Blaxploitation History Month Review #3: Dolemite

Blaxploitation History Month continues with pimped out review of Dolemite.

What can you really say about Dolemite? He is the baddest pimp on the block, knows martial arts, has a harem of kung fu trained female bodyguards at his side and a penchant for impromptu poetry sessions. With this many talents, the man is a modern bard!  Dolemite is definitely the king of Blaxploitation movies, often imitated but never surpassed.

"Black Dynamite who?"
Comedian Rudy Ray Moore plays the titular character of Dolemite and it’s obvious he relished the role and had a lot of fun with it. He has the swagger needed to play a pimp and won’t hesitate to give a foe (or one of his hoes) a slap to the face if they aren’t coming to him correct. Yeah, it’s old fashioned and misogynistic but to be honest, these types of films aren’t made to be politically correct. If you want to see feminist ideals being upheld and discussed then Dolemite should not be in your list of movies to watch. If you want to watch a jive-talking, urban poet slap the hell out of some people, then you have come to the right place.

Speaking of poetry, this film has several interludes where Dolemite launches into free-form spoken word and it’s actually eloquent at times. He is talking about the street and the ghetto but the way he puts his thoughts together is intelligent and interesting to hear. He’s no Shakespeare, but in the context of this movie it’s a bold addition and proven to be very popular with audiences. As a side note, the costumes are so hilarious and out there, especially Dolemite’s colorful pimp ensembles. I didn’t know one man could own so many giant hats!

The acting is pretty terrible from every other character other than Moore and the editing and scene composition are crappy too. I have never seen so many boom mics in my life! It’s definitely in the so bad it’s good territory and makes the film more fun to watch. Dolemite is the epitome of Blaxploitation films and a classic worth checking out.

- Review by Michelle Kisner