An update to my piece on RZA’s forgotten movies published yesterday… in it, I mentioned a feature film titled “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,” produced many years ago, but was never released.
Will it ever be? I actually thought with the release of “Iron Fist,” it would turn up somewhere, if only to take advantage of that film’s press.
I did some digging and couldn’t quite pinpoint the exact production date for “Bobby Digital;” and you won’t find it listed on RZA’s IMDB page. So maybe it’s something he just doesn’t want anyone to see.
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 a single 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, and I couldn’t find any trailer or clips from it. Luckily, a reader – Lionel Fla – read my post and forwarded me 8 minutes of footage from “Bobby Digital” which I’ve embedded below. It looks hokey, but I’m curious and would like to see the rest of it.
Check out the compilation of clips below:
Also, as I mentioned in yesterday’s post, 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 minute film below; But first, watch a fan-made video imagining the opening title sequence for the un-released “Bobby Digital.”
And here’s the 15-minute short film Domestic Violence: