Comedian Rudy Ray Moore, a.k.a. trash-talking '70s action hero Dolemite, a.k.a. the Human Tornado, has died of complications from diabetes. He was 81.
Famous for its stiff martial arts choreography and production values that were so low that the boom mike gets enough screen time to qualify as a supporting character, Moore's 1975 cult classic Dolemite is a pretty bad movie (bad not meaning good in this case). Not a lot of bad movies are fun to watch (exhibit A: Nicolas Cage's last few action films). But Dolemite is fun to watch--and endlessly quotable ("Man, move over and let me pass 'fore they have to be pullin' these Hush Puppies out yo' muthafuckin' ass!").
Moore's B-movies have had such a huge influence on the hip-hop generation. Robin Harris is seen watching Dolemite and quoting from it during House Party, Ol' Dirty Bastard's "Got Your Money" video consists of nothing but footage from Dolemite and the Beastie Boys constantly reference Moore in their music (the classic "Hey Ladies" video recreates a sex scene from one of Moore's movies):
One of my favorite MADtv sketches spoofed Dolemite and its wooden actors and lousy production values. As the "Son of Dolemite," a half-naked Aries Spears ran around fuckin' up muthafuckas in "Pas-uh-DEE-NUH!" with his beergut hilariously hanging out of his bikini briefs.
It's been kind of a tough past three days for the hip-hop generation. First, we have to endure the sight of Sarah Palin attempting to relate to us by "raising the roof" on SNL*, and now a favorite blaction hero dies.
* I'm not a fan of SNL's "really white white people trying to rap" shtick, but Amy Poehler's got skills. When 8 Mile co-star Brittany Murphy guest-hosted SNL a few seasons ago, the show did an 8 Mile-inspired sketch about a fake feud between the cast members from the East Coast and the cast members from the West Coast, and Poehler was killin' it.