Tuesday, April 12, 2011

"Disco Godfather"(1979)d/J. Robert Wagoner

Alright you no business, born insecure, junkyard rat soup eatin' muthafuckas, it's been a while since we've taken five on the black hand side of cult films, and really, who better to examine than Rudy Ray Moore, the late King of Party Records?If you've never seen one of his movies, you're in for a Rudy awakening.Tonight we'll examine what I consider to be his funniest(unintentionally in some scenes, as always), most outrageous vehicles in his ghetto oeuvre of low budget action comedies.In his flicks, you can always count on Moore to sport some atrociously dated threads, tacky enough to make a 70's pimp blush, horribly amateurish delivery of outrageous dialogue, visibly obvious stunt doubles, and enough hammy lens-mugging to send the portly William Shatner lumbering for his attorney.In other words, a helluva good time to be had by all!
Tonight's review is a cautionary tale concerning the dangers of smoking PCP-dipped sherms, which according to director Wagoner, will cause users to somehow experience the same hallucinations(I've done angel dust a couple of times in my formative years, and not once was I shot multiple times by black dudes in basketball uniforms or machete-slashed by an interpretive dancer in witch makeup...maybe it's a black thing,huh).Added to the cast of Moore usuals this time around is a hasty cameo by Carol Speed of "Abby" fame, who flubs most of her lines like a trooper here.Let's get to it, fellas.Put yo' weight on it!
Tucker(Rudy Ray Moore) puts his WEEEEIIIIGHT on it.
After Tucker Williams(Rudy Ray Moore) retires from the police force, he takes up residence at the Blueberry Hill discotheque as the "Disco Godfather"(logical next career move), where he mixes n' matches old rejected Star Trek costumes with gaudy jewelry and silver platform loafers and screams for local boogiers to put their weight on it, until his nephew Bucky gets caught up with a devastating new drug on the streets...angel dust.The young man stumbles into the disco,disrupting those getting down and hallucinating that he's playing basketball until his uncle gets wind of it and dramatically asks him,"BUCKY!What has you HAD!"The next morning, Tucker visits the local PCP unit, where a doctor(Jerry Jones) shows him the permanent damage smoking wack-dipped sherms has on a brother's brain, man.One woman served her four month old baby to her family on a silver platter, claiming her ham was crying and messing up her party(!).They visit Bucky in the hospital, while he's imagining a witchy woman lopping off his forearm with a machete, and the mother(Lady Reed) of one dusted girl is told they'll be introducing electroshock therapy as treatment."Oh no! Ain't nobody shockin' mah baby!"Tucker then pays the police a visit and tells the suckup detectives of his plans to rid the streets of the killer drug.Tucker's assistant, Noel(Carol Speed), then tells a reporter, "As you can see, to be a member of the disco squad of the Godfather's, you have to get funky and get down.(!)"Tucker then shows up and turns the interview to the subject of angel dust, which leaves her vowing to post the scoop on the front page.Imagine that, a nightclub owner that's anti-PCP.He's then jumped in his office by henchmen of Stinger Ray(James H. Hawthorne), the despicable afro-headed son of a bitch that's behind the wack attack.Cue the embarrassingly dated roller disco sequence at the club.
"Names! NAMES! I want names, you stupid son of a bitch!"
At a public "Attack the Wack" rally organized by Angels against Dust, Noel tells the crowd, "we wanna wack the attack!".Eh, close enough, honey.Undercover detectives foil an attempt on Tucker's life at the disco by Stinger's thugs, and afterwards the Godfather crashes a player's ball at Meat's pad, dumping an lp cover worth of nose candy on the floor to emphasize his seriousness.Then someone interrupts Tucker's lovemaking session with a dead, gutted cat nailed to his front door.After a raid turns up zero shermans, a pow wow with Lt. Hayes(Frank Finn) reveals a leak on the force.Bucky's homeboy, a street level sherm dealer, spills to Tucker that Stinger paid him five bills to turn the aspiring young disco dancer/basketball star on to angel dust.Detective Killroy(!) turns out to be the leak, and he dices himself up with a butcher knife in the bathtub to the horror of his white girlfriend.Not satisfied to wait for the arrest warrant, Tucker infiltrates the PCP factory his doggone self(in a green and yellow jogging suit,stocking cap, and canvas hi-top Converse sneakers, naturally), and with the help of a passing martial arts expert/jogger(!!)(Howard Jackson), he dispatches the sons of bitches guarding the operation.While Bucky and the cops are rushing to the rescue and Stinger Ray is destroying evidence, Tucker finds himself hogtied with a gas mask full o' wack on his grill.Whacked out on dust, he breaks lose, hallucinating the same damned things everyone else who's messed with the drug has.He stumbles upon Stinger making a hasty retreat, and in the throes of a mind-blowing trip(dig the crazy ambitious black light-ish animation here, kids!), he chokes the criminal out as the cops make the scene.The lawmen try to subdue the Godfather, who's having trouble discerning reality from his hallucinations, as he screams us right into the end credits.
Boy, coke parties are a lot different in the ghetto...
Moore would enjoy a career rebirth in the nineties, doing voice work for video games, cameos in rap videos, and successful convention appearances right until his death at age 81 in 2008.He would follow Godfather with a small cameo in Jamaa Fanaka's Penitentiary II in 1982.The doe-eyed Speed who made a name for herself in blaxploitation classics like Black Samson(1974),The Mack(1973), and the aforementioned Girdler ethno-exorcist clone, Abby(1974), would sadly drop off the radar completely after this role.Also notable is an uncredited cameo by Keith David, of The Thing(1982) and They Live(1988),as a disco patron.Though his movies are laughably inept from a technical standpoint, you can't help but think that Moore had a lot of love for his people and community, as is evident here, and that's something all of us should be cool with.Godfather puts its weight on the rating scale, and scores itself a solid two wops.The disc is available through Xenon Video, so dig it, man!
"Angel duss factory?Well let's kick ass then!" "I can dig it!"


Benton Fazzolari said...

The Dance Trio Scene is Fucking Gold. BTW Rudy Ray lost quite a bit of weight after the Dolomite films. He looks fantastic in this one.

beedubelhue said...

I can watch Rudy Ray anytime.Always a fave.Thanks, Benton!


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