I’ve been on an exploitation-flick tear recently, and my latest score is Tough Guys aka Three Tough Guys, a 1974 blaxploitation flick notable for featuring loverman/Scientologist Isaac Hayes in one of the only starring roles he ever landed.
As a film it’s OK–not as good as Shaft, not as bad as Black Terminator. Hayes and an Italian priest–don’t ask, it’s complicated–are trying to solve some sort of crime, which somehow necessitates such methods as beating up a woman, taking a piss on some mafia dudes’ faces, and calling a cop a faggot. Two things make it a jam: the location shots around Chicago, which provide a grainy snapshot of the city when the Sears Tower was still brand new, and the soundtrack, which was also Hayes’s work. The main theme is a weird hybrid of Shaft-y hi-hat and strings with an insanely funky combo of massive analog synth and freaky-ass fuzz guitar. It’s a super-badass track–so badass, in fact, that a bunch of kung-fu filmmakers have stolen it for their own movies, a tradition Quentin Tarantino continued when he used it to score O-Ren Ishii’s animated backstory in Kill Bill Vol. 1.