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RZA's Early Directorial Efforts: The Feature ('Bobby Digital') & The Short ('Domestic Violence')

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by Tambay A. Obenson
July 30, 2012 2:31 PM
2 Comments
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Bobby Digital

While we wait for RZA's official feature film directorial debut, a trip into the past to revisit his OTHER directorial debut(s) (not The Man With The Iron Fist), titled Bobby Digital, as well as a 15-minute short film called Domestic Violence

First, the feature film, Bobby Digital, which was described as a "blaxploitation movie which focuses on the “science lab origins” of his neo-ghetto alter-ego, a violent playboy who wears a $1 party mask, drives ‘rraris and makes no sense," was produced years ago, but was never released.

I did some digging and couldn't quite pinpoint the exact date; you won't find it listed on his IMDB page.

I found articles talking about the project, going all the way back to 1998/1999; the most recent was a Billboard magazine piece in which RZA said the following about the film: "I found the old films, the old artwork, everything... They're low-budget films, but they've got a vibe to them and I think they offer the hip-hop community something. When I was first doing it, it felt like I could've had a bigger budget, but now it feels like a classic."

To explain what he refers to as "films" (plural) as opposed to 1 feature film, I found this quote from another article, also in 2008: "I still got it. I made it. Actually, I did like two 45-minute episodes. The Bobby Digital character, he's a superhero at one point, right. But then he's also just this fucking guy in the streets at another point. I did one episode based on, like, '89. I did one episode that was supposed to be like 10 years later. I've still got a lot of faith in the character. I'm hoping to maybe get a comic-book deal or something. I have these people talking to me, stuff like that."

As I noted, the film still remains unreleased, my research tells me. Although if anyone knows more than I do, or has even seen the film, please share. I'm curious. I wish I could find the trailer for it, which I have seen in the past, so that I can share here.

Secondly, prior to Bobby Digital, RZA directed a 15-minute short film in the late 90s called Domestic Violence - an experimental film about the subject matter in its title.

It was actually released on VHS in 1999/2000, and you can still find it via resellers on Amazon.com.

Or you can watch the entire 15 minutes of Domestic Violence immediately following below; but first, watch a fan-made video of what this particular fan imagined the opening title sequence for the un-released Bobby Digital feature film might have looked like:

And here's the 15-minute short film Domestic Violence:

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2 Comments

  • ihsanamin | July 31, 2012 12:35 AMReply

    RZA supposedly screened the two unseen films at a film festival in Staten Island 2-3Avenue years back. They're called "Bobby Did It" and "The Digital Bullet".
    If you pick up the "RZA's World" app on iTunes, you can see short clips of them.

    Some footage also appears in the video for "Cobra Clutch" by Ghostface Killah.

  • getthesenets | July 30, 2012 3:22 PMReply

    that was during rza's weirdo phase when he was running around in public with a robin/lone ranger mask on

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