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Dolemite (1975)

“Dolemite is my name, and fuckin’ up motherfuckers is my game”

Dolemite (comedian Rudy Ray Moore in his big-screen debut) is a bad mutha pimp who is set up by his arch-nemesis Willie Green (D’Urville Martin, who also directed the movie) and the cops. They plant drugs, stolen furs, and guns in his car and get him sentenced to 20 years in jail.

With Green now doing some major drug trafficking, the sympathetic warden releases Dolemite to intervene and prove his own innocence.

Given that Dolemite literally murders four people on the drive home from jail, it seems like it probably wasn’t the best plan. They were all trying to kill him, but still.

That’s about it for the plot – the rest of the film features Dolemite killing people (usually with poorly choreographed karate), having sex, and swearing profusely in an odd rhymey way which just may have been the invention of rap.

He also has to spend a lot of time dodging the boom mic. It’s visible in every other scene!

Fortunately, madam Queen Bee (Lady Reed) sent all of Dolemite’s ‘ho’s’ to kung fu school while he was in the slammer so the dude has a veritable army.

Dolemite was made for $100,000 in 17 days and it shows. The derelict Dunbar Hotel in LA provided the interior sets.

The New York Times called the film the Citizen Kane of Blaxploitation. It’s definitely one of the ultimate cult classics and watching the film these days is like opening a time capsule from the 70s, replete with the funkiest of fashions and old-school jive talk.

Dolemite returned a year later in The Human Tornado. A film about the making of Dolemite – titled Dolemite Is My Name and starring Eddie Murphy as Rudy Ray Moore – was released theatrically and on Netflix in October 2019.

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Dolemite
Rudy Ray Moore
Willie Green
D’Urville Martin
Blakeley
Jerry Jones
Queen Bee
Lady Reed
Mayor Daley
Monte ‘Hy’ Pike
Creeper/The Hamburger Pimp
Vainus Rackstraw
Reverend Gibbs
West Gale
Mitchell
John Kerry
Dolemite’s Girls
Brenda DeLong
Terri Mosley
Marilyn Shaw
Lynell Smith
Vera Howard
Joy Martin
Jana Bisbing
Brenda Banks
Pat Haywood
René Van Clief
Pat Jones
Lola Mayo
Charlene Soulter

Director
D’Urville Martin