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Deadbeat (1977)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama, Thriller  |  April 1977 (USA)
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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 ... See full summary »


(as Harry E. Kerwin)


(screenplay), (screenplay)
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Cullen Garrett
Polly King ...
M.J. (as Scott Lawrence)
Daniel Schweitzer ...
Sam Moree ...
Jim Curry ...
Melisande Conaway ...
Johnny's Girl
William Kerwin ...
Detective Tom Garrett (as Thomas Dowling)
Rich DeMott ...
Ben Garrett
Alison Schlicter ...
Wendy Garrett
Mia Marchand ...
Second Waitress
Myraih ...
Melodee Spevack ...
Steven Peters ...
Opa-locka Red
Robert Shields ...
Chief Henderson


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. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Revenge for rape and murder. See more »


Crime | Drama | Thriller


R | See all certifications »




Release Date:

April 1977 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Avenged  »

Filming Locations:


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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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User Reviews

Typical 1970s exploitation
25 July 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

'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.

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