Wednesday, November 14, 2012

"It's about God, homeboy."

Its Tokers Town vs. 14th Street somewhere in California (San Jose, perhaps?).

Tokers Town's leader Duke has had enough with the rivalry going on with 14th Street, so he and 14th Street's leader Indio make a peace treaty in jail. When Duke gets out of jail, he reunites with his girl Gata and fellow gang members/homies. When Duke hears from his Tokers Town homies that 14th Street is still giving them trouble, he then decides to declare war on the rival gang. This war of course leads to close ones getting killed. Duke and Gata then decide to leave the gang life to serve God at the Victory Outreach.

Based on the popular Victory Outreach play with the same name, Duke Of Earl is such a great movie. The story is really interesting and feels real. It also has a really neat oldies soundtrack (of course!), and all the characters are likable. The movie also has some great memorable lines; "I was just kissing them. Getting loaded.", "I was going to school ese and I got my G.E.D.", "He probably stole it ese!", and the most memorable of them all which was said by Pastor Ed Morales (who plays himself in the movie): "It's about God, homeboy".

The late Pastor Ed Morales wrote & directed the original Duke of Earl play in 1979 and it quickly became very popular. Apparently it was shown all over the country for years and pretty much all the showings had full houses. Since it was so popular since its 1979 release, Ed Morales just had to make a Duke Of Earl movie and so he did in 1985 (or earlier, I'm still questioning the year of this movie). The movie of course is low budget and SOV, but despite the little budget and low quality film making, the movie still got to people and became a cult classic.

Duke of Earl the movie premiered on TBN in 1985 (or earlier, I'm still questioning the year of this movie) and from there VHS copies of the movie floated around chicano neighborhoods via gifts from Victory Outreach ministers. As far as I can tell, there was no actual retail tape being sold anywhere and the DVD's that are floating around flea markets are just bootleg copies sourced from an original VHS tape. There was supposed to be a 20something anniversary DVD release a few years back, but it never happened most likely due to the copyrighted music in the movie. So if you really want to see this movie, you're gonna have to get the bootleg from a flea market (boo hoo).

If you really like cholo movies then Duke of Earl is a must see. This cholo/Christian movie is really good and do not assume it's terrible just because it was filmed on tape. As I said before, despite the low budget and low quality film making, Pastor Ed Morales still made a great movie that a lot of people really love and have been inspired by. This one is a must see. Check it out. 7/10.


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