Ron Lewis (Don Baker) is a high stakes gambler, and after winning the jackpot in Dallas against some Turkey's he gets ambushed on his way home. Shots are fired at him from an unknown hitman but he nevertheless manages to make it home. Upon arriving home he is met by the pushy sheriff Haskins, who is hell bent on intimidating him into a fight. Ron accidentally kills Haskins in self defence but is sentenced to 2-10 years in prison for his murder anyway. The jackpot money which he won was also taken from his car just after the attack by the police commissioner Morello. And after meeting a mob boss named Sal in prison, Ron vows to get revenge on the mayor and police commissioner that took away everything he had.
I really enjoyed this one, and after watching Charley Varrick, which will no doubt become an all time favourite of mine after a rewatch I fell in love with one Joe Don Baker, and as the lead actor in this film he didn't disappoint me. He's a man mountain, fearless and shines throughout in this pretty obscure flick about one man's revenge for the truth.
It also features some pretty disturbing scenes which caught me right off guard. One was a desk scene where a blade is stabbed through the top of a guy's hand and it's done with great care, that was not a rushed job. Another scene is where Ron is beating some information out of a detective and puts something like an air or gas pump into the guy's ear, his good one too as his other ear is hanging by a thread from an earlier punishment. The same poor guy is also dragged through his car window by his nostrils.
His girlfriend (as dippy as she is), plays a rather sweet part too. Her singing got on my nerves a little after a while but I couldn't help but forgive her as she was so innocent.
Most of my favourite parts about the film were all based in the prison. I thought Ron looked at home there and certainly felt comfortable. If he can command a comment from Sal (whose practically the mafia boss around those parts), about how he's never met anyone as cold as him, then i'm sure he would have coped just fine had he have stayed the whole ten years behind bars. He's also a mean-ass poker player too, shuffles like a young Phil Laak.
While it's nothing spectacular, this film kept me entertained throughout and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I'll definitely be checking out more of Joe Don Baker's other 70's work, like Walking Tall and The Outfit for starters.
"How could I forget? First time I ever seen a tub of shit in a suit."