entertaining movie, that has a heart. I like that he is really a sensitive guy, who isn't just some caricature. He lives in the "real World", too. I also think that Yaphet Kotto is a highly underrated actor. His death scene was masterful.
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