When it comes to the blaxploitation genre, the importance of Rudy Ray Moore movies simply cannot be underestimated. Not only have these films had a lasting impact on pop culture, especially in the African-American community, but they feature bizarre martial arts battles, lots of naked women, unintentional humor, and enough rhymin’ to make a rapper blush. The following article details some of his finest (and most bizarre) works, including films that have captured the imagination of everyone from Snoop Dogg to the Insane Clown Posse.
Rudy Ray Moore – The Man, the Myth, the Legend
Born in Fort Smith, Arkansas in 1927, Rudy Ray Moore was the oldest of seven children. Moving to Cleveland at the age of 15, he made ends meet by washing dishes and peeling potatoes. It was during this time that he developed a desire to be a professional entertainer, and within a few years he would make a name for himself in the Milwaukee area as a singer/dancer named Prince DuMarr.
Enlisting in the Army in 1950, Moore would often perform country songs for his fellow servicemen, earning him the name of “The Harlem Hillbilly.” During one such performance, he delivered an impromptu comedy routine when the next act was late taking the stage. It was a hit with the crowd, and the comedy career of Rudy Ray Moore was launched.
After leaving the service and moving to Los Angeles, Moore developed the idea for his Dolemite persona from a story-telling wino who would routinely come into the store where he worked. He was already recording records at this time, but his breakthrough success would come in 1970 with the release of his comedy album Eat Out More Often. This was quickly followed by This Pussy Belongs to Me, and Rudy Ray Moore had established himself as one of the first X-rated comics.
His film career would begin in 1974 with the release of Dolemite, and the movie would prove to be a major success. More motion pictures and comedy albums would follow, and Moore would be especially popular for the remainder of the 1970s.
In the 1990s, Moore would once again burst onto the scene, thanks in large part to various rappers who grew up with his comedy routines and movies. Snoop Dogg was once quoted as saying, “Without Rudy Ray Moore, there would be no Snoop Dogg, and that’s for real.“ More comedy albums would follow, as well as appearances in a number of offbeat movies.
In 2008, Moore passed away due to complications from diabetes. He was 81 years old. But thanks to the magic of movies, Dolemite will live on forever.
Quotes from Rudy Ray Moore Movies
If you’re not familiar with Rudy Ray Moore movies, this list of wacky quotes should give you an idea of what to expect. I’ve limited the list to ten, but you could fill page after page with Rudy Ray’s memorable raps and rhymes.
- “When I see a ghost, I cut the motherfucker.”
- “Bitch, are you for real?”
- “Put your weight on it! Put your weight on it! Put your weight on it!”
- “I’m gonna let ‘em know that Dolemite is my name, and fuckin’ up motherfuckers is my game.”
- “Man, move over and let me pass ‘fore they have to be pullin’ these Hush Puppies out your motherfuckin’ ass!”
- “Move and I’ll blow your afro off.”
- “I’m gonna get them silly son of a bitches.”
- “That rat-soup-eatin’, insecure honky motherfucker!”
- “I’m so bad, I kick my own ass twice a day.”
- “You know I don’t wear no fuckin’ cotton drawers!”
Rudy Ray Moore Movies
Now I proudly present this list of Rudy Ray Moore movies, all guaranteed to make you feel like a badass pimp.
- Dolemite (1975) – Dolemite, rhymin’ pimp and owner of the nightclub known as The Total Experience, is framed and sent to jail for having a trunk filled with drugs and stolen furs. When he’s finally released, he sets out to reclaim his business, now operated by the villainous Willie Green. But to do so, he’ll have to stay one step ahead of the racist police detectives who helped Green frame him in the first place. Bad kung-fu, awful acting, and a character known as the Hamburger Pimp make Dolemite a hilariously memorable entry into the blaxploitation explosion of the 1970s. Fans of odd films should move this one right to the top of their queue.
- The Human Tornado (1976) – When he’s framed for murder by a racist sheriff (after sleeping with the lawman’s wife), Dolemite and his pals head to California. There, they find that club owner Queen Bee and her girls are being hassled by local mobsters. Dolemite isn’t going to put up with any nonsense from whitey, so he and his associates (including a young Ernie Hudson) begin to turn the tables by using outrageous phony identities, seducing white women, and opening up a whole can of kung-fu whoopass. Meanwhile, that crazy peckerwood sheriff is still in hot pursuit. The opening credits alone are worth a rental, as they feature Dolemite dancing, wielding a sword, and showing off the film’s title on the back of his cape.
- The Monkey Hu$tle (1976) – When the city plans to build an expressway through their neighborhood, a group of disparate con-men come together to put the kibosh on progress. Yaphet Kotto stars as Big Daddy Foxx, and Rudy Ray Moore is Goldie, the local head of the numbers racket.
- Petey Wheatstraw (1977) – When nightclub comic Petey Wheatstraw (Moore) and his pals are gunned down by the diabolical comedy team of Leroy & Skillet, Satan shows up to make him an offer. He’ll bring Petey and company back to life, but only if the comic marries Satan’s ugly daughter. Petey agrees, goes looking for payback, and tries to figure out a way to screw over Scratch. There’s a scene of a watermelon truck exploding in slow motion, which would no doubt go over well in the modern PC climate.
- The Avenging Disco Godfather (1979) – Tucker Williams (Rudy Ray) is a retired cop and successful disco club owner. When his nephew has a bad experience with PCP, Tucker goes all crazy and vows to “attack the Whack.” Lots of bad martial arts follow. Unfortunately, Tucker’s trademark cry of “Put your weight on it” never swept across the nation like I would’ve hoped.
- Shaolin Dolemite (1999) – Take an old kung-fu film, dub over the original dialogue, and throw in Rudy Ray Moore as Monk Ru-Dee. It all adds up to a bizarre mash-up of martial arts and blaxploitation, including a topless female ninja, an intro by Rudy Ray, and ninjas digging underground tunnels at super speeds. Dolemite veteran Jimmy Lynch shows up as the ninja-fighting Sam the Spliff, and you haven’t lived until you’ve seen an effeminate version of Davey Crockett wielding a sword.
- B*A*P*S (1997)- Rudy Ray Moore plays the role of “Nate” in this tale of two Georgia hairdressers (Halle Berry and Natalie Desselle-Reid) who travel to L.A. and wind up helping care for a rich old white guy (Martin Landau). Roger Ebert called it “jaw-droppingly bad, stupid and offensive,” but the fact remains that it features Rudy Ray Moore. That alone is worth the price of a rental.
- Big Money Hustlas (2000) – Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope of the Insane Clown Posse star in this tale that pays homage to the blaxploitation films of the ‘70s. Sugar Bear (Shaggy 2 Dope) is a San Francisco cop who’s brought to New York to bring down the crime boss known as Big Baby Sweets (Violent J). But to do so, he’ll have to take on magic ninjas, a wrestler named Cactus Sac (Mick Foley), and plenty of incompetent henchmen. Luckily, he’ll get backup from a cop named Harry Cox (Harland Williams) and the man…the myth…the legend…Dolemite.
- Penitentiary II (1982) – In this sequel, prison boxing legend Too Sweet (Leon Isaac Kennedy) is now out on parole and trying to turn his life around. But that’s before an old enemy escapes from the clink and murders his girlfriend. Out for revenge, he once again laces up the gloves. Rudy Ray co-stars in the all-important role known as “man on balcony.” Ernie Hudson, Moore’s co-star in The Human Tornado, appears as a character named Half Dead. A great film for those who love boxing and blaxploitation.
- It Came from Trafalgar (2009) – Dealing with an UFO crash in Trafalgar, Indiana and an alien invasion 40 years later, this black & white tribute to old school sci-fi films stars Rudy Ray Moore in his last film role. He plays Dangerous Dan, another character taken from his famous nightclub rhymes, and he’s joined by such names as Gunnar Hansen (Leatherface), Linnea Quigley (Trash in Return of the Living Dead), musician Hank Williams III, Butch Patrick (Eddie Munster), and Reggie Bannister (Phantasm).
While all the Rudy Ray Moore movies on this list are certifiably crazy, there are a number of other filmmakers and performers whose works are also beyond belief. Click on the links to read more about them: