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|Index||16 reviews in total|
This movie is a breath of slapstic fresh air. It combines a ryhming charismatic hero (the devil's son in-law) with 60's Batman-inspired supervillains, hilarious kung-fu battling, black folklore, and a pimp staff with magical powers. I can't think of a better premise. The movie's humor is complete slapstick, the bumbling leroy and skillets doing their best to impersonate the three stooges combined (and they're both fat enough to do it). The acting is terrible, with purposfully, silent-movie style over-the-top expressions and reactions. It's a little bit too long and there are some sound difficulties, but well worth checking out. I would've loved to see a tv show with by R.R. Moore and his group.
Petey Wheatstraw (1978) marks the end of Rudy Ray Moore's great run at
independent film making. The 70's were about to end along with the
great era of self produced films. The big movie companies were about to
crush the small market studios once and for all.
Enough soapboxing on with my behalf, let's get on with the brief review. Rudy Ray Moore plays a signifying performer who some how manages to get mixed up with the Devil's personal affairs. He makes a deal with old Lucipher (watch the film to get that joke) and tries to welsh on his end of the deal. This film is flat out funny. Loosely based upon one of his stand up skits (Dolemite and the Human Tornado were also based on stand up routines)and technically sound (for a low budget production) Petey Wheatstraw is a must watch.
I highly recommend this film.
As another review once said, "The written word cannot do justice to the comedic stylings and kung-fu antics of Rudy Ray Moore movies." I agree. Petey Wheatstraw is a movie that must (and should) be seen to be believed. The opening is the birth of Petey. After his mother first passes a watermelon(!), the child is born and the good doctor gives him a few smacks on the butt to get him started. However, Petey is no infant, he's an eleven year old boy, even born with underwear. He proceeds to give the doc a beating until his dad steps in. Young Petey lips off to his father about "disturbing" him for the past nine months (get it?) and then goes after him! Such is Petey Wheatstraw: The Devil's Son-In-Law, and it only gets worse (or better?) from here. Full of offensive comedy, horrible kung fu, Moore's rhymes (the original rapper!), and cheap, crazy scenes (Satan's demons have glued on horns, wear red tights, and move like robots), this is a great cult flick not to be missed. FYI, the movie was actually influenced by the real blues artist, Peetie Wheatstraw.
I had trouble watching Dolemite (horrible acting) one month ago and Disco Godfather (crazy-a** halucination scenes, going on very long!) today!!! BUT!!! - Petey Wheatstraw had me laughing pretty much through the entire thing - watermelons, Petey's magical gift he recieved from the Devil, and Leroy & Skillet - hahahaha!!! Great actors, funny as hell! If you want to check out a Rudy Ray Moore film, check out this one! It's got a GREAT soundtrack, and the acting is better than his others (although I haven't seen Human Tornado in a while, very funny Kung-Fu moves by Rudy).
This one should have been called Dolemite versus Satan and the Reverend Al Sharpton (Leroy Daniels looks just like the reverend). Rudy Ray Moore stars as Petey Wheatstraw the Devil's Son-in-law in this black action classic. The basic story breaks down like this: Petey Wheatstraw is murdered and makes a bargain with Lucifer to come back and exact his revenge. The only catch is that he has to marry the Devil's daughter, who is a bus station skank. So Petey is given an enchanted pimp cane which gives him superpowers and he begins to plan out his vengeance (as well as a plan to doublecross the devil). In traditional fashion, it's loaded with off the wall humor. For example: Rudy Ray stopping in the middle of the street to comb some kids hair, ridiculous jogging, and watermelon child birth. Petey Wheatstraw is also loaded with the regular Rudy Ray cast, including Jimmy Lynch, Queen Bee, and Sheriff Beatty. Where is Howard Jackson though? It's not quite the masterpiece that is Dolemite, but it does have the greatest sex scene in the history of film. Can you dig it?
There is no other film quite like "Petey Wheatstraw". My friends and I love cheesy, weird little cult films and we've seen almost ALL of them in almost every genre - the black urban films that were churned out during the 1970's have some classics and some clunkers and Rudy Ray Moore is a fascinating movie "star". A nightclub comic who was famous forhis filthy "poems" - we had enjoyed his other films "Dolemite" and "Disco Godfather" but nothing prepared us for "Petey Wheatstraw" - from the absurd plotline to the garish costumes, the cheap sets, the great music, the bad acting and the awful, laughable fight scenes, this movie has everything!!! You just have to sit back with a beer, a drink, whatever floats your boat and take this thing on. You never can guess what oddity or strange turn of events are around the corner. Rudy Ray Moore, with his out of shape nightclub comic's body, struts around like he's the sexiest thing in the world and the street worn looking women in the film fling themselves at him. His "kung-fu" fighting has to be seen to be believed - my 95 year old grandpa could lift his leg higher!!
Years ago, I wrote a hostile review of Petey Wheatstraw for IMDb. What
can I possibly say to justify that? I was young, and foolish. And the
greatness of this film had not yet revealed itself to me.
Well, "greatness" is too strong a word. Petey Wheatstraw is not great, but rather "amusing" and somewhat "crazy." If you permit yourself to be drawn into the film's wacky universe, you may have a thoroughly enjoyable viewing experience.
Petey Wheatstraw, in short, is about a kung-fu fighting stand-up comedian who makes an unwise bargain with Lucifer. It's part comedy movie, part horror movie, part gangster movie, part sex movie, and part kung-fu epic with intentionally (I hope) bad choreography. The film bounces breathlessly between these genres, especially in the early scenes, which are disorienting and seem totally unconnected. But soon enough, the story settles into a kind of weird rhythm.
Needless to say, the production values are poor (Lucifer's demon minions are men in ballet tights and Halloween masks), the editing is choppy, and the acting is of highly variable quality. The script, however, has a weird poetry to it. The comedy dialog, though extremely crass, is sometimes really funny, and some of the "character" scenes when Petey and Lucifer get together are bizarrely effective.
Now I feel all weird, because I'm trying to defend what is, in essence, an extremely tacky bad movie. But it's a *witty* bad movie, and I can appreciate the effort that went into its production. And the film undeniably captures a time -- a place -- a bizarreness. It's sort of hypnotic.
Let me put it this way: I bought Petey Wheatstraw as a bargain DVD years ago, hated it on the initial viewing, and almost pawned it. But I never did get rid of that DVD. It survived several years of DVD trading-in, numerous changes of address on my part, and other seismic events in my life that might easily have caused Petey Wheatstraw's demise. But that DVD survived through it all; I still have the movie, still think about it sometimes, still smirk when I see it on my shelf. And that's the best endorsement I can give it.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
some of the most racially offensive acts on film, beautiful! see this movie, and everything else rudy ray did in the 70s, you won't be disappointed. (spoiler) the opening scene has petey being born (as a 7 or 8 year old boy) following a watermelon. then he gets p***ed at his daddy for being hit in the head when ever his parents got busy. unflinchingly ridiculously over the top hilarity. the theme song is great also!
A true film classic. Rudy Ray Moore stars as Petey Wheatstraw, a man who makes a deal with the devil and agrees to marry his daughter (the ugliest woman alive) in exchange for his life. The only film that rivals Petey Wheatstraw as best blaxploitation film is Black Belt Jones. Moore, as well as all of the other regular Dolemite regulars, are superb... their best work yet. A certain must see for anyone interested in fine black cinema.
In "The Last Picture Show," a character says "I guess if it wasn't for
(so-and-so), I'd have missed it, whatever it is." Well, I've found what
"it" is for me. "It" is "Petey Wheatstraw, the Devil's Son-In-Law."
This 1978 low-budget blaxploitation movie stars Rudy Ray Moore as a
comedian who cuts a deal with the devil (to marry his daughter...though
he hates the idea) in order save his life and get revenge on those who
killed him. As a child in South Central, Petey is taken in by some old
black dude (all the good guys are), who trains him in kung-fu in his
backyard. He grows up and is a greatly successful comedian, but his
up-coming gig threatens to take away potential sales from two fat guys
up-coming show. These guys had cut an investment deal with Mr. White
(guess what race he is?) and his henchmen, who threaten to kill them if
the show is a flop. So, they want to kill Petey. This movie is so hard
to put your finger on...I couldn't tell if some of the scenes were
un-intentionally funny, intentionally funny, or intended to seem
un-intentionally funny. But what's important is, it's a kung-fu ghetto
movie with actors who obviously no almost nothing about martial arts,
Petey wear's fly outfits and goes around the hood helping people with
his magic pimp cane, it's got a great soundtrack, consisting mainly of
a standard funk beat with two or three women singing the words "Petey
Wheatstraw" over and over, and Petey uses Dr. Seuss-like rhymes as he
battles his foes. This movie has opened up a whole new world for me. I
just might impulse-buy this and Rudy Ray Moore's similar films from the
same era: "Dolemite," it's sequel, "The Human Tornado," and "Disco
Godfather." Wow. Just wow.
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