Petey Wheatstraw (AKA Petey Wheatsraw, The Devil’s Son-in-Law) (1977)

To say that Rudy Ray Moore is an acquired taste is like saying that Paris Hilton has no talent. Duh. His blue stand-up act aside, his films are low on budget and even lower on subtlety. Petey Wheatstraw, based on one of his acts, is the closest any of his movies comes to horror, although really it’s about as horrific as Ghost Dad.

The film tells the epic life story of Petey (Moore), who’s about eight years old when he’s born and who learns martial arts from a conveniently located ghetto kung fu master. Petey’s life calling, however, is stand-up comedy, and after he earns a reputation in that field, he’s killed by rival comics Leroy and Skillet (Leroy Daniels and Ernest Mayhand). Lucifer (G. Tito Shaw) then offers Petey a deal: if he agrees to marry his daughter, he’ll send him back to the world of the living. Of course, Petey agrees, takes revenge on his rivals using Lucifer’s magic cane (insert penis joke here), and then turns around and double-crosses the Devil. Lucifer’s (snicker) minions are then sent to get Petey.

This movie is best enjoyed as camp of the campiest level. A few shots of Jack wouldn’t hurt either. The paunchy Moore strikes a ridiculous figure (intentionally so) as a kung fu ladies man, made all the more laughable as he mugs for the camera, emitting unintelligible, guttural mouth-noise. It’s not exactly low-brow humor at its finest, but there are a few laughs to be had. It’s one of those things that should be experienced once just for cultural reference, like Times Square at New Year’s Eve or gonorrhea.

God is a lot shorter in person.
“I will stab you into next week.”
A little something for the ladies.
Even Satan’s spawn deserve a surprise party.

What do you think?