Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Petey Wheatstraw : The Devil's Son-In-Law (1977)

(1977) Generation International Pictures Director: Cliff Roquemore Starring: Rudy Ray Moore, Jimmy Lynch, Leroy & Skillet, G. Tito Shaw, Wildman Steve, Ebony Wright

Rudy Ray Moore......
King of the Comedy Records. Dolemite Personified.

The Anti-Christ?

Yeah....that last one surprised the hell outta me, too. (Pun intended) How'd all this happen, you might be asking? Well....let's take a look at the credits...

Oh...look. It's directed by that Roquemore guy...y'know, the one that brought us the joy that is known as The Human Tornado . So ya know it's gotta be quality stuff. Wow...not only are we graced with the presence of Moore himself,'s ol' Leroy and Skillet, two of the unfunniest dudes on the face of the planet (kinda like a live action version of "Calvin and the Colonel" ).

And....oh boy! To top things's Wildman Steve! With a name like that....ya know "drunken and disorderly conduct" is the first thing that comes to my mind.

The Plot: We open on a Southern farmhouse, with an unnamed woman in the midst of birth pains. By the size of her seems as if she's about to pop. First sign it's a Moore Film: Doctor making the delivery? The crazy cracka sheriff from The Human Tornado . Thus, Petey Wheatstraw is born....leaving the womb aged about 8 years old ,and then proceeding to beat up the doctor and his father (trust can't make this stuff up and have be any more f**king weird). We then cut to an inspiring theme song that contains lyrics about the Devil, Petey, and stand-up well as kung-fu (we're treated to a montage of young Mr. Wheatstraw being trained by some old some arcane style that involves chopping up a watermelon with a katana. I don't get it either...

We cut to the adult Wheatstraw (Moore) who has used his amazing kung fu training to guessed it...a comedian. Sure...that makes sense. Seems Leroy and Skillet are openning a club (backed by the stereotypical evil white man...y'know, "The Man" aka "Whitey"), and want Petey out of the way, so that his incredibly funny comedy act (that involves insulting fat women and ugly men...KOMEDY GOLDMINE!) won't cut into their rival club's opening night profits. By trying to kill him. Wow...Marcel Marceau was right. Comedy IS hard.

And wonder of wonders....they succeed! Well, only after an over-zealous flunkie shoots a kid in Wheatstraw's employ. At the kid's funeral, they shoot up Petey real good....and then he makes a deal with the Devil (G. Tito Shaw) to come back for revenge. The catch? Marry the Devil's incredibly unattractive daughter ( the Tarman from Return of the Living Dead-kinda ugly). He grants Petey amazing powers by way of a magic pimp stick...and then...all Hell breaks loose.

Get it? "Hell"? The Devil? I made a funny. Anyways....this leads to Wheatstraw trying to trick the Devil, unintentionally funny kung-fu battles with some of the goofiest demons in history (look kinda like...ballerinas?) and yet another film to Moore's credit that defies logic and proves to be so funny it must be seen.....

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