Junesploitation 2021: Truck Turner (1974)

June 8: Junesploitation’s topic of the day — as suggested by F This Movie — is blacksploitation.

Released by American International Pictures as a double feature with Foxy Brown, this movie features Isaac Hayes as former pro football player turned bounty hunter Mack “Truck” Turner. After another successful job with his friend Jerry, he gets another bounty from Fogarty (Dick Miller), but not before seeing his girlfriend Annie (Annazette Chase, The Toy). She wants him to give up this crazy and violent life.

That next job is all about catching a pimp named Gator (Paul Harris, Across 110th Street), who runs and ends up getting killed. His main lady Dorinda (Nichelle Nichols!) gets all of his prostitutes under control and makes a deal with all of the other pimps in Los Angeles. Whoever kills Truck Turner gets to be the main pimp. Only Blue (Yaphet Kotto) takes the challenge, but no matter what he tries or who he hires — a veritable rogue’s gallery of villainy — Truck keeps making it through.

Director Jonathan Kaplan, who went from movies like this and The Student Nurses to bigger things like Heart Like a Wheel and The Accussed, told Monthly Film Bulletin that Truck Turner was written for Lee Marvin, Robert Mitchum or Ernest Borgnine, but Larry Gordon at AIP said, “Well, we can’t get any of them so now it’s a black picture.”

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