my Movie

Movie Details

Title:   Truck Turner
Director:   Jonathan Kaplan
Year:   1974
Genre:   Soul Cinema
Times Seen:   2
Last Seen:   05.14.08

Other Movies Seen By This Director (1)
- Over the Edge

Notes History
Date Viewed Venue Note
05.14.08Weird Wednesday Wow what a treat to get to see this on the big screen. Since seeing it for the first time about a year and a half ago, it's kind of grown in my mind to be the best of the "real" films of the blaxploitation genre. Movies like Human Tornado, Deliver Us from Evil and Super Soul Brother are loads of fun but I sort of count those separately because a big part of the fun comes from the loose slipshod nature in which they were made. Then there's movies like this and Superfly and The Spook Who Sat by the Door; tick...tick...tick or even Black Caesar that have the (relatively) comfortable budgets and end up comparable to mainstream films... AKA I can believe that they showed in theaters and that people paid to see them. So anyway, of THOSE films, Truck Turner stands out for me as being the most solid, enjoyable pick of the litter... Seeing it again solidified that for me.

And I just love how Yaphet Kotto's character is used here. It's a bit of Welles in the Third Man where you hear him being talked about early in the picture, but when he finally shows up, every second counts. it also helps that he's acting like HE'S really the star of the movie and Isaac Hayes is the heavy getting impeding his progress. He's kind of the anti-hero of the pimp world, spitting on graves and slightly smarter than anyone else... the only one with a plan. Luckily, hayes' movie-star Black jesus persona is both figuratively and literally big enough to stand up to Kotto's intensity.

The script, or, as Lars mentioned in his ramblingly loving intro (sign of a cool job #328: getting paid to correspond with people like Jonathan Kaplan about movies liek Truck Turner), the 80% of improvisation is natural, funny, and authentic. That, along with the fact that Kaplan actually knew how to direct, are probably the two biggest reasons why the movie works for me. It seems like there's just that extra bit of coverage or interesting angle or lens choice to make scenes memorable for me much like a George Romero movie where you can still tell it's the Corman school and all that but they managed to eek out every little bit to create something visually exciting to watch. Like the top-down shot when they're hanging the dude out the window or (of course) the wide angle close-ups that grace the Badass Cinema T-shirts... just a higher quality than a lot of the other movies displayed.

And also the music.

I think the first build in the truck turner main theme is maybe the best build in all of music. Especially when that counter-riff comes in: BAH-DUh-duh BAH-DUh-duh BAH-DUh-duh and those weird eeh-a-ooh-ooh-a-ooh-ooh-OOH sounds laid in just loud enough to grow out of that bass line... man! I wish I had it here at work to listen to right now. Whoever gets Micah's copy of the 8-track better have a player!

Anyway, had a great time getting the chance to watch this at the Alamo. Love it!
02.17.07Internet This movie kicks so much ass.
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