I first heard about DOLEMITE when I was a kid, probably around 10 years old. My older brother had watched it somewhere (I think at a drive-in) and said it was one of the worst films he had ever seen. Granted, my older brother is/was not the sharpest tool in the shed, a fact which I knew even back then. But for some reason I took his word for it, and therefore never gave DOLEMITE a chance.
Fast forward to 2016. The fine folks at Vinegar Syndrome sent me a copy of the newly restored version of the film for review. And I gotta tell you: I wish I had given this movie a chance many years ago. It’s A LOT of fun, and I will definitely be watching it again soon!
If you are not familiar with DOLEMITE, here is the plot synopsis courtesy of Vinegar Syndrome:
Dolemite (Rudy Ray Moore), the baddest pimp in town, has just been released from prison, ready to take revenge on notorious gangster Willie Green (D’Urville Martin), who set him up on a phony drug charge and stole his club, The Total Experience. With the help of his friend Queen Bee (Lady Reed) and their band of Kung Fu fighting vixens, Dolemite takes on every “rat soup eatin’ motherf#%*er” in South Central.
Acclaimed comedian Rudy Ray Moore’s outrageously funny and action packed blaxploitation classic makes its worldwide blu-ray debut, fully restored in 2k from a recently discovered 35mm negative and loaded with extras, including a new making-of documentary by Elijah Drenner and a historical commentary track from Moore’s biographer Mark Murray, featuring interviews with Moore as well as co-stars Jerry Jones, Lady Reed, John Kerry, cinematographer Nick Von Sternberg and more!
If you’re not a fan of exploitation films, then you’ll probably hate this movie. But if you are a fan, like me, then you’ll love it. I rate this one right up there with SCREAM, BLACKULA, SCREAM!
DOLEMITE is one of those films you will find yourself quoting when you least expect it. Just recently, I was cut off on the interstate while coming home from vacation. I mumbled, “Rat soup eaten’ mother…” before I realized what I was saying. Needless to say, I laughed out loud.
The acting in the film is typical for an exploitation film, but that’s part of what makes them so much fun to watch. Rudy Ray Moore is definitely the baddest pimp on the block, and he portrays the part with gusto. I love his supporting cast as well, including the kung fu chicks he hangs with. I couldn’t stop laughing during the fight scenes…they were great!
The dialogue in DOLEMITE is a MAJOR reason you should watch the film. Obviously, it’s dated (the film came out the year after I was born!), and as such, it’s hilarious. I would love to know what the younger generation thinks about this film, as it is probably a far cry from what they are used to these days.
DOLEMITE is a big win for me, and I loved it. I suggest giving it a look, especially on Blu-ray. It comes with a great HD picture and quality sound, but it also includes some nice Bonus Features, including:
* Scanned & restored in 2k from 35mm negative
* “I, Dolemite” making-of documentary
* “Lady Reed Uncut” featurette
* “Locations: Then & Now” featurette
* Multiple framing options: the intended 1.85:1 widescreen version & an alternate full frame “boom mic” version
* Historical commentary track by Rudy Ray Moore’s biographer, Mark Jason Murray
* Original theatrical trailer for both DOLEMITE & THE HUMAN TORNADO
* Original cover artwork by Jay Shaw
* Reversible cover artwork
* English SDH Subtitles