In all the annals of exploitation filmdom, there is perhaps no greater guilty pleasure than the blaxploitation era of the ‘70s. And 1973’s urban drama The Slams — as produced by Roger Corman’s brother, Gene — is certainly no exception. Big bad Jim Brown stars here as Curtis Hook, who, as the film opens, is the low man on the totem pole in a plan to snatch $1.5 million in cold hard cash from the mob — with a suitcase of cocaine thrown in for good measure. Hook isn’t going to settle for an even split, however, and promptly takes out the competition once the job is complete — stashing the moolah away in a deserted amusement park by the sea, and disposing of the deadly drug by dumping it into the water below before being pinched by the man and sent to The Slams.
But prison life is anything but easy for a guy when everyone wants your money. Though he’s been put away for entirely different reasons, there are a number of parties — from an incarcerated mafia feller (Frank DeKova) livin’ large behind bars to the penitentiary’s corrupt staff, and the feds, too — hoping to get their hands on the dough Hook rightfully killed and stole for to begin with. To make matters worse, our man Curtis winds up smack dab in the middle of a race war between the honkies and the brothers — a perpetual fracas endorsed by the very same people that are also after Hook’s stashed-away fortune. These inmates don’t play nice, either: one guy gets molten metal poured on his face, while our anti-hero himself receives an eyeful of bleach from white supremacist gang leader Glover (Ted Cassidy).