The Film (4/5)
Vinegar Syndrome began their long awaited reissues of Rudy Ray Moore's films last month with their Blu-ray of 1975's Dolemite. They have now immediately followed it up with Dolemite's first sequel the 1976 film Human Tornado. The Human Tornado sees Rudy Ray Moore team up with director Cliff Roquemore to create a new Dolemite adventure, that takes the most successful and fun elements of the original and ramps them up to a proverbial 11.
The film finds Dolemite living the high life in a mansion on a hill in some unnamed rural community as the film's story begins (The film starts with a display of Rudy Ray Moore's martial arts "skills" and a comedy routine). This does not please Sheriff Beatty(J.B. Baron), the racist white sheriff of the town. He runs a string operation on a party Dolemite is having at his home, and frames Dolemite for murder. Rather, than stick around and wait for a trial, he runs back to L.A., and the old neighborhood where Queen Bee(Lady Reed) finds herself being forced out of the Total Experience by the mob. Dolemite and his crew march into town, and decide to take on the mob, but at the same time Sheriff Beatty still wants Dolemite on the murder charge, and has come to L.A. to pursue it. Now Dolemite must take on the police to save himself, and the Mafia to save Queen Bee, her girls, and the Total Experience.
The Human Tornado like it's predecessor is the Rudy Ray Moore show. The film opens with an excellent standup routine from Moore, and then goes into a wild cinematic ride where anything goes from sex and violence, to absurd comedy, and back again. The original Dolemite featured all of these elements, but had more of anything goes approach to it, from the writing down to the edit. Having already worked out what works in a Dolemite film in the original, and having a year to plan, it seems like Rudy Ray Moore, and new director Cliff Roquemore have created a stronger representation of the Rudy Ray Moore-Dolemite cinematic vision to the screen than the initial Dolemite outing.
Vinegar Syndrome has done another outstanding job restoring the Human Tornado to Blu-ray. The film is presented in a 1:85:1 1080p AVC encoded transfer preserving the film's OAR. There is excellent fine detail, stable colors, and a natural and prevalent grain structure present. There is also damage from the source material, nicks, vertical scratches, etc. These are not at all a distracting at in a way contribute to the film's aesthetic.
The audio is presented with a DTS-HD MA Mono track in English. The track is quite solid with dialogue and score coming through nicely, and no defects to report.
Vinegar Syndrome have put together quite a solid extras package together for the Human Tornado. We get Part II of I. Dolemite a Making of Documentary on the Dolemite films. There is a commentary by Rudy Ray Moore's biographer, and co-star of the film Jimmy Lynch. We are treated to an audio interview with director Cliff Roquemore, there is also a galleries, a German Dubbed version (Seriously), radio spots, trailers, and more.
The Human Tornado takes the already successful formula in place from the first Dolemite film, and makes it work to a stronger degree. The Blu-ray from Vinegar Syndrome looks and sounds fantastic, and is loaded with solid extras sure to please fans of Dolemite and Rudy Ray Moore. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.