BADass SINema Unearthed - Blu-ray Review
- Published Date
- by Loron Hays
"Put your weight on it, put your weight on it, put your weight on it,” shouts comedian Rudy Ray Moore as he spins the latest disco record on the dance floor for his patrons. His tight powder-blue leotard flairs out at the feet and spreads wide across the chest. Silver jewelry dangles from his neck. His persona is commanding and the night – especially at The Blueberry Hill Disco – is his playground.
The retired cop at the center of this dance-a-thon is, of course, the avenging Disco Godfather. While the rhyming of his Dolemite shtick is somewhat retired for his fourth film, Moore isn’t about to put away his ass-kicking Kung-fu as he hits the streets to do battle with Angel Dust and PCP and the damage it inflicts his brothers and sisters who use it.
Imagine if Reefer Madness and Saturday Night Fever spent some time together just kickin’ it in a crib somewhere up in Harlem. The result would be the hysterics and dancing of Disco Godfather. This is a street-fighting classic from the Blaxploitation era of filmmaking that is more polished than ANYTHING Moore and director Cliff Roquemore previously put out. Of course, Roquemore didn’t direct this one but with co-writer J. Robert Wagoner at the helm, he certainly had some influence.
And Moore, who looks trimmed down and downright immaculate in his fake eyelashes and makeup, drops some smooth jams while spinning his records. His dive is the place to party and he’s coming on strong. If you didn’t come to party, then take your broke ass home. Okay, so Moore dials down the insults and cranks up the groovy clothes for this one. There’s no secret there. But, damn, if the film doesn’t know how to kick it.
Attack the wack. That’s exactly what this film is about. And while filled with a whole helluva lot of devil and demonic imagery as we get the viewpoints of several PCP-inflicted strung-out individuals, the film can’t help but be, first and foremost, a motherfuckin’, ass-kickin’ comedy as it calls out angel dust and the dangers of the terrible drug. Leave it alone is the message but it’s the high-flyin’ kicks that speak the loudest. The last of Rudy Ray Moore’s 70s features, the film is easily the strangest and most original of his filmic output. It is also the final word from the artist.
Co-starring Carol Reed, Jimmy Lynch, and Jerry Jones, Disco Godfather is a pretty surreal experience, defying expectations with pure cinematic 70s grease and cheese. We get freeze-frame action beats, weird ethereal moments with a demonic witch cutting off arms (brought on by some PCP), and enough disco balls to fill ten dancefloors with.
Newly restored from its long lost 35mm original negative, Vinegar Syndrome proudly presents Disco Godfather on Blu-ray for the very first time. If Moore is your preferred ticket to ride, then you simply cannot pass up a chance to groove alongside the avenging Disco Godfather.
"Put your weight on it, put your weight on it, put your weight on it!”
MPAA Rating: R.
Runtime: 93 mins
Director: J. Robert Wagoner
Writer: J. Robert Wagoner
Cast: Rudy Ray Moore, Carol Speed, Jimmy Lynch
Genre: Action | Crime
Tagline: Touch him and you're dust!
Memorable Movie Quote: "Move and I'll blow your Afro off!"
Distributor: Transvue Pictures Corp.
Release Date: September 1979
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date: August 30, 2016
Synopsis: 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, ... See full summary »
Available on Blu-ray - August 30, 2016
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles: English SDH
Audio: English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; Two-disc set (1 BD-50, 1 DVD); DVD copy
Region Encoding: A
Vinegar Syndrome prides itself on restoring cult films. Their release ofis a great example of their quality of work and is the fourth and final in a series of expected Rudy Ray Moore restorations, which began with Dolemite’s release early this summer. Fully restored in 2k from a recently discovered 35mm negative, the AVC encoded 1080p image (1.85:1 aspect ratio) is gloriously gritty with eye-catching details, a nice layer of grain, and solid black levels that add a bit more depth to the picture than ever seen before. Colors are vivid – especially the hallucination sequences with their deep black backgrounds. The film's original mono 1.0 DTS-HD MA soundtrack, which also supplies clean dialogue and a funky soundtrack so you will need to TURN IT UP.
- Provided by Rudy Ray Moore’s biographer, Mark Jason Murray, Rudy Ray Moore, writer/director J. Robert Wagoner, co-writer Cliff Roquemore and rare on-set audio, the commentary on this one is both interesting and engaging. Everyone weighs in on the film’s successes.
The on-going Rudy Ray Moore documentary (now in its fourth and final part) continues on this release and covers the making-ofwith new interviews from its cast and crew. The film’s soundtrack is also included.
- I, Dolemite IV Making-of Documentary (20 min)
- Still Gallery