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Film / Dolemite

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Dolemite is a 1975 blaxploitation feature film, following the titular character, played by Rudy Ray Moore, who co-wrote the film and its soundtrack. The film was directed by D'Urville Martin and distributed by Dimension Pictures Inc.. A sequel film, The Human Tornado, was later produced.

The film follows Dolemite, initially jailed due to being framed by crooked cops hired by his rival, Willie Green. The film opens to the prison warden calling Dolemite up to his office and offering him his freedom if he can help gather evidence supporting the theory that he didn't commit the crime. Dolemite returns to his life as a pimp and is harassed by the cops who framed him, the movie proceeds to follow a nonsensical and convoluted plot that amounts to little.

The 2019 Netflix film Dolemite Is My Name is a fictionalized depiction of Moore's life and his creation of the first Dolemite movie, with Eddie Murphy playing Moore.

Tropes associated with this work:

  • The Ace: Dolemite is the toughest fighter, greatest lover, and most beloved personality in town.
  • Action Girl: Dolemite's Amazon Brigade of karate hookers have a big fight scene at the end of the film.
  • Afro Asskicker: Dolemite, a pimp martial artist with an afro.
  • Amazon Brigade: While Dolemite was in prison, Mama Bee had all of their hookers study karate so that they could fight off aggressors to the business.
  • Blaxploitation: Parodied to hell and back. The whole movie deconstructs the genre by being way over the top and corny. The movie has even been called the "Citizen Kane of blaxploitation films".
  • Bullet Dancing: Early in the film, Dolemite makes a would-be assassin dance to bulletfire before killing him.
  • Character Title: Based on Ruby Ray Moore's persona of Dolemite, an over-the-top pimp.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: "Dolemite is my name, and fuckin' up motherfuckers is my game!"
  • Corrupt Cop: Mitchell and White get Dolemite busted early in the film on the orders of Willie Green.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: In spite of being the apparent villain for most of the film, Willie Green gets killed with about half and hour to go. Then the Greater-Scope Villain, the mayor, becomes the villain. And after he's taken care of, we've still got to mop up the assassins he's hired.
  • Fan Disservice: We get to see the corrupt mayor in all of his naked glory.
  • Faux Action Girl: Dolemite's lover is a karate-fighting, gun-toting badass, but that doesn't stop her from getting strangled to death by the schlubby mayor.
  • Jive Turkey: Dolemite is perhaps the trope codifier with his eccentric personality.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Blakely seems to be another cop villain, but he turns out to be an FBI Agent hunting the corruption in the city.
  • Leg Cling: Girls cling to Dolemite's legs in the film poster.
  • Mercy Kill: The FBI agent puts Willie Green out of his misery by shooting him, though his motive is to put the blame for the killing on himself rather than Dolemite.
  • Nominal Hero: Dolemite is just as vicious and evil as the rest of the cast, but he's the hero because he was wronged first.
  • Parody: The film is a mockery of the Blaxplotation genre. It helps to be familiar with Rudy's stand up comedy acts, where Dolemite was a recurring character.
  • Professional Killer: Three get sent by Willie Green early in the film. Three more are hired by the mayor and arrive with only a few minutes of running time remaining.
  • Rhymes on a Dime: Apart from fighting, Dolemite's primary skill is speaking in heroic couplets. "You jivin' motherfuckers would be spoilin' for a fight, if you forgot to mention a badass named Dolemite!" Several sequences have him telling whole stories in this way. It's run into the ground in the trailer for the film: "From the first to the last, I'll give 'em the blast, so fast, that their life is past, before their ass has even hit the grass!"
  • Scary Black Man: Dolemite is pimp leading his army of martial arts hoes and can rip your liver out with his bare hands.
  • Shirtless Scene: Dolemite spends about 1/3 of the film with his shirt off, putting Rudy Ray Moore's husky physique on full display in all its glory.
  • Slap-Slap-Kiss: In the midst of a post-coitus argument with his lover, Dolemite forces himself on top of her, tells her she's going to get screwed for real this time, and slaps her in the face twice. After a cut, they're having passionate and consensual sex. You really couldn't get away with this kind of scene today.
  • Stealth Parody: The film plays blaxploitation tropes to such ludicrous levels that it becomes parody.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: The mayor is behind Willie Green's crime empire, but he's still being invited to fancy parties around the neighborhood.
  • Visible Boom Mic: Happens so often in the open matte version you can make a Drinking Game out of it. The Blu-Ray release fixes this by displaying the movie at its intended widescreen aspect ratio.