Monday, March 10, 2014

Disco Godfather (1979)

Director: J. Robert Wagoner

Writers: J. Robert Wagoner, Cliff Roquemore

Composer: ???

Starring: Rudy Ray Moore, Carol Speed, Jimmy Lynch, Jerry Jones, Lady Reed, Hawthorne James, Frank Finn, Julius Carry, Pat Patterson, Fitz Houston, Pucci Jhones

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Touch him and you're dust!

Plot: A retired cop becomes a DJ/celebrity at the Blueberry Hill disco-- he's the "Disco Godfather!" All is well until his nephew flips out on a strange new drug that's sweeping the streets, called "angel dust," or PCP. Disco Godfather vows "to personally come down on the suckers that's producing this shit!" He takes to the streets, slaps drug dealers and even exposes a crooked cop that is covering for the dealers. In between, he still finds time to manage the Blueberry Hill and perform. "Put a little slide in yo' glide," he pleads to the patrons, "Put some weight on it!" Disco Godfather tracks down the kingpin that is behind all the angel dust production, but not before he is kidnapped and forced to inhale PCP through a gas mask!

My rating: 5.5/10

Will I watch it again? No.

This is not a shining moment for Rudy Rae Moore.  For the 'classic' Rudy, it's a major disappointment.  The first twenty minutes are loaded with disco dancing scenes that go on way too long.  Within minutes you get the idea that there's already a LOT of filler and you've still got nearly an hour and a half left.  Like a lot of his early films, this one is amateurish on every level from acting to the story to the direction.  That doesn't mean it's unwatchable.  It's not.  In fact, I rather enjoyed a lot of the poor performances because they were clearly from non actors and they got to be in a movie.  That's cool for them.  It also helps to almost put this in the so-bad-it's-good category.  I say almost.  Often when you have ineptitude in a picture you've got a lot of stuff included that brings the picture down which turns a sometimes fun flick into one that's downright boring.  DISCO has that. There's a point where Tucker (Moore) stops being the Disco Godfather, spinning records at a disco club, and becomes the former cop bent on eradicating his city of the drug Angel Dust and bringing down those responsible.  This gets into the territory where BLACK DYNAMITE (2009) took inspiration, so much that I was often reminded of that film when watching this one.

I see I gave DOLEMITE (1975) a 5.5/10.  After seeing this I think I should reconsider making that one higher since for as bad as it is, it's better than this one.  THE HUMAN TORNADO (1976) is much better and I haven't seen PETEY WHEATSTRAW (1977) yet.  I really like Moore and the lack of professionalism found in his pictures.  They might not be all that good but there are moments in all of them that are 70s Blaxploitation gold and it's worth sitting through all of it for a few moments of pure delight. One of the highlights of this picture is seeing Tucker high on PCP at the end.  It's a wild and weird scene that leads to a very bleak ending that I really dug.

No comments:

Post a Comment