“Dolemite is my name, fucking up motherfuckers is my game!”

Words of wisdom from Rudy Ray Moore, self-proclaimed Godfather of Rap and best stand up comedian in the world. I don’t know how much of this is true and how much has to do with the guy being full of shit, but I have to admit he’s a real character! I saw him performing live in Montreal in August 1999 after a screening of his classic film, and I sure laughed a lot. Think of a cross between the raunchy humor of Eddie Murphy, the sexual crooning of Isaac Hayes and the shameless self-promotion of Muhammad Ali and you’ll only get an idea of what an insane cat Moore is. He walks up to the front of the theater and starts ranting about what a huge dick he has, and then gets dirtier and dirtier until you can’t help but laugh at his politically incorrect irreverence, making jokes about raping deaf and dumb girls and making fun of sick kids in hospitals.

But what about the movie? Well, like it’s often the case for Eddie Murphy, Rudy Ray Moore seems too big for the screen. He’s got energy and charisma even though he’s a poor actor, but he’s caught in an incredibly cheap and incompetent movie. I mean, I’m used to not-too-stellar Blaxploitation flicks, but this one is so crappy it makes “Shaft” look like “Serpico”. Yet it somehow adds to the cult potential of “Dolemite”, which remains highly enjoyable vintage trash. Moore’s Dolemite is a loud-mouthed pimp who’s framed by corrupt cops and sent to jail for years. He comes out only to realize that his night club has been taken over by badass drug dealer Willie Green, who even has the mayor and the local preacher on his payroll. But Dolemite’s got balls like Gibraltar, and he’ll give everything he’s got to get back his empire. Basically, the plot is much nonsense about sleazy black gangsters and even more crooked white officials. It’s just an excuse to show as many ridiculous fight scenes and gratuitous sex scenes as they can.

It’s all “directed” by D’Urville Martin, who must have gone to Edward D. Wood Jr. Film School. I’ve rarely seen such retarded editing, completely off (if existent) lighting, messy camerawork and utter lack of direction. Well, maybe in Troma movies. But still, Dolemite is so lamely crafted, it’s hilarious. I laughed much more at the pathetic acting and obvious goofs than at the actual supposedly witty one-liners. And what’s cool with a movie like “Dolemite”, a pure product of the everything goes 1970s, is how free and inhibited it is. There’s no way in hell they could make a film nowadays following a fat, foul-mouthed thug dressed in outrageous pimpwear who drives his Cadillac around, bangs countless anonymous women and fights along his army of karate fighting babes. And if it lacks the stylish direction and warmth of “Coffy” (my favorite Blaxploitation flick), it still offers plenty of awesome clothing, a kick ass funk score and more attitude than you can handle.

Posted on May 1, 2002January 4, 2014Author KevinCategories Movie Reviews