The Film (4/5)
I am not sure if we can be friends if you don't enjoy Disco Godfather (or Avenging Disco Godfather as the title was when I first saw it). The film is the final film Rudy Ray Moore made in the 70's (aka Rudy Ray's golden period), but may also be his greatest achievement in the cinematic realm. The film takes elements of the 3 films he did before, refines them, and then mashes them into a warped cinematic cocktail that combines the silly and surreal.
In this film Moore plays a character named Tucker Williams aka the Disco Godfather. Williams owns a disco which he presides over nightly. He is also the Uncle to Bucky (Julius Carry) a soon to be basketball star who ends up overdosing on PCP and taken out of the club and put into Rehab. Tucker takes this as a sign that there is a new menace on the street, and goes back to his old precinct (he was a former cop), and agrees to put together a team to "Attack the Wack" and take on the local drug kingpin to get PCP off the street. Unfortunately, for Tucker his stopping the gang putting PCP on the street won't be easy as they are out to get him too.
Disco Godfather is a blast. The film is the Rudy Ray Moore show through and through from the films opening moments with Rudy taking charge in his disco telling the dancing crowd to "PUT SOME WEIGHT ON IT" to his other loud and awesome proclamations through the film, and his crazy kung fu battles. Aside from that the film takes the darker more surreal elements from Petey Wheatstraw and ramps them up to 11. When Bucky takes PCP he begins to see demons, skeletons, and other assorted dark things. These are akin to the Hell scenes in Wheatstraw. Later in the film Tucker also is host to similar visions (I guess implying that PCP causes dark hell-ish visions in all it's users?) when the drug is forced on him. Either way, these moments are some of the most fun in the film, taking some of my favorite elements of Petey Wheatstraw, and expanding on them and making them even more weird and wild.
The film isn't without flaws, the most obvious of which is it's pacing. The film opens strong with a hysterical sequence featuring Tucker and Bucky at the disco, but after that things slow down until Tucker gets down to business. There are also lots of disco interludes in the film, so while the film does earn its the disco in its title quite easily, a lot of these moments begin to feel like filler. Overall, they rarely detract from the film, and I doubt by the end anyone with a decent sense of fun will be even close to disappointed.
Vinegar Syndrome does another remarkable job with their release of Disco Godfather. The Blu-ray is presented in a 1:85:1 1080p AVC encoded transfer preserving the films OAR. Everything here is an amazing upgrade from what came before, colors pop especially in the disco, and hallucination sequences. Also, detail is excellent throughout, black levels are deep, and there is very natural grain present on the transfer. There are a few minor scratches and at least one cigarette burn that I can recall, but they don't detract from the quality present here.
The audio is a DTS-HD mono track in English. The track is similarly well restored with dialogue, score, and background music coming through loud and clear. I did not detect any issues with pops, cracks, or hissing on the track.
Vinegar Syndrome has provided us with I, Dolemite Part IV with final part of their making of series of documentaries on the films of Rudy Ray Moore. We also get a highly informative commentary track with Rudy Ray Moore biographer Mark Jason Murray, the films writer and director J. Robert Wagoner, and the co-writer Cliff Roquemore. There are also trailers for the other Dolemite films in this series.
Can I just say you need this Blu-ray in your life? I guess I can do that. OK, so basically Disco Godfather is a blast, this Blu-ray is gorgeous, it has some cool extras, and comes HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.