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Slaughter (1972) - Blu-ray Review


4 beersHailing from the early years of the Blaxploitation movement in cinema, Jim Brown in 1972’s Slaughter is one helluva serious bad ass.   He never smiles and puts EVERYONE in his or her place.  The film – as its blu-ray arrives this week courtesy of Olive Films – remains a punkish onslaught of urban vengeance.  The former Cleveland Browns football legend proves he has the leading man chops (and kicks) to go toe-to-toe with the likes of Lee Marvin and Clint Eastwood in his swift delivery of rough justice. 

The jive-talk is flowing.  The machismo is contagious.  And the streets just aren’t safe.  Slaughter, a retired Green Beret, is in the thick of it when the mob targets his father via car bomb.  Big explosions follow and a family is shaken up.  Oh, yes.  There will be blood.   And Slaughter, who bumps heads with U.S. Treasury Agents, winds up doing their dirty work in South America.  His father will be avenged.  Full of sharp suits, casinos, serious swagger, and whole lot of Stella Stevens, Slaughter operates like a well-groomed Bond film but moves like a caged panther.  There’s no messing with this dude.  

While filmed on a modest budget, this American International Pictures production is a gritty tale of revenge that continues to chart high as an example of the best of the bunch in the era of Blaxploitation.  It shimmies when it should shake and it sidesteps American streets for an unidentified South American locale.  Directed by Jack Starrett (Race with the Devil), the film fights off criticism and censors with a solid handling of some pretty solid action scenes; one involving an airplane and a charging car.  A very funky score by Billy Preston and Luchi De Jesus accompanies all of this steely-eyed mayhem.

However confident its cinematic roll is, Slaughter isn’t the easiest of flicks to slide straight into.  There's a lot of animosity bursting forth from this one.  You have to have some understanding of the social and political landscape of the era.  Times were tough and - with longstanding class mobility concerns - a lot of African Americans were fed up and needed to hear, see, and follow men of action.  Between civil and women's rights concerns, there were a lot of people ready for blood to be spilled.  And Slaughter was it. 

As far as solidly executed B-movie entertainment is concerned, Slaughter still delivers.


[tab title="Film Details"]

Slaughter (1972) - Blu-ray Review

MPAA Rating: R.
92 mins
: Jack Starrett
Jim Brown, Stella Stevens, Rip Torn
: Action | Crime | Drama
Slaughter will blow your mind... clean out of your head!
Memorable Movie Quote: "Well... I got mine... Come on!"
American International Pictures (AIP)
Official Site:
Release Date:
16 August 1972
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
September 22, 2015
Synopsis: Slaughter, a former Green Beret, avenges the killing of loved ones by the Mob, and in so doing is coerced by the Feds into traveling to Mexico to finish off surviving mobsters.


[tab title="Blu-ray Review"]

Slaughter (1972) - Blu-ray Review


Blu-ray Details:

Available on Blu-ray - September 22, 2015
Screen Formats: 2.40:1
: English
: Blu-ray, Widescreen
Discs: 50GB Blu-ray Disc; Single disc (1 BD)
Region Encoding: A

Retaining the grain and grit of its low-budget, Olive Films presents Slaughter on blu-ray with a new 1080P transfer.  In spite of its technical limitations, there is a solid contrast through most of the picture and even the colors appear brighter than before.  Skin tones are solid and the details in some of the period clothing are sharp. There is some noticeable print damage as there has been little attempt at a proper cleaning. While there is ZERO depth to many of the shots and dirt and some scratches still pop up, Slaughter simply doesn’t disappoint. The DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel mono track is solid.



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