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A racketeer tears up L.A.'s underworld searching for his brother's killer.
Tyrone Tackett, a former police officer who now works for Oakland, California pornographer Murray Biggs, returns to his hometown of Los Angeles to investigate the suspicious death of his beloved brother Cornell. Tyrone calls on Cornell's girl friend, prostitute Irvelle Way, who claims to have no information about Cornell's death. Tyrone, disbelieving her, warns her to show up at Cornell's funeral so that he can ask her more questions. He then visits Cornell's house, noting that two men, Baby Huey and Leon, are following him. At the house, he finds no sign of Cornell's teenage daughter Rochelle, but recovers the old shotgun the boys played with as children. Later, at the funeral, Tyrone learns that while Cornell officially died by driving his car off the road into the ocean, he had passed out drunk before hitting the water. Tyrone comforts Rochelle and invites her to live with him, but she refuses. When she sees Irvelle enter, she responds with animosity, prompting Tyrone again to threaten the prostitute that if she does not tell him the truth, she will suffer his wrath. Outside, Huey and Leon warn Tyrone to stop investigating Cornell's death, but Tyrone assures the men he does not frighten easily. Tyrone then returns to Cornell's home with Rochelle and Cornell's partner in his used-car business, Sherwood Epps. The two men drink all day, and later Sherwood offers to lend Tyrone a car if he helps him repossess it. They then return to the car lot, where a drunken Tyrone calls his girl friend, Nita Biggs, who is Murray's wife, and speaks to her erotically in front of Sherwood's horrified customers. That night, he rents a motel room from manager Laural Garfoot, and the next day drives to the spot where Cornell's car went through the guard rail. When he sees Huey following him again, he shoots out his car tire with the shotgun, then attends a dogfight to discern the whereabouts of the local mobsters, assuming they will have information about Cornell's death. He finds Shag Merriweather, a driver for white mobster Nano Zito, and commandeers Shag's car in order to gain access to Zito's mansion. Once there, Zito welcomes Tyrone and invites him to watch a handball game on his home court. Also watching are Gozelda, an aspiring porn actress who hopes Tyrone can introduce her to Biggs, and Shag, who has followed in a rage. Tyrone's arrogance prompts Zito to challenge him to a handball game, which Tyrone easily wins, and when Zito calls in Shag to beat up Tyrone, Tyrone trounces the chauffeur. That night, he approaches Rochelle again in an effort to win her over, but when she rebuffs him, he gives her cash and leaves ruefully. At the motel, he calls Nita from Laural's office phone, and as he titillates Nita verbally, Laural strokes her leg suggestively. Soon after, Tyrone and Laural have sex, but they are interrupted by Sherwood, who warns them that Huey, Leon and a white thug have followed him looking for Tyrone. Tyrone attacks the three and captures Huey, who finally discloses that he was hired by Theotis Oliver, the owner of a chain of pornographic theaters. Leaving Sherwood to watch over Huey, Tyrone visits Oliver's house, where the man and his wife are disciplining their teenage daughter for throwing a party in their absence. Tyrone introduces himself, but upon realizing that Oliver has no idea who he is, returns to his motel room and discovers it has been ransacked. Laural, hiding in her room, censures Tyrone for failing to protect her and Sherwood, but Tyrone insists that Sherwood can take care of himself, and warns Laural not to call the police. They make love but are interrupted again by Leon and the white thug, who tell Tyrone to leave town. Tyrone answers their threat by firing his gun at them, sending them fleeing. Tyrone finds Sherwood at his house, beaten up but in bed with a young girl. He then goes to Africa America, a wildlife park, to look for his old friend Julius Swift. Discovering that Swift is not there, Tryone goes to meet Irvelle at the Watts Towers, where she informs him that Cornell was good to her, but she broke up with him when he wanted to take her away from the brothel, after which he threatened suicide. Tyrone, knowing his brother was basically straight-laced, does not believe her, but must turn away to confront Huey and the white thug, who have followed him and chase him down in their car. Just then, Gozelda pulls up and rescues Tyrone, then brings him to her apartment to make love. She informs him that she is kept by Oliver, then escorts him to Oliver's new theater, which he is building to begin a legitimate exhibition business. Oliver lets Tyrone know that he has checked Tryone out and will pay him $5,000 to kill Zito, who is responsible for Cornell's death. Suspecting that Oliver wants Tyrone to get rid of Zito so that Oliver can rule the L.A. underground, Tyrone rebuffs him. Gozelda then takes Tyrone to a porn film in which she stars, hoping he will praise her to Biggs. The movie features Gozelda and Irvelle leading a scared young girl to a room where Swift rapes her, and when Tyrone recognizes the girl as Rochelle, he forces Gozelda to admit that Zito shot the film and Shag "pulled," or recruited, Rochelle for it. Guessing that Cornell saw the film and was killed for attempting retribution, Tyrone puts Gozelda in his car trunk and rushes to Rochelle's house, arriving just in time to see Shag leave. Inside, Tyrone finds Rochelle dead from a shot to the head. Newly enraged, Tyrone returns to the wild animal park to confront Swift, who claims that he had no idea of Rochelle's identity when he made the film and reveals that Shag forced Cornell to drink a pint of whiskey, then put him in his car facing the sea. Tyrone sadly tells Swift that he once looked up to him, then shoots him in the head. Back on the side of the road, Tyrone lets Gozelda out, and she is soon mauled by a lion. He then finds Oliver in his new theater, where Oliver admits that he showed the porn film to Cornell in the hopes that Cornell would kill Zito. Noting that "Bourgeois kids like yours can do anything because they have money, but street girls like Rochelle end up dead," Tyrone hangs Oliver in his porn theater, then tells Oliver's thugs that Zito was the murderer. Meanwhile, Tyrone calls Zito and agrees to leave town in return for Shag. Zito pretends to be happy to oblige, and sends Shag on a "delivery," but then calls his corrupt policeman friend to follow Shag, hoping to set up Tyrone. Zito is conducting an orgy at his mansion when Oliver's thugs enter and kill everyone, including Zito. When Shag shows up at the delivery location on the side of the road, he is horrified to find Tyrone there with his shotgun. Tyrone chases him over a roadside construction scaffolding and traps him. Shag states that the real enemies are the white men in power, then, when Tyrone remains impassive, condemns him for "digging the taste of blood." In response, Tyrone kills him, then carries his brother's ashes down to the sea to scatter them. The policeman arrives and aims at Tyrone, but upon hearing a radio report that Zito is dead, puts his weapon down. Tyrone scatters the ashes and returns to his old life.
Cast & Crew
|MPAA Ratings:||R||Premiere Info:||New York opening: 20 Dec 1972|
|Release Date:||1972||Production Date:||
A Gene Corman Production
|Color/B&W:||Color (Metrocolor)||Distributions Co:||Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc.|
|Sound:||Stereo||Production Co:||Penelope Productions, Inc.|
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