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Tomcats (1977)
  • Director:
    Harry Kerwin
  • Category:
  • Writer:
    Wayne Crawford,Andrew Lane
  • Cast:
    Chris Mulkey,Polly King,Wayne Crawford
  • Time:
    1h 23min
  • Year:
When four degenerate thugs rape and murder a young waitress in part of their rape and murder spree, they are arrested, but get away with though a legal technicality. The brother of one of the rape/murder victims decides to become vigilante and kill the four degenerates by himself.
Cast overview, first billed only:
Chris Mulkey Chris Mulkey - Cullen Garrett
Polly King Polly King - Tracy
Wayne Crawford Wayne Crawford - M.J. (as Scott Lawrence)
Daniel Schweitzer Daniel Schweitzer - Johnny
Sam Moree Sam Moree - Curly
Jim Curry Jim Curry - Billy
Melisande Conaway Melisande Conaway - Johnny's Girl
William Kerwin William Kerwin - Detective Tom Garrett (as Thomas Dowling)
Rich DeMott Rich DeMott - Ben Garrett
Alison Schlicter Alison Schlicter - Wendy Garrett
Mia Marchand Mia Marchand - Second Waitress
Myraih Myraih - Bev
Melodee Spevack Melodee Spevack - Jackie
Steven Peters Steven Peters - Opa-locka Red
Robert Shields Robert Shields - Chief Henderson

Tomcats (1977)
This movie, like many low budget movies I've seen from the seventies, revolves around rape. Rape, rape, rape. I don't see how they find time to pack more rape in there, what with all the raping going on, but that Kerwin fellow manages to find room. I don't know about you, gentle reader, but personally I don't find movies drenched in rape to be my cup of tea (Rape Squad excluded of course). If you can look past the giant heaps of rape going on in this movie, you may find a couple funny, if not intentional, lines. At one point the cops are questioning some drunkard that they have picked up that claims to have witnessed one of the thirty-six HUNDRED rapes that goes on, but he won't talk until they give him booze. So finally the main cop gives him a drink, which the witness happily guzzles down. This makes one of the cops wonder out loud, "how can he drink that stuff?!" to which the main cop replies, "If you grow up eating shit, you think it's ice cream." I don't know about you, but I can tell when I hear good dialogue, and that was some GOOD DIALOGUE. There's also a funny part where Chris Mulkey, our "hero" of the movie, gets assaulted by the Rape Gang with an ice cream cone to the face! How savage! RAPE! It just occurred to me that there is some sort of ice cream theme running through this movie, but I refuse to even spend another second thinking about it.
'Deadbeat', aka: 'Tomcats' (theatrical title), 'Avenged' (video title), and 'Getting Even' (overseas title) is a tough, gritty, mean-spirited, but surprisingly well-made, low budget, rape-and-revenge thriller. It was directed by the same man who directed goofy 1960s soft core skin flicks such as 'Strange Rampage' and 'My Third Wife George'; Harry E. Kerwin. Before his sad and untimely death from lung cancer in 1979 at age 48, he had produced wrote and directed many sexploitation gems as well as ran the gamut from doing makeup effects for low-budget Florida-made trash pictures such as 'Love Goddess on Blood Island' and 'Sting of Death', as well as directing nudist camp flicks such as 'Girls Come a Too' and 'Sweet Bird of Aquarius'. With the sexploitation cinema dead by the 1970s as independent filmmakers were making profitable (but very illegal) X-rated hardcore sex films, Kerwin moved into the more drive-in friendly brand of exploitation flicks. In 1975, Kerwin teamed up with actor-producer-writer Wayne Crawford where they co-wrote and produced the neat little Florida hillbilly kill fest 'God's Bloody Acre' which starred Crawford under the pseudo 'Scott Lawrence'. Happy with the box office profits from that film, they decided to make another exploitation flick the following year in 1976, a rape-and-revenge thriller modeled after the 1974 Charles Bronson flick 'Death Wish'.

'Deadbeat' opens up in a small seedy suburban Miami diner where a 17-year-old, innocent and virginal waitress, named Wendy Garrett, is closing up the diner alone after her boss leaves for the night. A van with a Colorado license plate pulls up and the driver is this rugged, bearded cowboy named M.J. (played by Crawford, and acting under 'Scott Lawrence' again) along his three goonish sh-- for brains pals who walk into the diner to rob it, but just for kicks, the four goons gang-rape and murder Wendy, with M.J. doing the fatal deed with his shotgun. A few nights later, after drinking, smoking dope, and beating their girlfriends for their own enjoyment, M.J. and his group do the exact same thing again when they break into another diner after hours, gang rape, and kill another waitress. Another day later, they are pulled over for a routine traffic violation where the drunken idiots confess to both killings. But surprise, surprise.... the four cretins get away with it on a legal technicality, and a witness to the first killing, a derelict who was drunk at the time, is found unreliable. So, the four of them walk free. This of course outrages Wendy's older brother Cullen (Chris Mulkey). Despite being a law student and going against the advice of his girlfriend (Polly King) and his police detective uncle (played by Kerwin's brother William Kerwin, star of Herschell Gordon Lewis' 'Blood Feast', and acting under the pseudo 'Thomas Dowling'), Cullen decides to abandon the legal system and get justice the old fashion way: by producing his .44 Magnum revolver, going out, stalking, and killing the four bastards one by one.

Chris Mulkey (who would also later appear in the 1990-91 surreal TV series "Twin Peaks" playing Hank Jennings) is good as the troubled law student Cullen. Wayne Crawford ('Scott Lawrence'), who would go on to appear in a small role as a chem teacher in Harry Kerwin's 1977 sex comedy 'Cheering Section' and star as the doomed protagonist in Kerwin's last film 'Barracuda', before going on to appear in more mainstream films like 'Valley Girl', 'Night of the Comet', and 'Jake Speed', is marvelously repulsive as the central antagonist. The utterly amoral and sadistic M.J. is so evil that like most "revenge" films, the odds are stacked against him so that there isn't any moral dilemma in Cullen's justification for his murder plot to kill the four guys who raped and murdered his innocent sister. One is so anxious to see Cullen hurry up and kill M.J. and his goons is that watching this movie is like being part of a celluloid lynch mob. Another ignore-the-law revenge thriller for those who like the genue.

Despite it's low budget and faded-with-time color quality, and some plot holes with sometimes stupid plot twists, as well as two hard-to-watch rape scenes, and cheap violence and gore, it is recommended for those who relish with such exploitation flicks.
Chris Mulkey plays a law student whose sister was brutally raped and murdered by a group of drunks (led by Wayne Crawford, billed as another name). Mulkey quit school and kills them one by one DEATH WISH style. The film has some real brutal moments, and had to be cut to get a "R" rating. Mulkey wons some critical praises on the film LOOSE ENDS the same year, could've been a action star if this film was released wide. Dimention Pictures gave a platform release, making this a forgotten film.
Eighteen year old sister of Chris Mulkey is gang-raped and murdered by four drunken degenerates.Her brother takes a gun and kills them one by one in "Death Wish" fashion."Deadbeat" was released to theaters as "Tomcats" in 1977 and on video in the United States as "Avenged".In UK it was released on video under the title "Getting Even".There are two pretty nasty gang-rape scenes in "Deadbeat" as well as plenty of nudity and some misogynistic violence.The film looks cheap,but the plot is fast paced and interesting.Of course "Getting Even" plays like a low-key version of "Death Wish",so you know what to expect.I did like it.8 out of 10.
Though the premise of the movie is pretty simple, it still could have provided a lot of drive-in thrills. There is quite a bit of nudity and sex, the latter of which is occasionally presented in a way that's borders on the perverse (even in the non-rape scenes.) Despite this, the movie is pretty slow and not that exciting, though the climatic action scene has a few unintended laughs by the fact the passer-bys in the background can't seem to hear or see the ruckus going on in front of them. The movie also boasts what may be the cheapest and most hastily-built courtroom in cinematic history.
If you can't get enough of revenge sagas, this low low budget effort from the 1970s might suffice. The story is trite, but the movie has enough female skin and violence, and solid pacing, to help make up for any flaws. A quartet of degenerates are on a crime spree that includes the rape & murder of two young women. One of the victims was the younger sister of law student Cullen Garrett (Chris Mulkey), who's pretty damn angry as you can imagine. The men soon get picked up, but poor timing of the reading of the Miranda rights leads to them getting let go. Naturally Cullen is going to do something about this travesty of justice, his career be damned. He's not exactly the slickest or most well prepared of vigilantes, but he's got the tenacity required. Handsome character actor Mulkey, whom you may recognize from such movies as "First Blood" and "Ghost in the Machine" and the TV series 'Twin Peaks', does good enough in this early starring role. Polly King is appealing as his girlfriend Tracy, who's dismayed by the change in her usually low key guy. The four creeps are played reasonably well, with Wayne Crawford (who co-wrote and co-produced this with Andrew Lane) as the ringleader among them. (Crawford and Lane went on to be the producers of the cult classic "Night of the Comet".) In a supporting role you'll see William Kerwin, star of the Herschell Gordon Lewis splatter favourites "Blood Feast" and "Two Thousand Maniacs!", as Mulkey's lawman uncle, and his authoritative presence as an exploitation veteran really helps. (Crawford and Kerwin both act under pseudonyms.) There's enough bare female skin (King is nicely endowed) to keep exploitation fans content, and as always in this genre it's satisfying to see repellent characters ultimately get their just desserts. Daniel Schweitzer's Johnny gets particularly rough treatment. In the end, this isn't anything especially noteworthy or memorable, but it's adequate entertainment while it lasts. At least it doesn't go on too long. Seven out of 10.
Filmed in and around Miami, "Getting Even" gets right down to business with a nasty rape and murder of a diner waitress. What follows is the girl's law student brother in a relentless pursuit of street justice, after the four assailants are freed on a technicality. The movie has weak acting, but the "Death Wish" like revenge screenplay moves along fast enough to maintain interest. There is some girlfriend abuse, nudity, mostly off screen violence, and a small amount of "black humor" thrown into the mix. This is bare bones exploitation that actually surpasses expectations for such a low budget film. Not bad of it's type. - MERK