Wednesday, June 29, 2016

The Human Tornado (Vinegar Syndrome DVD/Blu-ray) - Cat 5 Mucho Strange-O Blaxploitation Awesome

Vinegar Syndrome has a pile of Rudy Ray Moore movies hitting Blu-ray over the next couple of months which is a fantastic thing for all you Blaxploitation fans out there. They started off with Dolemite and have worked their way up to The Human Tornado. While I had seen Dolemite before, I had only ever enjoyed (with hearty belly laughs) the trailer for The Human Tornado albeit projected from a 35mm trailer. I knew what to expect because the trailer was like mini version of the movie and it looked like it ws going to be Dolemite vs. the Mafia with plenty of gratuity to keep me occupied for over 90 minutes of runtime. This one was a no brainer. The only thing that could possibly happen would be to NOT enjoy The Human Tornado for some unforeseen reason.

I suppose the question on everyone's mind is is Tornado gratuitous enough? Does it live up to the hype of a sequel to a completely gonzo blax picture. It sure does. I still prefer Dolemite to The Human Tornado as it feels like the idea was more fresh and the concepts in Tornado are somewhat recycled from the original picture as well as other previous representatives of the blax genre I suppose that's to be expected. It was not really an upset. Even I knew that it would be hard to reinvent a genre that was built on its stereotypes as the foundation of its success. Sure you could go Horror. Dolemite could have shown up as Frankenstein but even that had been done. What we get in The Human Tornado is a solid follow up that gives the audience what they want, gives the producers a fast track to some cash and, in the case of the re-release by Vinegar Syndrome, another great addition to our well preserved collection of cult classics.

The transfer is great. Vinegar Syndrome always takes care of their Blu-rays, preserving and correcting prints for consumption with a high level of accuracy and attention to creating a pristine movie watching experience. This disc includes the second part of the I, Dolemite documentary, a making of feature that spans the length of several of the releases from VS. While some of the standard extras are here with trailers included, there's a commentary track with a Rudy Ray Moore historian, an audio interview with the director and a martial arts champion. You absolutely must check out the German dubbed version Der Bastard! Think about what that would be like. A German dubbed version of The Human Tornado and then insert the sound of your own laughter over the top. The new artwork for the cover is just great. I loved what was done with Dolemite and am more than happy with The Human Tornado's updated artwork. The reverse has the traditional artwork for purists. The simplicity of the blue background with Rudy Ray Moore's face atop a black tornado is too damn funny, but very "tasteful". 

This is a great followup to Dolemite in quality, presentation (the cover art by Jay Shaw is always exceptional) and in terms of the importance to the blaxploitation set of movies. It's not the first time you'll see a movie like this, but there's something about the group Dolemite assembles to fight the mafia combined with the absolute gonzo of a finish that sets this one apart from other movies in the genre. As I said before, I prefer the original movie, but there's so much to love in this movie. It'd be like comparing strawberry jam to strawberry jelly.

Order your copy now from Vinegar Syndrome or DiabolikDVD:


From Vinegar Syndrome:

Dolemite (Rudy Ray Moore) is back and badder than ever in THE HUMAN TORNADO! After being run out of town by a racist sheriff, Dolemite returns to LA only to discover that Queen Bee’s (Lady Reed) club has been taken over by the mafia. On top of that they have also kidnapped two of Queen Bee’s top girls! With the law hot on his tail, Dolemite rounds up the toughest Kung-Fu fighting badasses in Southern California to take on the mob, culminating in one of the craziest surprise endings in blaxploitation film history!

Wilder and more over the top than its predecessor, THE HUMAN TORNADO is a non-stop assault on the senses, combining comedy, action, horror, and jawdropping weirdness, featuring supporting performances from Ernie Hudson, Jimmy Lynch and world karate champion Howard Jackson. Vinegar Syndrome proudly presents THE HUMAN TORNADO on Blu-ray, restored from original 35mm vault elements.

Directed by: Cliff Roquemore
1976 / 96 minutes / Color / 1.85:1
Actors: Rudy Ray Moore, Ernie Hudson, Jimmy Lynch, Lady Reed, Jerry Jones

Features Include:
• Region free Blu-ray and DVD combo pack.
• All extras on both formats.
• Scanned and restored in 2k from 35mm vault elements.
• “I, Dolemite Part II” making-of documentary.
• Commentary track w/ Rudy Ray Moore’s biographer, Mark Jason Murray and co-star Jimmy Lynch.
• Audio interview w/ director Cliff Roquemore and martial arts champion Howard Jackson.
• “Der Bastard” – German dubbed version.
• Promotional still gallery
• Soundtrack
• Radio spot
• THE HUMAN TORNADO – theatrical trailer
• DOLEMITE – theatrical trailer
• Original cover artwork by Jay Shaw
• Reversible cover artwork
• English SDH Subtitles

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