Truck Turner (1974)

Genres - Action  |   Sub-Genres - Action Thriller, Blaxploitation  |   Release Date - Apr 19, 1974 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 91 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - R
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Review by Jon Mills

Roger Corman alumnus Jonathan Kaplan delivers one of the best blaxploitation films of the era with Truck Turner. Commencing with a series of amusing vignettes, the "gentle but tough" nature of Mack "Truck" Turner is shown, which -- along with the camaraderie between our hero and his buddy -- lead to a more three-dimensional portrayal than most blaxploitation films offer. But Truck Turner has just as many laughs, both intentional and non-intentional (some of the clothing has to be seen to be believed). In 1974, car smashes and slow-motion violence were in vogue, and this high-octane ride delivers the goods on both counts. The acting is as good as one can expect in a B-movie: Nichelle Nichols (best known as Star Trek's Lt. Uhura) puts in a nice performance as a sexy, foul-mouthed whoremonger, and Yaphet Kotto plays his villain role with his usual engrossing professionalism. The plot, if a little slow, is actually pretty engrossing, and Issac Hayes is superb throughout as both actor and composer (the funky non-diagetic soundtrack adds much to the experience). It's amazing that this is Hayes' only real starring role: in his first try, he accomplished a standout film.