Monday, October 20, 2008

Rudy Ray Moore (1927-2008)

Urban Network reports that a titan of 70s cinema has died. Rudy Ray Moore was a pioneering African American entertainer who turned his raunchy stand-up comedy (and his character "Dolemite") into an amazing series of blaxploitation films.

Technically, Moore's movies were about as bad as they come. See if you can spot the boom mic in this scene:

Regardless, they have a definite analog charm. It's also possible to look at the generally poor production quality as a intentional badge of honor; if your goal is to look as different from mainstream Hollywood cinema as possible, and a hallmark mainstream Hollywood cinema is bland technical finesse, then I guess you have to make your movie look a little rougher around the edges. Moore's best pictures feature the actor talking in rhyme ("Quick! Into the cave! I gotta plan to let that muthaf&$#er dig his OWN grave!"), hilariously funky karate moves (frequently busting out into dance moves as he fights, he created nothing less than "disc-kung fu"), lots of cocky male swagger, with more than a touch of self-deprication. My favorites are THE HUMAN TORNADO, a superior sequel to the original DOLEMITE:

And DISCO GODFATHER, in which Moore as a crime fighting disco DJ instructs us to "Put yo' weight on it!" at least thirty times without ever once revealing what exactly it is that we're supposed to put our weight on. This trailer also has some great Moore karate boogieing:

Urban Network says Moore was 81 years old. But IMDb lists his date of birth as 1937, which would make him 71. Even in death, Moore didn't sweat the details.


Blogger Wealthy Pete said...

Shine on Dolemite

2:25 PM  

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