"Three Tough Guys" was a blind view from the Grindhouse Experience box, and damn near fulfilled its promise of blindness with the muddiness of the print. Still, there's enough in this Italo-French blaxploitationer to make it worth soldiering through. No new ground is covered as Isaac Hayes' former cop joins forces with venerable European character actor Lino Ventura's rough-and-tumble Catholic priest to combat the oily evil of Fred "Black Shatner" Williamson's career criminal Joe Snake. To go over the blaxploitation/Italo-crime checklist, we've got gritty dialogue, ridiculous clown suits, amusingly stilted fight sequences, and plentiful bitchslapping. There are some slow bits towards the middle, but just as my interest would begin to wane, something AWESOME would happen and I'd be right back in it. This movie reminds you of it's balls-out redackarousness at the correct moments. As you're dozing during the plot exposition--WHAMO! There's fisticuffs and wig-snatching and shirtless-beleathered Fred Williamson to wake you right the fuck up.
I'm kind of in awe of the COMPLETELY AMAZING pinball-themed film poster shown here. Sidebar: I LOVE scenes filmed in vintage videogame arcades, and this movie has several. Including a fight scene in which Fred Williamson gets pelted with a bowling ball and sent down the alley. Bestill my beating heart! You can see fully eighty percent of the Good Shit in this two-and-a-half-minute trailer:
Bonus points for the scene in which Isaac Hayes' character takes a leak on some vanquished baddies. Stay classy, "Three Tough Guys."
I'd be hella-remiss if I didn't make mention of this movie's theme song. It's a good 'un, written and performed by Mr. Hayes himself and containing some of the most fist-pumpingly, eye-crossingly, drool-inducingest badass lyrics OF ALL TIME. You'll be humming this bad boy all day long, right along with me.
Preacher man, police man, working together
They both can fight, black and white
and they're TOUGH GUYS!
NOTE: I ADORED director Duccio Tessari's "the Blood-Stained Butterfly" which starred my first choice for Tenebrous Emperor, Helmut Berger. It's kinda hard to believe he directed that film, a giallo of great beauty and sensitivity, and this wacky thrill-ride! I am most surely inspired to seek out more of his films now.