Disco Godfather (1979)
By: Devon B. on July 22, 2008  |  Comments  |  Bookmark and Share
DVD
Dark Horse Entertainment (Australia). All Regions, PAL. 4:3. English DD 2.0. 97 minutes
The Movie
Credits
Director: J. Robert Wagoner
Starring: Rudy Ray Moore, Carol Speed, Jimmy Lynch
Screenplay: Cliff Roquemore, J. Robert Wagoner
Country: USA
External Links
Purchase IMDB YouTube
Disco Godfather stars Rudy Ray Moore, AKA Dolemite. If you hate rap, you'll have to hate Rudy, as he was possibly the inventor of the style, and certainly a huge influence on a lot of rappers. In fact, I first heard Rudy on 2 Live Crew records. I don't know if that's an accolade or not.

In Disco Godfather, Rudy stars as an ex-cop turned disco owner/DJ. When Rudy's nephew is screwed up by some PCP, Rudy decides to go back on the force…kinda…and take down those involved in putting Angel Dust on the streets. Everyone talks about why Rudy should be taken out or feared, but for some reason the lead bad guy doesn't want him dead. There's a little lip service paid as to why, but they may as well just have ignored that plot point since no real reason is given. Anyway, it's good Rudy wasn't just shot, because that gives him the chance to live to fight another day, and he fights spectacularly.

Rudy's entry in the movie should quickly give you a clue what's coming. Hammy as fuck, Rudy's wearing a tight light blue one piece and attempting to disco dance. His moves aren't particularly impressive, but he does go to his mix desk and get the party jumpin'. Immediately Rudy displays his two actable emotions: Shouty and slightly less shouty. Also, maybe it was the print makin' his eyes look darker, but I swear he's wearing eyeliner in some of the scenes. Rudy is glorified in this film like W.C. Fields was in Never Give a Sucker an Even Break, but here you're not sure if Rudy was in on the joke, or even aware it was one. Watching Disco Godfather is like watching rap's bravado brought to the screen.

The evils of PCP play out in a seriously surreal way in this movie, the drug portrayed to be as evil as marijuana was in those films of the 20s and 30s. I ain't saying PCP is good, but I also don't think using it once will make everyone see the same creepy lady. Unless the point is that PCP makes you psychically bonded with other users.

The film is padded, and features flubbed lines, with the non-Rudy thespians showing varying degrees of skill. Continuity was clearly not considered an essential on set. There're also some interesting non sequiturs, like when one character asks Rudy, "Can I quote you on that?" to which he replies, "You can bet your last dollar."

What makes this movie worth checking out are the fight scenes. There aren't a lot, and it takes nearly 30 minutes before the Kung Fools light up the screen, but the climactic battle is so bad it's brilliant. Henchmen pop up one by one, replacing whoever the good guys have just defeated in a steady wave. One goes down, and another turns up immediately. The kicks and punches look so soft they may as well filmed a giant pillow fight. That is, they look soft on the rare occasions when it actually looks like contact was made. This sequence also features the worst ADR ever recorded.

Rudy's character loves to use the phrase "Put your weight on it." Put your weight on it, indeed. Whatever the fuck that means.
Video
The film is presented full frame. The print has grain, spots and dirt, and sadly there are a lot of artefacts. Clarity is lost in blacks, which is a shame because the characters' faces go MIA at times. The DVD is cheap, and this lack of quality is clearly why.
Audio
The sound is an uneven 2.0 mix. The source material probably wasn't great, but it would've been nice if the volume levels had at least been evened out.
Extra Features
The trailer and the lamest trivia game I've ever played.
The Verdict
Movie Score
Disc Score
Overall Score
Disco Godfather is nowhere near as risqué as Rudy's LPs (or even some of his album covers), so if you want to see the king of the party record on the screen, you may want to try one of his other films. If you're looking for a disco/martial arts/action/rap/cop movie, though, you have a winner. There's evidently going to be a new Dolomite movie this year, here's hoping Rudy hasn't learned any new tricks.

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