Disco Godfather | Varied Celluloid

Disco Godfather

Posted by Josh Samford On November - 17 - 2010

The Plot: In the height of the disco age, our story focuses on a man named Tucker Williams who is best known by his alias, “The Disco Godfather” (played by Rudy Ray Moore). When the Godfather’s nephew, young Buckie, has his basketball scholarship dreams dashed by a friend who gives him a hot dose of the brand new drug called PCP… the Disco Godfather swears vengeance! The Disco Godfather, who is an ex-police officer, has all of the connections to convincingly hunt down the drug dealers who have poisoned his community with this new plague. He visits the local hospital, which is packed full to the brim with young kids who are suffering PCP induced comas, and he sets his mind to bigger things. He helps establish programs in order to “attack the whack” and put an end to this nightmare of drug horrors. However, as the Disco Godfather digs deeper and deeper into this assorted mess, he begins to discover that these drug cartels go up further than anyone could have ever imagined!


The Review
Rudy Ray Moore is a celebrity within the blaxploitation genre that draws some very different reactions. Depending on who you ask, you’ll either hear him revered as a saint or as a blasphemous curse on the entire genre. He is beloved within hip-hop and African American culture for his party albums during the seventies which were very popular. They were groundbreaking in their taboo subject matter, and pushed the limits of vulgarity as an art form. However, when it came to the cinematic scale, his movies were by no means “good”. His catalog has become the fodder of B-Movie fans who love the consistent continuity errors and dreadful acting.

To be completely honest, I am not a big fan of Moore’s comedy recordings. Although they most certainly have their audience, as a totally square cracker, the comedy simply alludes my own understanding. Despite it being slightly mean spirited, and lacking in compassion, I tend to enjoy Moore’s filmography as a connoisseur of really bad movies. That might make me a bad person, that might make me a less cultured hooligan, but it doesn’t make me wrong. Disco Godfather is a bad movie. Poor conception, poor execution and generally bad in almost every way except that one area that tends to matter most: entertainment. Disco Godfather, despite everything I may have to say about it, is ridiculous in its levels of entertainment.
Disco Godfather is a movie that you really CAN judge based entirely on its name. Do not feel bad about judging this book by its sequin-laden cover folks, because chances are you KNOW what this movie has in store for you. Simply from knowing Rudy Ray Moore’s involvement, as well as the title of the film, Disco Godfather more or less played out exactly as I had it built up inside of my head. My expectations were that the film would take place in a bizarre fantasy disco world that would be inhabited by caricatures. I expected some kind of conflict would take place, and it would ultimately draw the Disco Godfather from his discotheque, and then he would have to use poorly choreographed martial arts in order to destroy some kind of nefarious scheme that was, more than likely, concocted by the white man. As it turns out, I was right.

That really is Disco Godfather in a nutshell. As with any great piece of literature though, it isn’t ultimately about the destination of the story, but the follies along the way. Similar to Great Expectations or Moby Dick, while we are discussing literary works, Disco Godfather squarely places itself in a very certain time and a very certain place. That place is of course the tail end of the seventies disco subculture! If you have seen Dolemite!, chances are the last thing you ever expected to see was Rudy Ray Moore sporting a skin tight, baby blue, sequin covered jump-suit. Well, if you watch Disco Godfather… prepare yourself, because you’re treated to just such a sight within the opening minutes of the film. Rudy Ray Moore, sporting the biggest grin in cinematic history, pops and locks his way down the electric slide line in true seventies fashion. The moment is very surreal to say the very least, but never lacking in humor. Intentional or not.
Rudy Ray Moore is the MVP for this picture, without question. Although Disco Godfather is a step up in most technical regards in comparison to Dolemite!, the one consistency from both pictures is Moore’s performance. Equally intimidating and hilarious, Moore is the glue that holds the film together. His performance is generally poor in all fashions, but its the astounding manner in which he delivers his performance that makes the movie so unique in its entertainment value. Moore enters into scenes with a grin upon his face, despite there being no reason to be so upbeat and he generally fluctuates between two modes: suave and mad-as-all-get-out. He defines the two-dimensional performance here and yet remains so incredibly likable in his performance that it is hard to imagine any audience member walking away with any ill-feelings toward him. He may win over audiences in the most simplistic of manners, but he absolutely does win them over.

Despite Rudy Ray Moore’s awful/brilliant line delivery (“Bucky! What have you HAY-AD!?”), the rest of the cast are generally decent. There are a few spotty moments here and there, but for the most part the cast does a good job in supporting this far fetched, PCP ridden, story. Carol Speed (Abby, The Mack) is good here but her role might as well have been billed as a cameo. At the end of the day, this is Rudy Ray Moore’s show and it is as ridiculous as the man himself ever thought of being. A favorite moment of mine came towards the end of the film and shows Rudy Ray Moore hunting down the PCP traffickers in a alleyway, and this of course proceeds to escalate into a kung fu battle. The choreography is honestly a vast improvement for Moore, but what makes the sequence memorable is when a jogger stumbles upon the brawl and asks “Hey, what’s going on here?,” to which Moore replies “These guys are selling PCP!,” which causes our jogger to throw off the towel from around his neck and join in saying “PCP? Well then, let’s kick some ass!“. If that doesn’t define this movie, what does?


The Conclusion
Ridiculous. Stupid. Hilarious. Brilliant. All are words that describe Disco Godfather adequately. You, as a film fan, should know whether this is a movie you want to track down. I will say that it at times has pacing issues during the first half, where Rudy Ray Moore seems to spend more time at the disco than he does tracking down any PCP dealers. When the movie picks up, the silliness rarely lets up. Part of me wants to sway anyone from ever seeing this movie and then another part of me wants to implore everyone to search it out. For my rating, I have to sway towards the side of entertainment. I give the movie a three out of five. It was a close vote and almost made it to a four, but those previously mentioned pacing issues really slow things down during the first half. Regardless, check out this ridiculous piece of fluff as soon as possible!




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  • Thanks for another great review. I love blaxploitation flicks, but have always been hesitant to enter the world of Rudy Ray Moore. I’ve heard so many mixed things about his work. You don’t seem any less conflicted, but maybe that’s not such a bad thing. A little discomfort never hurt a bad b-movie. I’ll have to check it out. I’m hoping for the Wire meets Saturday Night Fever.
  • Thanks for the kind words! 🙂 The thing about Rudy Ray Moore, that I have found so far, is that despite his films being absolutely atrocious in terms of quality, they are a rip-roaring good time! He was a born unintentional entertainer!
  • Thinwhiteduke52
    The ending is so unique. I love how it ends with him screaming his lungs out on drugs and then they cut to the credits with him a picture screaming as the Disco Godfather when he is not on drugs!
  • Anonymous
    Hahaha! Nice, I had forgot that. Such a entertaining movie, no doubt!

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