Slaughter


1h 31m 1972

Brief Synopsis

Ex-green beret Jim Brown stars as Slaughter, a man who avenges the gangland murder of his parents by massacring half of Central America.

Film Details

Also Known As
Julian Drake, Kill Julian Drake
MPAA Rating
Release Date
Aug 1972
Premiere Information
New York opening: 16 Aug 1972; Los Angeles opening: 30 Aug 1972
Production Company
American International Productions; JayJen II Productions; Slaughter 1 Limited Partnership
Distribution Company
American International Pictures
Country
Mexico and United States
Location
Mexico City,Mexico; Mexico City--Boyoacan River,Mexico; Mexico City--Coyoacan,Mexico; Mexico City--Hotel Camino Real,Mexico; Mexico City--Minas de Santa Rosa,Mexico; Texcoco--Hacienda La Grande,Mexico

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 31m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (DeLuxe)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
2.35 : 1

Synopsis

After his parents are murdered by a car bomb, ex-Green Beret captain Slaughter, a Vietnam War hero, searches for the culprits who planted the bomb. The African-American Slaughter first approaches Jenny, his father's white mistress, who was aware of his father's underworld connections, even though his mother was not. Jenny protests that she does not know who in the Mafia-led organization ordered the "hit" on Slaughter's parents, but as she talks, she is gunned down through the window. Slaughter chases but does not capture the shooter, and after he returns to the dying Jenny, she tells him that Reynaldi, a member of the organization, might have been the assassin and that he will be at the airfield that evening. That afternoon, Slaughter is momentarily detained by snoopy reporter Kim Walker, but he tosses her out, then goes to the airfield. He succeeds in killing one man and blowing up the gangsters' airplane, thereby maiming another man, but a third escapes and Slaughter is arrested. He is taken to the clandestine office of A. W. Price, the chief inspector for the U.S. Treasury Department. Price upbraids Slaughter for ruining a long stakeout, which was to result in the department's acquisition of the computer data used by the organization that killed Slaughter's father. Threatening to have Slaughter jailed, Price offers the contemptuous veteran a deal: if he goes to South America to collect the evidence the department needs, no charges will be filed. Price also promises Slaughter that he will be able to exact revenge on the real killer, who escaped from the airfield. Slaughter agrees and soon, in South America, is greeted by Kim, who is actually an undercover agent working with Price. After checking into a luxury hotel, Slaughter meets his assigned partner, a ne'er-do-well named Harry Bastoli, who shows him a computer punch card of the type now used by the Mafia for their record-keeping. Slaughter speculates that his father was killed for locating the computer, and Harry explains that the head of the local organization is Mario Felice, but that it was probably his right-hand man, the psychopathic Dominick Hoffo, who made the hit. In the countryside, at a lavish estate, Felice, who is indeed the "capo," or head, of the local Mafia, greets Ann Cooper, Hoffo's voluptuous mistress, who has brought him the latest batch of microfilmed data from Hoffo. That night, a terrified Harry begs Slaughter not to go to Felice's casino, which is typically populated by white jet-setters, but Slaughter insists that he will distract the mobsters while Harry searches the grounds for the computer. The deeply bigoted Hoffo is incensed by Slaughter's presence, especially as the veteran exchanges interested glances with Ann, but Felice urges him to remain calm. After a verbal joust with Felice, during which Slaughter shows him the punch card, Slaughter joins Harry, who reports that the hacienda does not have enough electricity to run a computer of the required size. The next day, Hoffo declares that he wants to kill Slaughter, but Felice again urges caution, explaining that he had been too hasty in killing Slaughter's family. Felice orders Ann to entice Slaughter into revealing information about his plans, infuriating the jealous Hoffo even more. Soon after, Hoffo and his main henchman, Frank Morelli, visit the computer site. When Gio, the technician, states that he is worried about the double-cross that Hoffo is pulling on Felice by stealing data, Hoffo orders nervous gunman Little Al to kill Gio or be killed himself. At the hotel, meanwhile, Slaughter is pleased that Ann has been sent by Felice, and their mutual attraction leads to a sexual encounter. That night, Frank and several other gangsters attempt to run down Slaughter with their cars but he eludes them. He then meets Ann and accuses her of providing the assailants with information about his location. Her vehement denial and proclamation of affection placate Slaughter, and the couple spends a romantic night in bed. In the morning, as they stroll through the hotel's gardens, Ann reveals that she was "a gift" to Hoffo eight years previously, and that she can never leave him. Slaughter vows to free her, but as they are talking, he sees Frank and two other thugs tracking them. Chasing the men up to the roof, Slaughter confronts them, tossing the two off the roof and scaring away the knife-wielding Frank. At the hacienda, Little Al confesses to Felice that he murdered Gio on Hoffo's orders, and Felice has him killed. He then calls Slaughter, telling him that he will deliver Hoffo to him in exchange for the promise of his silence about Felice's operation, and tells him to come to the casino that evening. While Slaughter, Ann and Harry prepare to go to the casino, Felice confronts Hoffo and accuses him of betrayal. Hoffo reveals that he has taken over the operation under Felice's nose and has moved the data to a different location. When Felice orders his bodyguard, Eddie, to shoot Hoffo, Hoffo coolly takes Eddie's pistol and shoots Felice, with Eddie and Frank then finishing off the former capo. At night, Harry sits in the casino separately from Slaughter and Ann to keep watch. Eddie escorts Slaughter to Felice's office but, sensing that something is wrong, Slaughter tosses Eddie in first, and the hiding Hoffo inadvertently shoots Eddie. As Frank is attempting to strangle Harry quietly in the casino, Slaughter bursts in and frees his friend. They race off in Ann's waiting car, and after they leave, Hoffo orders Frank to bring him Ann. The next day, Frank kidnaps Ann, and when Slaughter discovers her disappearance, he and Harry immediately leave for the hacienda, despite Kim's counsel to wait for Price. At the hacienda, Hoffo assures his new boss that he has transferred the data to a new location secure from the U.S. government. He then brutally beats Ann but is prevented from killing her by the arrival of Slaughter and Harry. The two men breach the outer walls of the hacienda and during a long, bloody shootout, travel through the courtyard and into the office, where they find Ann. Realizing that she will be okay, Slaughter leaves her in Harry's care and speeds away in a car, pursuing the fleeing Hoffo in a dangerous chase. After Harry kills Frank, Price, Kim and the police arrive. Following a brutal competition, Slaughter forces Hoffo off the road, and the bleeding gangster lies trapped in his car, which slowly leaks gasoline. Hoffo confesses that he killed Slaughter's parents, then demands that Slaughter free him. In response, Slaughter shoots at the gasoline, igniting it, and as Hoffo screams in agony, Slaughter drives off to return to Ann.

Film Details

Also Known As
Julian Drake, Kill Julian Drake
MPAA Rating
Release Date
Aug 1972
Premiere Information
New York opening: 16 Aug 1972; Los Angeles opening: 30 Aug 1972
Production Company
American International Productions; JayJen II Productions; Slaughter 1 Limited Partnership
Distribution Company
American International Pictures
Country
Mexico and United States
Location
Mexico City,Mexico; Mexico City--Boyoacan River,Mexico; Mexico City--Coyoacan,Mexico; Mexico City--Hotel Camino Real,Mexico; Mexico City--Minas de Santa Rosa,Mexico; Texcoco--Hacienda La Grande,Mexico

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 31m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (DeLuxe)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
2.35 : 1

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The working titles of this film were Kill Julian Drake and Julian Drake. At the beginning of the credits, a drawing of a bulls-eye target appears, and within the target is shown a picture of Jim Brown and the words "Jim Brown is Slaughter." As the credits continue, various scenes from the movie, tinted in different colors, are shown within the target. After the last credit, that of director Jack Starrett, the target turns sideways so that it resembles a gun muzzle. The gun fires a series of bullets that make an outline of "Slaughter's" face, which then fades to the film's opening sequence, that of the murder of Slaughter's parents. In the opening credits, actor Roger Cudney's name is listed without an initial, but in the ending cast credits, he is listed as Roger C. Cudney.
       According to a April 10, 1970 Los Angeles Times news item, Don Williams and James Pettinotti had formed Gambit Productions with the intention of producing Julian Drake, based on an original story by Williams. The film, with a script by Lee Carl, was to be directed in Spain by Richard Lang, with Fred Williamson and Rory Calhoun set to star. On March 15, 1971, however, Daily Variety announced that Williams had joined Pat Rooney Productions at Universal Pictures, and that Williams and Rooney would co-produce Kill Julian Drake, which was to be written by Mark Hanna from Williams' original story. Eventually, however, the project was taken to American International Productions.
       The opening credits contain the following written statement: "Filmed in cooperation with Churubusco Studios, S.A. Mexico, Hotel Camino Real, Mexico City, and Western International Hotels De Mexico." According to studio publicity, the 750-room Hotel Camino Real, which covered an entire city block, had never been used before as the setting of a film. Other locations included the Hacienda La Grande, near Texcoco, which was used as the computer complex; the neighborhood of Coyoacan, near the University of Mexico, as the site of a chase sequence; the Boyoacan River; and Minas de Santa Rosa, the location of the final chase, which was said to be the "oldest continuously operating gravel pit in the Western Hemisphere."
       Although the picture was shot entirely on location in Mexico, no location for the action is given within the film other than South America. In a May 2, 1972 interview with Hollywood Reporter, producer Monroe Sachson noted that the film's locale had to be changed from Mexico to a non-specified country at the request of the Mexican censorship board, even though the film had been partially financed by Estudios Churubusco. Sachson complained that the censorship board was "totally against any reference to their country if it shows it in any bad light." The article reported that Churubusco provided one third of the film's $850,000 budget, the rest of which came from Sachson's production company, JayJen II, AIP and Slaughter 1 Limited Partnership.
       Although studio publicity announced that Rafael Cervantes was in the cast, his appearance in the completed picture has not been confirmed. Studio press notes also related that actor Ronald C. Ross, who appears in the film as one of the hoodlums, was the "auto expert" who customized the cars used for the chase sequences to enhance their safety features and speed. Several film reviewers commented negatively on a device used throughout the picture, in which climactic scenes of violence were shot with a wide-angle lens to make them look somewhat distorted. The New York Times critic decried the technique as "a kind of haphazard pretentiousness."
       While the picture garnered mostly disparaging reviews, a number of critics praised the acting of Norman Alfe, who, in his film debut, portrayed "Mario Felice." Alfe, an American businessman who lived in Mexico City, had never acted before, according to contemporary sources. Despite his positive reviews, Alfe did not appear in another motion picture. According to an August 1972 Hollywood Reporter news item, the highly successful film brought AIP "the biggest business [at the box office] in the 18-year history of the company."
       In April 1972, writer Christopher Graham sued AIP, production executive Sally Perle, Sachson, JayJen II, Hanna and Williams, claiming breach of contract and plagiarism. Graham, who had written a screenplay entitled Slaughter at Moneyjunkiepass, claimed that AIP gave his idea to the "others named in the suit and that a screenplay was then prepared" under the title Slaughter. On June 9, 1972, ^DV noted that Graham's suit had been dismissed on the grounds that there was no similarity between his work in question and Slaughter.
       One sequel to the film was made, 1973's Slaughter's Big Rip-Off. Directed by Gordon Douglas and produced by Sachson, the picture featured Jim Brown reprising the title role. Although Sachson stated in the May 1972 Hollywood Reporter article that he was considering basing a television series on the character, with Brown as the star, it was not produced.

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States 1972

Released in United States 1995

Released in United States on Video March 29, 1990

Released in United States 1972

Released in United States 1995 (Shown in New York City (Film Forum) as part of program "Blaxploitation, Baby!" June 23 - August 10, 1995.)

Released in United States on Video March 29, 1990