The late great singer/composer/actor Isaac Hayes stars as Mack "Truck" Turner, a skip tracer (bounty hunter) in the greater Los Angeles area. Before he became a criminal catcher, Truck was an all star football player, which is where he earned his nickname. The film begins with some humorous touches after Truck gets a call from his partner Jerry (Alan Weeks) about a new assignment. Truck finds his pet cat has peed on his last clean shirt. Truck and Jerry goto the place where Garretty (wanted for child molesting) is at. The place happens to be an US Army base. Truck and Jerry get some insulting racist comments from the guards, after which they decide to just break through the gates and do their job. When they finally get Garretty, they find out that hes a racist too, and after being insulted by the loudmouth, Truck takes him out into a field and beats him like the sack of crap he is. Truck and Jerry drop the beaten Garretty off at jail and Truck pays a visit to his girlfriend Annie (Annazette Chase) who is also locked up. It so happens she is a serial shoplifter. Still, the two are in love and it shows as they look deeply into each others eyes.
Truck gets his assignments from Nate Dinnwittie (Sam Laws), a bail bondsman. While hanging out at the office, Nate and Jerry give Truck shit about his girlfriend. Truck lets them know he's not going to cut her loose for anyone. The two skip tracers' next assignment is to bring in a pimp/drug dealer named Gator (Paul Harris). They goto get info on Gator from Fogarty (Dick Miller) who tries to bribe them into the job for less money than they want. They finally get the full amount and head off to find the pimp. Gator's top trick is Dorinda (Nichelle Nichols) and she can easily be described as a super bitch. She takes no shit from anyone and is about as sweet as piss n' vinegar. When Truck visits her at a hairdresser's salon to inquire about Gator, we see how much of a stone cold witch she really is. Now, she may be queen of the bitches, but shes also hot as hell, which just makes things more complicated. This lady would give Foxy Brown a run for the money! Truck and Jerry watch Dorinda after she leaves the salon and pretty soon ol Gator shows up on the scene. When Gator spots the two bounty hunters in his rearview, he tears off like lightning. Truck and Jerry take off after him and we get a very exciting car chase through LA. Guns are fired, cars are smashed, tires squeal, smoke and dust is everywhere. Truck and Jerry follow Gator to the LA Water power station where Gator proceeds to crash his car into a ditch. He makes it out alive and runs into the plant, Truck and Jerry follow. Gator manages to evade them and steal their car. Pissed off, Truck and Jerry stop a passing truck and force the driver to follow after Gator. Gator manages to get away, after running through a local bar and tossing money to the patrons to beat up Truck and Jerry when they come through the door. The barroom brawl begins and Truck and Jerry are both bushwacked. They manage to get out in one piece but a bit bloodier for the ware. One of Truck's contacts is Duke (Scatman Crothers), an old friend who happens to be a pimp himself. Truck gets some more info on Gator and where he might be hiding out. Gator is found on the lam at a small apartment. Truck and Jerry corner him, a shootout ensues and Gator is killed, not after one of his white hos stabs Jerry in the back with some scissors.
After Gator is killed, Dorinda decides to get revenge on Truck by any means necessary. Her plan is to bring all the biggest pimps/hustlers into the mix and make a deal to give whichever one kills Truck a part of her high class pimpin' business. Enter Harvard Blue (Yaphet Kotto) who steps up to the plate to bring Truck down. Harvard brings in his own rogues gallery of underworld vermin to destroy Truck's inner circle of friends beginning with Nate and Larry. In the bloodiest sequence of the film, the gang shotgun Larry like a pig and Harvard Blue shoots him point blank just to make the hit even more cruel. The next day, Truck and Annie visit Nate at the hospital and they return to Truck's apartment to find it destroyed. Even Truck's poor pet cat is killed, hung up on a string. To keep Annie safe, Truck decides to set her up at a clothing store. Since Annie is a "booster", the cops are called and Annie is taken away to jail again. Truck's next move is to visit Harvard Blue's mansion where he confronts the pimps there and a gun battle ensues. Truck gets rid off as many of the scum as he can.
When Truck goes back to the hospital to visit Nate, Harvard Blue shows up ready to kill and there's a shootout. Without any extra protection, Harvard picks up a young boy to use as a shield from Truck, but Truck manages to get the drop on Harvard and hits him in the leg, then triumphantly blows him away outside the front doors. Truck goes after Dorinda and orders her to get out of town, but when she pulls a gun on him, he takes her out Truck-style with his 44. Truck soon finds Annie walking down the street, she's still pissed at him but the two make up and drive off into the sunset.
Truck Turner is a well made, really exciting Blaxploitation crime film. It was directed by Exploitation film veteran Jonathan Kaplan who also made the cult classics Night Call Nurses, White Line Fever and Over The Edge.
Reviewed by Pete R.
Harvard Blue: Turner's like a bulldog with eyes up his ass!
Dorinda: (on one of her hos) We call her Turnpike, cuz you gotta pay to get on and pay to get off!
Dorinda: (on one of her hos) Her clients call her Col. Sanders, cuz shes finger lickin goooood.
Dorinda: Those two bitches that left - they had better learn to sell pussy in Iceland because if I ever see them again I'm gonna cut their fuckin' throats! We are family... and that's what we're gonna stay. Now I got important business out there today. And when I call you, I want you to come out there and shake your asses proper! You hear? Hah? Now get out there and make it look good! And Raquel, take that fuckin' jacket off! Move it!
Truck: Anybody ask you what happened, tell 'em you been hit by a truck: Mack 'Truck' Turner!
Harvard Blue: Be cool, pussy.
Dorinda: I haven't had to sell my pussy since I was fifteen and found out I could sell other bitches' instead.