Thursday, April 28, 2016

DOLEMITE 1975 On Blu - Ray

     Kicking off their series of Rudy Ray Moore releases Vinegar Syndrome has unleashed DOLEMITE on a Blu-ray/DVD combo package. A former R&B singer and nightclub entertainer/comedian, Moore in the early 70's released a series of raunchy albums featuring a character named "Dolemite" with Rudy reciting explicit stream of conscious rhymes with jazz/R&B background music.
   DOLEMITE kicked off a series of films (all starring and co-produced/written by Moore) that in the past couple of decades have achieved a legendary cult status among fans of 70's exploitation cinema.  Although labeled with the "blacksploitation" genre tag (which at their core base they are) Rudy's films seem to exist in world unto themselves. Filled with hilarious dialogue, wooden acting, inept kung-fu and head scratching editing all the while with Moore's outrageous personalty and entertainingly inflated ego front and center.

    Referred to by everybody as simply "Dolemite", Moore here plays the title character as a wrongly accused and set up nightclub owner/pimp who's freed from jail to clean up his old neighborhood by the prison warden (who appears to be in charge of the entire police investigation). Helped out by his head madam "Queen Bee" (Moore regular Lady Reed) and a gang of "expert kung-fu ladies" referred to as "The Dolemite Girls" he butts heads with new neighborhood boss "Big Willie" (director D'Urville Martin) along with passels of corrupt politicians, police and a militant local minister. As Dolemite says -"gonna clean out all those rat soup eatin' motherf*#%ers !!"

    Filled with long stretches of rambling dialogue (that do nothing to move the threadbare plot along), seemingly random scenes strung together and more big ol' 70's Cadillac cars then you can shake a stick at - all of which is punctuated by brief flashes of blood and bare skin (more of which is shown in the accompanying trailer included on the disc). DOLEMITE arrives on Blu from Vinegar in beautiful new 1.85 transfer taken from a 35mm negative which is eons ahead of the semi-legit transfers we've seen before. Also included is a passel of extras including now & then photos from the films L.A. locations, making of documentary, trailers, commentary by Rudy Ray Moore biographer Mark Jason Murray plus an open frame version complete with visible boom mikes.
    Also on schedule from Vinegar if the form of more Rudy Ray Moore goodliness is THE HUMAN TORNADO (May), PETEY WHEATSTRAW : THE DEVIL'S SON-IN-LAW (June) and the truly amazing DISCO GODFATHER in July.

All above screen captures are from the Vinegar Syndrome DVD