Cinemasochism: Dolemite!

WARNING: This article uses language like a motherfucker with his dick in a mousetrap, because discussing Dolemite without swearing is like talking Tom Cruise without saying "screamingly insane". The motherfucking is so intense you'll finish the movie with a new sibling. My wife had to spend a fortnight training me out of calling our cat a "rat-eating motherfucker," despite both parts of that statement actually being true for most cats.
WARNING: Poster may feature better choreography than actual film, motherfucker.
This is Dolemite's story, and not just because it's named after him: because he's the only one in the entire production who has so much as placed a phone call before. Incomparable expletivist Rudy Ray "Dolemite" Moore writes, produces, directs, stars, and fills every position he couldn't physically do himself with people he picked up off the street at the corner of Prostitute Drive and Drug Addict Alley. Most of the "actors" look like they just regained the power of speech through experimental surgery, and the boom mike makesdaring raids to claim scenes as part of the Gloriously Crappy Sound Man Empire.
While some cinematic experiments have been recorded in one take, Dolemite was written and produced in that take too. People arrive on screen with absolutely no idea of what they're supposed to be doing, many looking like the concept of "pretending to be someone else" is being explained off screen in sign language several seconds after the cameras started rolling. This explains why a "Fuck you"/"No, Fuck YOU" exchange can take upwards of twenty seconds.
It's still a priceless window into the most motherfucking soul on the planet. The plot is Dolemite framed, Dolemite released, then badly-paced VENGEANCE, but even within such a complex plot they find time to reveal Rudy's opinions on:
Fashion!
The only whiteys Dolemite will tolerate are tightey-whiteys.
His adoring audience.
His first action on release from prison is to strip out of the square prison-issue clothes, with the entire male population of the prison watching, and get into pimp gear. He then gets into a limo and starts taking the clothes off again. This is one of the many, many scenes that obviously seemed badass inside Dolemite's head and nobody else was allowed (or even able) to speak. For example: if I was portraying a badass ladies man his first action would not be "Performing strip-tease for a male convict population."
Romance!
Rudy Ray Moore wants you to know he's successful with women, and he thinks “insinuation” is something white people do because they’re impotent. If he wishes to imply a lady likes him, the only reason you don't see shaft is because the cameraman can't get the lens into the molecule-thin gap between his crotch and the refurbished prostitute/actress impersonating a face-shaped vacuum cleaner.
Every single woman in this movie would ride you like a train and give you change from a coupon. The only time they look comfortable on screen is when they're licking people. I tried to imagine a life so tragic that the best moments in it are licking Rudy Ray Moore, which is why I'm dictating this article to the suicide negotiator on the street ten floors below me.
This remains the only movie I've ever seen where a full backhand slap romances a woman, and this is a real full on pimp-slap (as in "Oh, THAT'S why pimps are considered a cross between humanity and sewage") leading immediately to sex. Horrific, horrific sex.
Stephen King once had a nightmare like this but was too scared to write about it
A still image really doesn't capture the horror, and because I'm not Cthulhu I can't put it into words. I was going to make a gif until I remembered my strict vow of "NOT measurably increasing the amount of terror and pain in the world." I've seen more romantic scenes in Hellraiser. I don't know exactly how long the grunting goes on, because I was screaming the first time and will lose my remaining eye if I go back to check, but recall it being approximately Forever Times Torment.
Violence!
That's actually the kick on the way up. Dolemite won' let martial arts, or basic human anatomy, get in the way of kicking ass!
Dolemite is often called upon to dispense ass-whooping, which is unfortunate as his kung fu make William Shatner look like Yoda with a lightsabre-firing machine gun. His primary attack is arthritically wiggling his leg at people until they remember they're supposed to fall down.
Music!
If you ever see this it's too late to run - your only chance is to Stop, Drop, and Roll While Smashing Your Head Into The Ground To Render Yourself Unconscious. (Yes, this music requires three times as much warning as nuclear weaponry.)
Rudy Ray knows drug addicts. Rudy Ray knows whores. Rudy Ray knows a surprising number of rat-soup eating motherfuckers, but RR does not know any musicians. The excrutiatingly extended music scene - one of many methods used by Mr Moore to extend his twenty minute plot into the hour and a half demanded by The Man - features a band who can only have been hired as reverse blaxploitation. Not only do they destroy the stereotype of black people having rhythm, they cast serious doubt on the stereotype that black people can even hear.
Language
Rudy does not speak English. He speaks Motherfucker with some English mixed in so us honkies can understand. Every character swears like a sailor on shore leave from the S.S. Tourette's, with the exception is the preacher, who balances things out by running guns through his church and boning woman so fat he could choose any fold at random and call it an orifice - yet he refuses to say "motherfucker." That is an extremely specific moral line you've drawn for yourself, preacher man.
I still can't call Dolemite a bad movie, in the same way you can't call the charge of the light brigade a failed military engagement: by any sane definition it really absolutely is the worst one ever, but its level of failure so far transcends the original concepts involved it takes on immortality. And any movie which guarantees you watch the sequel, even in sheer disbelief, can't be called a failure. Because I'll be back for: THE HUMAN TORNADO!

10 comments:

Dublin beekeeper said...

Did you really not like 'fatal deviation'? Because that film rocks.

Robert said...

That was fantastic. This is what I originally pitched as a recurring column to Atom: Comedy reviews of terrible, obscure movies.

Turns out nobody cares about that except for actual comedy writers.

thesharkguys said...

Best line: Dolomite is my name and fuckin' up other muthafuckas is my game!

Mister K said...

If you think this one was bad, you should see "Willie Dynamite." It starred the guy that plays Gordon on "Sesame Street" as the main pimp.

Nick said...

I'm glad Cracked pointed me to your work, I couldn't stop the tear I was laughing so hard! Very funny, look forward to more!

Sildenafil Citrate said...

To honest I don't have any problem with that kind of language rather I feel very comfortable with it, continue doing that because it catches the attention.

Zanshin Karate Club said...

If you think Fatal Deviation "rocks", I tremble for the future of the earth's crust. I thought it was the best Monty Python meets Terry Pratchett movie ever. It was so bad,it's absolutely brilliant. I say this as a practicing martial arts instructor and movie fan who didn't think movies could get any worse until I saw thixs. Pure brilliance. If there was a Golden Gobshite
award for Worsr Martial Arts Movie Ever Made-and boy is there some competition-this would win it hands down.

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