Jul 26, 2008

Disco Godfather

Rudy Ray Moore has had an exuberant life style - no doubt about it. With countless stand-up records and films under his belt, he has actually had a long-lasting impact on Urban society, inspiring rappers and black film directors around the world. If there is one black character that will forever be remembered, it will be Dolemite.

Straying from his normal "Dolemite/Pimp" fare, he turns to an ex-cop turned disco dancer, nightclub owning bad ass motherfucker. I'll start off by expressing my shocked claims that this film manages being rated PG. While censorship wasn't nowhere near as lenient as it is now, the rating system was heavily deformed as it allows a film with insane scenes of terror, martial arts violence, gratuitous foul language, and frequent drug abuse to be rated PG.

The film, Disco Godfather, is a horrid steaming pile of shit in every inconceivable way, but Jesus fuck, did I have fun watching this blaxploitation gem. Arguably on of the worse blaxploitation films made, Disco Godfather gets no respect at all. Incessant ramblings of people flaying the film alive are featured everywhere. I take it that these are the same people who've never seen a blaxploitation film before. If so, they'd realize that it's just as bad, if not, more awful than the original Dolemite. Doesn't mean we don't love and cherish the film regardless of the intense cameo of the boom mic.

The Disco Godfather AKA Rudy Ray Moore is typecast as a verbally cleaner Dolemite who demonstrates his ability to grin like a Cheshire cat and to attempt to dance. While the dance floor is covered in the "sore thumb nerdy whitey" and black people who can actually dance, Tucker (Disco Godfather) enters the stage, shakes his arms and the crowd goes wild. The same metaphor could be applied to drug rings. Power doesn't necessarily govern power. Where smart tactics come into play, one of those uber-powerful henchmen could easily overthrow the wimpy ringleader.

After Tucker's nephew is given PCP (Angel Dust,) he decides to bring together "his people" from the streets to "attack the wack" or "crack the attack on wack" or "attack the crack wack with a smack from a black mack" You can choose which one you wish to use. I made the last three of them up, but none the less, they fit perfectly with the plot points. Rudy Ray Moore must base most of his acting from those extremely loud and annoying black preachers that scream about salvation but come off as an extremely aggressive and racist bunch.

One thing that strikes me in the tactic of entertaining the audience is how well dance scenes translate on film. I remember watching Grease or Saturday Night Fever for the first time, and seeing John Travolta pulling off some amazing numbers. I was instantly hypnotized and couldn't peel my eyes from the screen. Disco Godfather is about as reckless as you'd imagine. In a rude scene, some guys had a pile of cocaine on top of a Saturday Night Fever vinyl to which Rudy Ray Moore discarded promptly.

The dancing in Disco Godfather should be amazing considering that's the films fall back. When you watch a film about disco, you want to see dancing, am I right? Well, from Rudy Ray Moore's ..err... zealous entrance, the film is a barrage of horrible dance moves that can hardly register as walking. Then the extras bust a groove that can be labeled as talent, but the scene quickly escapes into more horrible urban moral scenes in which some random black person expresses his interest in preserving "his people" regardless of the excruciatingly high statistic in black-on-black crime.

"Haven't you heard, Godfather? Our children are dying!"

When the stars do PCP, the effects are frenetic and surrealistic in a sense. Going back to the southern roots of Negro folklore and witchcraft, these charismatic characters have bizarre visions of Negro seaweed haired witches swinging swords cutting off limbs. Then we have artistic creations and weird squeals. The technicolor effect reminded me heavily of not almost similar film Awakening of the Beast. The racial impromptu dialogue implies heavily that the creation of Angel Dust was towards the annihilation of the black community. With such a ridiculous regard towards urban society, they fix the boo-boo but putting scenes of extremely horrible "martial arts."

I don't even think it should be labeled as such, but for some reason, I love these horrific fight scenes. Seeing Rudy Ray Moore and his blatant inability to jump kick gets me laughing a riot. There's the deus ex machina guy near the end named Howard who has some ability in martial arts but his foot never gets a foot near someone. The hit detection choreography is horribly flawed at best. Disco Godfather's bodyguard also disappears later in the film, it's as if they just gave up and wanted the film to end - much like what I partly desired.

This film coheres the fact that Afro martial arts might be the most amazing form to grace the screen. Rather than seeing goofy Asians flying off walls and doing awesome counters with scimitars or katanas, I'd rather see an uppity Negro with a pair of nunchuks, careening through white drug dealers screaming something about loving Jesus as he slaughters hundreds of people.

Disco Godfather is a long ass Soul-fused Anti-Drug PSA. Or maybe it is promoting the drug? With such a down-beat ending, It's hard to tell if it promotes a drug-fueled revenge or not. Whenever Rudy Ray Moore skip-walks across the screen, It's obvious that he is his people's person. Even though "his children" have lost track during the generations, The black youth still need a positive role model, not some clown with baggy pants screaming about cocaine.

Whether Rudy Ray Moore is offing a silly white cowboy hit man by catching his cattle-whip (What an ironic fate) or becoming a recipient of a nefarious psychedelic drug torture, he is always there to kick ass and scream extremely loud. If you don't enjoy early blaxploitation films, then you will hate this. It's something beautiful to see a polyester-suited Rudy Ray Moore discussing the finer points of life while trying to understand one of his greasy gutter "brothers" as the alcoholism and recklessness kick in. A film predicting the near-future, can ya dig it?



Anonymous said...

you reviewers are obviously smart people who want to see bigotry end and a peaceful culture prosper, but why do you say "negro"? i doubt its irony or shock value. i'm curious.

Soiled Sinema said...

Negro is the proper term. It's certainly not African American. Black in Spanish is Negro after all.