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  Disco Godfather Murder On The DancefloorBuy this film here.
Year: 1979
Director: J. Robert Wagoner
Stars: Rudy Ray Moore, Carol Speed, Jimmy Lynch, Jerry Jones, Lady Reed, Frank Finn, Julius Carry, Leroy Daniels, Melvin Smith, Ronny Harris, Satir González, Antar Mubarak, Marshall Williams
Genre: Action, Thriller, Trash
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: The smoothest operator around is ex-cop Tucker Williams (Rudy Ray Moore), better known as The Disco Godfather, and tonight he is hosting one of his get togethers at his very own nightclub. All is going well as he takes to the microphone and instructs the patrons to put their weight on it about five hundred times, but what he doesn't see is his nephew, Bucky (Julius Carry) leaving his girlfriend behind to get mixed up with the wrong crowd, in spite of her pleas. Their drug of choice is PCP, and that is what they give Bucky, reducing him to a hallucinating wreck - something must be done!

And if anyone can get drugs off the streets, it would have been the persuasive Rudy Ray Moore, after all, he got all those people to repeatedly put their weight on it. Disco Godfather was Moore's attempt at a socially conscious, PG-rated work that would really say something to the public who were suffering under the new threat of Angel Dust. Whether they took much succour from this frankly absurd public service film is unclear, but cult movie fans certainly took this to their hearts, if only because of the fresh heights of ludicrousness it acheived.

That said, there was no doubt that the filmmakers were sincere, which makes this all the more endearing. They adopt scare tactics to keep the youth of today off this devil drug, so there is much time dedicated to hallucination sequences, starting with Bucky's. He is an aspiring basketball star, so his visions take the form of that game, with an Angel of Death cutting off his arm so he cannot play anymore, and there is no skimping on showing the dreadful effects of PCP. Tucker visits a hospital to see this first hand, and to show us of course, so we are offered bits with actors wailing, twitching and in one case having flashbacks to the time they served roast baby to the family.

Tucker becomes caught up in a socially improving fervour and sets about cleaning up his neighbourhood, much to the chagrin of the local bad guy, Sweetmeat (Jimmy Lynch), who has flooded the community with the new drug. There then follows parts where Moore will take to the disco in ill-advisedly cut to the navel jumpsuits, overseeing some dancing, including a little roller boogie (although Moore's dancing is about as good as his kung fu), interspersed with parts where he confronts various bad guys and drums up support for his so-called "Attack the Wack!" movement (or "Wack the Attack" as co-star Carol Speed terms it).

After a hugely successful rally that ooh, about fifteen people attend, Tucker has the full force of the good folks, doctors and religious leaders putting their weight on backing him, but the bad guys are not giving in without a fight. It's a pity that this was released just as disco was going out of fashion, because it would have been great if it hit as big as Saturday Night Fever (did John Travolta perform martial arts in that? I think you'll find that was mssing), the album cover of which is used for cocaine-snorting here, but perhaps Moore was just too idiosyncratic for mainstream acceptance. The outrageous climax which sees Tucker captured after a bout of hilarious kung fu and forced to take PCP will live long in the memories of all those who have seen it, and with any luck will put impressionable people off dabbling in it. Well, you never know. Music by Ernie Fields Jr.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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