Slaughter (1972)

6.0 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Acting: 5/10
Visuals: 7/10

Love the style of this period of low-budget film

All wooden acting, bad stereotypes undermine progressive nature of the film style

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Slaughter

Studio:  American International Pictures

Genre(s):  Action/Adventure/Blaxploitation/B-Movie

Release Date(s):  August 16, 1972

MPAA Rating:  R


Bring it!!!

The parents of Slaughter (Jim Brown) have just been murdered, and Slaughter wants answers!  Going after the drug runners, Slaughter finds himself pulled into an international operation to bring down mobsters in Mexico.  Slaughter and his liaison Harry (Don Gordon) must bust Mario Felice (Norman Alre) and Dominic Hoff (Rip Torn).  When Slaughter falls in love with a mob woman named Ann (Stella Stevens), Slaughter could be dangerous to everyone around him.

Directed by Jack Starrett, Slaughter capitalized on the blaxploitation style made popular in the early ’70s.  Critics of course didn’t really connect to the film, but the film turned a huge profit due to its low budget.  The movie had some great tag lines which included “Slaughter will blow your mind…clean out of your head!” and “It’s not only his name, it’s his business and sometimes—his pleasure!”


Hey girl…I like you…for this movie…you won’t be back for the sequel. I’m like James Bond!

Slaughter is another good example of the blaxploitation genre.  In typical style of this film, Jim Brown’s character is no nonsense, tough, and out to take down the white guys (mobsters and drug dealers) who have wronged him and his family.  In the process, he woos the white mob boss woman and despite being betrayed by it, does work with the law…all trends in action style blaxploitation films.

Jim Brown is pretty amusing as Slaughter.  No, the ex-Cleveland Brown can’t act, but he seems to be enjoying what he’s doing.  The lines are flat and the delivery leaves less to be desired.  Slaughter’s moves are even rather wooden, but he’s still fun to watch.  I feel that a lot of Michael Jai White’s Black Dynamite delivery had to be based on Jim Brown’s dialogue because Brown has the same strange flat delivery on almost every line.


You take from Rip Torn…you get…torn…

I just love the style of low budget films from this period, and Slaughter doesn’t disappoint in this area.  The look and camera work of the film have raw grittiness.  When you think a close up will happen, it doesn’t and instead of cuts you get zooms and pans.  Quentin Tarantino and his followers are big fans of this style of shooting that despite being low budget comes off as highly stylized.

Slaughter is a fun film, but probably only for fans of the genre.  The stereotypes are heavy but at the same time somehow empowering so there is that strange dichotomy to most blaxploitation films.  Slaughter was a big enough hit to warrant a sequel and was followed by Slaughter’s Big Rip-Off in 1973.

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Related Links:

Slaughter’s Big Rip-Off (1973)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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