The Disco Godfather/Review
From The Grindhouse Cinema Database
The Disco Godfather was quite a departure for Rudy Ray Moore and the wildness of the other Dolemite films. The film is much more serious because it takes on the subject matter of drugs, specifically PCP aka Angel Dust. In the film, Rudy Ray plays Tucker Williams "The Disco Godfather", he is the owner/star DJ of the Blueberry Hill Disco. One night while at the club, Tucker's young nephew Bucky (Julius J Carry III), a basketball star, takes some angel dust and flips out, causing havoc around the club. We see through Bucky's eyes, he's tripping out and hallucinating. When the cops finally subdue him, Tucker runs outside and asks what's wrong. He doesn't even know what this strange "angel dust" stuff is. We find out later Bucky's been put into rehab, Tucker is an ex-cop, and he goes back to his old precinct to find out about Angel Dust and who's selling it. When he talks to one of his old friends, the chief at the station, Tucker makes it clear that he wants to stop the drug trafficking thats going on around the town...By any means necessary!
The next day, Tucker goes back to the Disco where he finds out from his secretary Noel (Carol Speed) that there are some men working on a telephone in his office. Tucker immediately realizes something's up, because he didn't call them, so he confronts the two "telephone workers" and then beats their asses, but before he gets the name of who sent them but one of the men sucker punches Tucker and knocks him out and they get away.
The big man behind the drugs is Stinger Ray (James H. Hawthorne) who doubles as a well known and respected local businessman. Stinger Ray knows that with Tucker now on his tail, he'll have to do whatever he can to stop Tucker from messing with him and his business. While Bucky recuperates in the hospital, Tucker is trying to start a movement against drugs, with the help of the other good people in the black community he starts "ATTACK THE WACK" where ex-junkies preach about the dangers of drugs like Angel Dust and do their best to get the word out that it is REALLY BAD NEWS.
Meanwhile, Stinger Ray has put out a hit on Tucker, but when he finds out that Tucker knows that he is possibly behind the drug dealing in the area he stops the hit so he won't be caught. At the club, two hit men try to shoot Tucker, but are stopped just in the nick of time by some other thugs Stinger Ray sent there. Tucker tries to find out who's behind the drugs and he goes to one of his old acquaintances Sweetmeat (Jimmy Lynch). Sweetmeat doesn't like the fact Tucker is out to stop all drug selling and he explains to Tucker that he's not in the business of selling drugs anyway, just good ol prostitution. Before Tucker and his bodyguard leave, they find a record cover covered in a pile of coke, Tucker picks it up and blows the coke everywhere. As he leaves, Sweetmeat's guests all scramble for the coke, quickly sniffing it off the floor.
When one of Tucker's mentors is killed along with his dog, Tucker realizes that there has to be someone around him, even on the police force that is a snitch for Stinger Ray. Tucker sets up a trap and when his friend the chief of police calls up one of his men explaining that they are going to go bust Stinger, they tap his line and they hear the man call up Stinger right after and tell him there's gonna be a bust. When the man shows up at the rendezvous, the police know its him who's the rat. The man then kills himself by cutting himself up in the bathtub and his white girlfriend finds him. When Stinger finds out about this, he gets pissed and decides to really kill Tucker this time. Tucker gets kidnapped by a crazy cowboy guy who works for Stinger, after being held at gunpoint, the cowboy scumbag tries to whip Tucker but is stopped when Tucker grabs the whip and slams the guy into a wall, splattering blood from his head all over.
The climactic battle at the end of the film has Tucker going Kung Fu crazy on Stinger Ray's bodyguards at a drug factory. Together with another concerned citizen, Tucker kicks some ass Dolemite-Fu style! Bucky gets out of the hospital and tracks Tucker down at the factory. Before Tucker can rule the day, he gets beat up by a big goon and is tied up and given a heavy dose of Angel Dust (injected through a gas mask). While he's flipping out and seeing a montage of all kinds of strange people and ghoulish figures, he runs into Stinger Ray who's trying to escape. Tucker strangles him while he is hallucinating that he's killing his aunt (who he always hated). Bucky and the cops finally show up and try to get him to stop strangling Stinger Ray.
Even with all the craziness and action in The Disco Godfather, the core of the story shows how people like Stinger Ray can easily influence the younger generation of black people with the promises of high living and lots of money. On the other side you have Tucker, who's trying his best to help people live right and be good citizens. That's probably the best message in the film, especially in the 1970s when this film was made. Not many films dealt with the negative aspects of drugs. It was a party time and the middle of the whole "Studio 54- If it feels good do it" era. Which makes The Disco Godfather a very unique film for its time and the Blaxploitation era.
Peter Roberts is the co-founder/editor-in-chief of the Grindhouse Cinema Database (GCDb) and contributor to the GCDb's sister site Furious Cinema. A Massachusetts native, he is an avid film fan that has been immersed in the world of entertainment and pop culture his entire life. He is currently majoring in Communications and Interactive Media Design.