Saturday, August 12, 2017

#2,406. The Human Tornado (1976)

Directed By: Cliff Roquemore

Starring: Rudy Ray Moore, Lady Reed, Jimmy Lynch

Tag line: "Watch Out Mister...Here Comes the Twister!"

Trivia: This movie is also known as Dolemite II

A sequel to 1975’s Dolemite, The Human Tornado is not only a better-made film than its predecessor (the boom mic doesn’t even make a cameo appearance this time around), but it’s also funnier, giving star (and popular funnyman) Rudy Ray Moore a chance to finally flex his comedic muscles.

After donating his Alabama mansion to a charity for underprivileged children, Dolemite (Moore) hops into bed with a woman who happens to be the wife of redneck sheriff Beatty (J.B. Baron). When the sheriff catches them in the act, he tells his deputy to kill both Dolemite and the girl. Luckily, Dolemite manages to escape.

Following a confrontation with the sheriff’s men (which ends with a bang… literally), Dolemite decides it’s high time he left town. Joined by his good friends Dough (Ed Montgomery), Jimmy (James R. Page), and Bo (Ernie Hudson, in one of his earlier roles) Dolemite hijacks a car and heads to Los Angeles, where his associate Queen Bee (Lady Reed) runs the hottest nightclub in town.

As Dolemite and his pals will soon discover, though, things aren’t going well in L.A.; a mob boss named Cavaletti (Herb Graham), who owns a rival nightclub, has kidnapped two of Queen Bee’s best dancers, T.C. (Peaches Jones) and Java (played by female impersonator / transsexual Lady Java), promising that, if Queen Bee doesn’t shut her club down, he’ll kill them both. Dolemite makes it his mission to locate the girls before it’s too late, but what he doesn’t know is that sheriff Beatty followed him to Los Angeles, and has enlisted the help of the LAPD’s best man, Detective Blakely (Jerry Jones, who also co-wrote the screenplay), to track Dolemite down.

Whereas Dolemite sometimes made us chuckle for all the wrong reasons, The Human Tornado gets its laughs more honestly, and features plenty of WTF moments that are sure to crack you up. In an effort to find out where T.C. and Java are being held, Dolemite seduces Cavaletti’s nymphomaniac wife (Barbara Gerl), who, after fantasizing that she’s being ravished by a series of well-built black men, has such rigorous sex with Dolemite that it shakes her entire house off its foundation! Even more bizarre is Cavaletti’s “house of pain”, where an elderly witch sadistically tortures his two captives. And if that’s not weird enough for you, Cavaletti hires the reigning nunchaku champion to entertain his guests during a fancy dinner party! Funniest of all, though, are the sequences in which Dolemite uses karate to take on Cavaletti’s men (these scenes are sped up, giving them a cartoon-like feel, and at one point Dolemite even leaps about 20 feet into the air).

In addition to all the nonsense, The Human Tornado features Rudy Ray Moore doing what he did best; telling jokes (the film opens with Dolemite performing a stand-up routine in front of a live audience) and rattling off profanity-laced rhymes (“He think he's bad and ain't got no class! I'm goin' to rock this shotgun up his muthafuckin' ass!”). A stud with the women and a bad-ass fighting machine, Moore’s Dolemite was a force to be reckoned with in the original movie, and as he proves again in The Human Tornado, the character (and the actor portraying him) is still in a class by himself.

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