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By Scott Phillips

MAY 26, 1998: 

Disco Godfather (1977)

I've been wanting to see this one for a long time, and while it didn't quite live up to the rest of Rudy Ray Moore's ultra-wigged-out Blaxploitation epics (Dolemite, The Human Tornado, Petey Wheatstraw, The Devil's Son-in-Law) it sure as hell delivers the chubby, ass-whoopin' Rude we know and love. Rudy Ray plays Tucker, the "Disco Godfather," who owns a club called Blueberry Hill. Every night, he makes a big entrance and wiggles his portly, polyester-clad ass over to the DJ booth, where he insists to everyone, "Put your weight on it!" Unfortunately, there's trouble brewin' in the form of "the Wack!" That's right--PCP! Angel Dust! The Wack, jack, and when Rude's basketball-star nephew Bucky wanders into the club all dusted-out and dribbling imaginary basketballs, you know the Disco Godfather's gonna make the scene! Rude goes to visit the "wacked-out" Bucky at a special clinic for the ever-increasing number of Angel Dust victims, where we see a bunch of folks singin' and prayin' around a dusted girl who roasted her baby and served it up at a family dinner. Disgusted by the wanton destruction of America's youth, Rude goes on a crusade to "Attack the Wack!" With the blessing of the local cops (this is the weirdest part, considering the role "the man" usually plays in Blaxploiters), the Godfather teams up with an enormous-afroed Kung Fu sidekick and they start shakin' down dealers in an attempt to bring down the Angel Dust kingpin, Stinger. Rousting a bunch of whores who're snorting coke off the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack, Rude chastises the gals, especially "Betty--one of the nation's most notorious shoplifters!"

Unbeknownst to our hero, however, one of the cops is in Stinger's pocket and spills the beans on all the busts. Pausing only for a truly horrific love scene, the Disco Godfather quickly fakes the crooked cop out and gets ready to kick some Dust-dealer ass! After some of the most lethargic Kung Fu ever to grace the screen, Rude is captured by Stinger's henchmen, who tie him to a chair and dust him up. Wigged-out and hallucinating, Rude bursts his bonds and starts slaughtering bad muthas with impunity, all of which leads to a surprisingly freaky ending that made me twitch with glee. Rent it--and check out www.dolemite.com for more Rudy Ray coolness. (Xenon)

The Legend of Boggy Creek (1973)

Do I even need to review this flick? Regular readers already know that Charles B. Pierce's classic is the Bigfoot movie. This "true story" is told documentary-style, "recreating" sightings of--and better yet, attacks by--the creature that dwells in the swamps near Fouke, Ark. Featuring crotchety old fellas hanging around and spitting, Boggy Creek does what no other Bigfoot flick can do--actually give me the heebie jeebies. Sure, the creature looks like a skinny guy in a mouldering fur suit, but Pierce manages to do something few directors can do: direct the landscape, bringing a mysterious and spooky feel even to the daylight scenes. Now, before you get the idea that I'm saying this is some kind of horror classic on a par with, say, The Exorcist, let's get one thing clear: A huge amount of this movie's atmosphere is provided by the weird, low-budget, see-it-at-the-drive-in-with-your-scared-girlfriend (or boyfriend, as the case may be)-quality of the thing, and not necessarily by the talent of the filmmakers. But by God, if you can watch the scenes of the creature lurking outside isolated houses and scaring cats to death (!) and then go to bed without being freaked by the tree branch scratching against your window, you're a better man than I. And what about those songs! "Perhaps he dimly wonders why/There is no other such as I/To touch, to love before I die/To listen to my lonely cry ..."--call it "Love Theme From Boggy Creek," call it "Shit Sandwich," but this sad ballad crooned over footage of the creature shambling through the forest will outlast that damn song from Titanic, I'm here to tell you. Then there's "Bring me the Head of Travis Crabtree," featuring inspired lyrics like: "Hey Travis Crabtree/Wait a minute for me/Let's go back in the bottoms/Back where the fish are bitin'/Where all the world's invitin'/And nobody sees the flowers bloom but me ..." Take that, Celine Dion! Why touching ballads in a Bigfoot movie? Why the hell not! And check out Herb, who limps because he "accidentally shot part of his foot away in a boating accident." No song for Herb, but he's a great guy anyway. A hugely important drive-in classic. Watch it late at night, curled up in bed with the lights off. (Lightning)


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