Slaughter's Big Ripoff
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Slaughter's backand the mob's out to get him! Big Jim Brown (The Dirty Dozen, Ice Station Zebra) returns in the role of the ex-Green Beret who takes on the job of scorching the mob in this spectacular actioner! Co-starring Ed McMahon ('the Tonight Show ), Gloria Hendry (Live AndLet Die) and Scatman Crothers (The Shining), Slaughter's Big Rip-Off is one fast-paced massacre [that] puts it all out front (LA Herald-Examiner)!When a gunman in aplane tries to pull a fly-by on Slaughter, he knows his battle with the moband corrupt copsis far from over. Helped by an honest detective and a good-hearted pimp, Slaughter goes on a missionto expose a list that names every politician and policeman on the mob dole. But it won't be easy. The list is in the home safe of the big man himself (McMahon) and he'll do anythingincluding kidnapping Slaughter's babeto keep it!
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The plot here follows a bungled Mob hit on Slaughter that ends up killing a good friend of his, and Slaughter's efforts to get revenge. Black Action Movie genre veterans abound in this film: Gloria Hendry ("Black Belt Jones", "Live & Let Die") is the leading lady here, Marcia. Brock Peters is Reynolds, a cop who thinks some of his superiors are on the take. They are, and the Mob boss behind them is Ed McMahon, aka Duncan. Don Stroud is Kirk, the lead henchman, and Slaughter's main foil here.
Again, a list of kickback recipients figures into the plot: Dick Anthony Williams (billed here as Richard) is Joe Creole, a pimp and professional burglar for hire(!), who becomes Slaughter's temporary partner in heisting Duncan's ledgers listing the politicians and other public officials receiving payoffs. This leads to a game of cat-and-mouse between Slaughter and Kirk, and the violent climax in one of Duncan's nightclubs.
There are almost as many fight scenes here as in the first film; the opening sequence somehow combines a horse race and a "fly-by" shooting by crop-duster. In keeping with genre standards, the women here are gorgeous and (mostly) of loose virtue. Here, Slaughter gets twice the love action, as he beds a palm-reader early on, in addition to Marcia later. There is also a hilarious Scatman Crothers cameo as a numbers man. McMahon as Duncan gets less to do than you would think-- also, unlike many Blaxploitation villains, he's not portrayed as a racist (that's Kirk's department): but seeing the Tonight Show sidekick as a crime lord is still amusing unto itself. We still don't get much of a glimpse into Slaughter's background (besides being ex-Army with a private arsenal, just what does he do for a living?); alas, such intellectual concerns are perhaps unnecessary to enjoy the fisticuffs and gunplay...
Highlights here are Brock Peters (Soylent Green), Don Stroud (Coogan's Bluff), and the pimp (the very recently deceased Dick Anthony Williams), the last of whom gets all the good lines: "I should'a known you ten years ago, man. We'd a-ripped off the whole world in a week." But Ed McMahon is more out of place as a mob boss than he would be leading a Tae Bo class. Weak female characters throughout.
Critically, where is the James Brown soundtrack? I'm guessing it got axed over some rights issues, like what happened with the original Gone in 60 Seconds. All we get here is lame instrumentals. Funk that.
Genre rating: 1 star
This time again some crime syndicate tries to kill Jim Brown aka. Slaughter by shooting from a flying airplane. Instead, his friend got killed, so again Slaughter begins his own vendetta to get the man behind the killing. As usual, FBI got involved, and as usual, he has a girlfriend (Gloria Hendry) to protect.
Though action scenes themselves are not bad, McMahon of "Tonight Show" as baddie is as incredible casting as Demi Moore in "Scarlet Letter." Well, Jim Brown is as cool as ever, but there's nothing exciting about he film. The actions come too few and far between to raise the film's tension too the level of other blaxploitation films. Too ordinary.
Try to spot Valda Hansen (credited as Hanson), remembered by some movie fans as one of the friendly circle surrounding Edward Wood Jr. -- fondly called "the worst movie director" -- and herself star of his unbelievable "Night of the Ghouls."
I bought a VHS tape, but it MAY contain a different soundtrack from CD's or DVD's. As I have not listened to or seen either CD or DVD of "Slaghter's Rip-Off," I'm not quite sure, but the IMDB site shows the existence of the alternate take of the film, which uses a different soundtrack. Some part of the soundtrack of VHS tape, interestingly, clearly uses the same songs you can hear in "Coffy," including the instrumental version of that famous theme song. Very curious.