Slaughter (1972 film)

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Film poster
Directed by Jack Starrett
Produced by Monroe Sachson
Written by Mark Hanna
Don Williams
Starring Jim Brown
Stella Stevens
Rip Torn
Music by Luchi de Jesus
Cinematography Rosalio Solano
Edited by Clarence C. Reynolds
Renn Reynolds
Distributed by American International Pictures
Release date
1972 (1972)
Running time
91 min.
Country United States
Budget $750,000[1]
Box office $10 million[2]

Slaughter is a 1972 Blaxploitation film released during the early 1970s film era. It was directed by Jack Starrett and stars Jim Brown as a former Green Beret captain seeking revenge for a murder. Stella Stevens, Rip Torn, Don Gordon and Cameron Mitchell co-star. This film was followed by a sequel the following year, Slaughter's Big Rip-Off (1973).

Plot summary[edit]

After the father of Vietnam veteran and ex-Green Beret captain Slaughter (Jim Brown) is killed by a car bomb, he becomes obsessed with avenging the murder. He learns it was arranged by a Cleveland organized-crime gang and tracks down the mobster personally responsible, killing a Mafia member in the process. The murderer, however, manages to escape.

Slaughter gets arrested and charged with first-degree murder, but Treasury Department official Price (Cameron Mitchell) offers to drop all charges if he agrees to go to an unnamed South American country to capture the escaped mobster, who apparently has a super-computer that helps him run his crime empire.

Upon arriving, Slaughter meets up with two fellow agents, Harry (Don Gordon) and Kim (Marlene Clark), having previously known Kim. The mobster responsible for the murder of Slaughter's father is Dominic Hoffo (Rip Torn), right-hand man of kingpin Felice (Norman Alfe). Hoffo, a blatant racist and sociopath, instantly hates Slaughter, especially when his comare Ann (Stella Stevens), a professional working for the organization, makes it clear she's delighted to have been ordered by Felice to present herself to Slaughter as a peace offering.

Slaughter, having no intention of backing down from his vendetta, accepts Ann's offer with pleasure, and her loyalties quickly transfer to him. Numerous fights and gun battles ensue, with the hot-headed Hoffo eventually killing the more reasonable Felice and assuming command, beating Ann viciously for her disloyalty. After a climactic shootout and lengthy car chase, Slaughter succeeds in killing Hoffo by incinerating him in a crashed vehicle.



Slaughter was generally a low-budget production film, which was typical of most blaxploitation films during this era. It was directed by Jack Starrett. Writers included Don Williams and Mark Hanna. The producer was Monroe Sachson. Filming was in Mexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico under the American International Pictures production company. Its release date in the United States of America was August 16, 1972 in New York City.

In a May 2, 1972 interview with The Hollywood Reporter, producer Monroe Sachson noted that the film's locale had to be changed from Mexico to a non-specified country at the request of the Mexican censorship board, even though the film had been partially financed by Estudios Churubusco. Sachson complained that the censorship board was "totally against any reference to their country if it shows it in any bad light." The article reported that Churubusco provided one third of the film's $850,000 budget, the rest of which came from Sachson's production company, JayJen II, AIP and Slaughter 1 Limited Partnership.”[4]


Slaughter is a decent mix of sex and violence, with particularly well-done action scenes. It also has just the right amount of comedy. Highlighted by a funky music score and Billy Preston's downright awesome theme song, Slaughter delivers solid blaxploitation goods.”[5] “This release is a bucket of dumb fun that benefits hugely from Brown’s screen presence and by Starrett’s energetic direction,” according to a review made in May 2006.[6]

Slaughter features dated set-ups, stiff acting and horrifying dialogue. But it does have Jim Brown, who is on bada**. 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 , it Slaughter will please even the hardest fan of the exploitation films.”[7]

“Featuring a dynamic theme song by Billy Preston, Slaughter was a major box-office hit in 1972 and one of the most popular films of Jim Brown's screen career; it spawned a sequel, Slaughter's Big Rip-Off, which appeared in 1973.”[8]

“Just about every tough black actor was given the opportunity to create his own blaxploitation hero in the early 70s. Ron O'Neal had Superfly, Richard Roundtree had Shaft, Fred Williamson had Hammer and Jim Brown had Slaughter. Although the football player turned thespian had a handful of film roles going back to the mid-60s, Slaughter represents his first real starring vehicle. While not critical favorites by any means, Slaughter and its sequel Slaughter’s Big Rip-Off are action-jammed fun in the typical AIP (American International Pictures) tradition.”[9]


The music was principally done by Luchi De Jesus, as musical director/supervisor, for the original film. Manuel Topete was the sound designer. In addition, the theme song for Slaughter was by Billy Preston. The theme associated with the film gives Slaughter its own unique sound that stuck around and made a significant presence in the Blaxploitation film genre. Ric Marlow also made contributions as a songwriter. No soundtrack LP was ever issued.[10]

Preston's theme was later reused by Quentin Tarantino in his 2009 film, Inglourious Basterds.[11] It was also featured under a bar fight scene in Brian Helgeland's 2015 film, "Legend."


Slaughter was released on DVD in January 9, 2001 as an entertaining 70’s action movie. Subtitles were available in Spanish and French. However, the DVD was only distributed in the U.S. and Canada by studio MGM (video and DVD). It has a runtime of approximately 90 minutes.[12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Samuel Z Arkoff & Richard Turbo, Flying Through Hollywood By the Seat of My Pants, Birch Lane Press, 1992 p 200
  2. ^ Don Williams: Street Kid to Legitimate Financial Success Murphy, Mary. Los Angeles Times (1923–Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 24 Mar 1973: b7
  3. ^ "New York Beat". Jet. September 7, 1972. p. 61. Retrieved January 18, 2018. 
  4. ^ "Slaughter (1972)". Turner Classic Movies. 
  5. ^ "Slaughter (1972)". 2 July 2009. 
  6. ^ "Slaughter (1972)". 30 May 2006. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ Deming, Mark. "Slaughter Synopsis". Artistdirect. 
  9. ^ Reis, George R. "SLAUGHTER (1972) Director: Jack Starrett MGM/SLAUGHTER'S BIG RIP-OFF (1973) Director: Gordon Douglas MGM". 
  10. ^ "Slaughter". 2005. 
  11. ^ "Quentin Tarantino: The Complete Syllabus of His Influences and References". Vulture. 2015-08-28. Retrieved 2017-04-21. 
  12. ^

External links[edit]