Truck Turner, also known as Black Bullet, is a 1974 blaxploitation film, starring Isaac Hayes and Yaphet Kotto, and directed by Jonathan Kaplan. The screenplay was written by Michael Allin, Jerry Wilkes, and Oscar Williams. Hayes also scored the music for the soundtrack. The film was released by American International Pictures as a double feature with Foxy Brown.
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Jonathan Kaplan|
|Produced by||Paul M. Heller|
|Written by||Michael Allin|
|Based on||story by Jerry Wilkes|
|Music by||Isaac Hayes|
|Distributed by||American International Pictures|
|Box office||$2.23 million|
Mack "Truck" Turner (Hayes) is a former professional football player who becomes a Los Angeles-based bounty hunter after an injury. Truck visits his girlfriend, Annie (Annazette Chase), who is in jail and wants to leave LA when released. Truck and his partner Jerry Barnes go to collect their bounty from Nate Dinwiddie, a bail bondsman, who refers them to Fogarty (Dick Miller), a bail bondsman after a pimp who skipped bail named Gator.
The two visit Dorinda (Nichelle Nichols), who runs Gator's stable of prostitutes. Truck and Jerry wait for Gator to visit, and chase him, but Gator escapes. A tip from Truck's friend Duke (Scatman Crothers) allows them to locate Gator again, and kill Gator when he attempts to shoot Truck.
Dorinda threatens Gator's former whores to keep them in line. Dorinda offers Gator's competing pimps a deal: whoever kills Truck gets to replace Gator while she runs the stable. The only pimp interested in the violence is Harvard Blue (Kotto). Truck survives several ambushes by Blue's goons.
When Blue points out that Dorinda will not be able to deal with Truck, they agree to share the cost of getting rid of Truck, and Blue will take over more control of Gator's stable. Blue's men force Nate to call Truck and tell him that there is a big job. Truck does not feel sober enough after a night of partying, so he calls Jerry, who dies in Blue's ambush.
Nate warns Truck of the hit out on him. Truck frames Annie for shoplifting, and the police arrest her. Truck visits Nate again in the hospital. Truck gives Nate Jerry's gun for protection, and then they shoot Blue's goons when they burst in. Blue flees, but Truck shoots him. Blue dies a few minutes later in the driver's seat of his car. Truck confronts Dorinda and more goons at her house, and kills her when she reaches for a gun.
Truck makes up with Annie as she gets out of jail. All of his belongings are packed in the car, and he promises he will go away with her, right away, if she takes him back. They drive off together, leaving LA for good.
- Isaac Hayes — Mack Truck Turner
- Yaphet Kotto — Harvard Blue
- Alan Weeks — Jerry Barnes
- Annazette Chase — Annie
- Nichelle Nichols — Dorinda
- Sam Laws — Nate Dimwiddie
- Paul Harris — Richard Leroy "Gator" Johnson
- Charles Cyphers — Drunk
- John Kramer — Desmond
- Scatman Crothers — Duke
- Dick Miller — Fogarty
- Bob Harris — Snow
- Jac Emil — Reno
- Edna Richardson — Frenchie
- Stan Shaw — Fontana
- Wendell Tucker — Wendell
- Earl Maynard — Panama
- Tara Strohmeier — Turnpike
- Henry Kingi - Candy Man
The film started as a script by Leigh Chapman about a caucasian bounty hunter. It was bought by Fred Weintraub who was in partnership with Larry Gordon. Chapman later recalled, "I remember going into the office and, with my usual insouciance? arrogance? announced that, in that case, I wasn’t going to do any freebie re-writes. The response? That’s OK. He doesn’t want you on the project anyway.... And then, it became a blaxloitation film … about pimps and whores, right? I don’t think any of that was in my script and I’m not sure why I even received a story credit. I used Jerry Wilkes [as a pseudonym. That’s part of my ex-husband’s name."
Kaplan says the film was written for Lee Marvin, Robert Mitchum, or Ernest Borgnine. "Larry Gordon at AIP said, "Well, we can't get any of them so now it's a black picture." Isaac Hayes was cast and that's how that came about."
- In 2001 it was released on DVD.
- In 2010, it was digitized in High Definition (1080i) and broadcast on MGM HD.
- On July 7, 2015, Truck Turner was released on Blu-ray.
|Soundtrack album by|
|Isaac Hayes chronology|
The soundtrack for Truck Turner was composed by Isaac Hayes. Although many regard it as Shaft's equal in composition, the soundtrack never managed to reach the mass popularity of the Shaft soundtrack, mainly due to the financial decline of Stax Records and was originally released on a double record album on vinyl which are mostly found in the "bargain bins". However, in 1993, it was released in a double-CD album alongside Hayes' other lesser-known soundtrack for the movie Three Tough Guys and again released on its own CD in 2002. Some of the music score was used by filmmaker Quentin Tarantino in the Kill Bill series.
- "Main Title (Truck Turner)"
- "House Of Beauty"
- "Blue's Crib"
- "Driving In The Sun"
- "Now We're One"
- "The Duke"
- "Dorinda's Party"
- "Pursuit Of The Pimpmobile"
- "We Need Each Other Girl"
- "A House Full Of Girls"
- "Hospital Shootout"
- "You're In My Arms Again"
- "Give It To Me"
- "The Insurance Company"
- "End Theme"
- Samuel Z Arkoff & Richard Turbo, Flying Through Hollywood By the Seat of My Pants, Birch Lane Press, 1992 p 206
- Ignoring the Obvious By Bob Thomas. The Washington Post, Times Herald (1959-1973) [Washington, D.C] 26 Dec 1973: D13.
- "Lotsa Teeth: An Interview With Leigh Chapman". Classic TV History. 17 Nov 2015.
- Taylor, Paul (1 Feb 1989). "Keep on Truckin' - Jonathan Kaplan". Monthly Film Bulletin (56.661 ed.).
- Gardner, Chris (14 February 2004). "Latifah takes the wheel of 'Truck'". The Hour. Retrieved 25 April 2016.
- Linder, Brian (12 February 2004). "LATIFAH TRUCK-ING AT MGM". IGN. Retrieved 25 April 2016.
- Unterberger, Richie. Review: Truck Turner. Allmusic. Retrieved on 2017-04-14.