Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe
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.