AUGUST 26 VHS MOVIE REVIEW : THE DEVIL'S SON IN LAW
Any movie that starts out with a impoverished black mother giving birth to a watermelon, followed by a new born baby with the body of a twelve year old has to be good. In fact, all of these hack directors trying to bring us exploitative homage's of exploitation films need to give Petey Wheatstraw: The Devils Son In Law a spin and take notes on the difference between funny for the sake of being funny and being crude as means of offending people solely to offend them.
Comedic legend Rudy Ray Moore (Dolemite, The Human Tornado) stars as Petey Wheatstraw. Born during a south Florida tropical storm and trained in the art of self defense by a wise old man from his neighborhood, Petey grows into a popular night club act. But not everybody is fond of this funny mans show. His competition, Leroy and Skillet want him dead!
Eager to get their show off the ground, Leroy and Skillet borrow a large sum of money from the devious Mr. White (an actual white guy) and have no choice but to return a profit on his investment. Problem is, Petey Wheatstraw is opening his show only a few days after they do and threatens to put their event out of business. It isn't long before words turn into actions and in the words of Petey Wheatstraw himself, the shit is about to hit the fan!
Leroy and Skillets goons take to the streets to harass and intimidate Petey's crew, eventually going so far as to kill a little boy by mistake. This leads up to a scene that I really did not see coming. At the little boys funeral, a group of thugs armed with Tommy Guns shows up to assassinate Petey Wheatstraw. Boy, do they do so with a vengeance, I mean wow, this scene stands out even when compared side by side to better gangster films.
Following this massacre a sharply dressed older man approaches the corpse of Petey Wheatstraw and hands over his business card, turns out he is the devil himself and has a intriguing proposal to offer the comedian. The two conversate in hell for a little while, a dark place with poor red lighting that makes for a disturbing atmosphere. The devil as it turns out has a problem, his daughter is quite atrocious in appearance and desires a husband. In exchange for Petey's hand in marriage, the devil will allow the comedian to walk the earth until he exacts revenge upon Leroy and Skillet for his murder. Hijinks ensue.
There isn't really much to dislike about this film. The acting is awful, the story is silly and the bad guys costumes are really just cheap tights. In these types of movies its the heart that counts and this one delivers in spades (no pun intended). Even sites and sounds that would normally be used as a means to offend the viewer and demean the actors seem harmless in this film. I imagine that this movie holds some type of record for the most watermelons ever used on camera.
Even though Moore's gigantic ego is on full display in this film (including an awesome sex scene where he bangs like 10 demon chicks and leaves them passed out from pleasure) I will go so far as to say that he may have been slightly outshined this go around by his real life opening act of Leroy and Skillet. They perform in this awesome silent film style of over the top body movements with a little bit of minstrel show goodness added in.
If your out for a few laughs I highly recommend this fundamental piece of exploitation gold. Although my copy comes from the Rudy Ray Moore box set collection, the film can currently be found on the shelves of your local Wal-Mart for some reason. So, grab it before it's gone!
AUGUST 26 VHS MOVIE REVIEW : THE DEVIL'S SON IN LAW
Ludicrous and Rudy Ray Moore's films go hand in hand, but this one pushes the envelope. Petey was a handful within moments of his birth, this is assisted by the fact that he looks like your average third grader. He learns the ancient arts from a kindly old man, but his real desire is to be a comedian and that path leads to turmoil. Leroy and company have borrowed a large sum of cash from mobsters to start a new club, when Petey plans a show conflicting with their opening night things get ugly. In this case ugly means Willie spraying bullets into Petey and everyone close by. Here is where Satan enters the picture, the sultan of sulfur will erase the massacre if Petey agrees to marry his daughter. (Evidently the young lady ran through the Garden of Eden and hit the legendary ugly tree, then it must have fallen on her too.) Petey knows beauty is more than skin deep, so he agrees and starts cooking up a plan to trick the Devil and avoid being wed to the hag. I almost fell out of my seat the first time a bunch of guys wearing leotards, red capes, and horns attacked the comedian. Only by using Lucifer's cane does Petey escape, until the twist ending finally gets him. The fight scenes are terrible, the fashions are really terrible (It's the 70's, what did you expect?), but when Satan throws a bachelor party it is one hell of a time.
AUGUST 26 VHS MOVIE REVIEW : ENDLESS DESCENT
This movie is pretty amusing for a few reasons, like multiple monsters and gory death scenes. When Anna blows Flemming's head off because he's infected it's pretty gooey. Siren 2 is dispatched on a "rescue mission" for the Siren 1 but it's all a farce, a government experiment with genetic engineering has gone wrong 27,000 feet under the ocean - in a natural air-filled cave at that. With genetic engineering thus presented we are delivered a horde of nasty killer abominations, my favorite is the killer kelp which infects it's victims. Sven encounters the kelp while diving in a dry suit only (any divers out there?) at 20,000 feet! A factoid here: the Guinness book lists the deepest human dive as 900 feet and the deepest submersible dive as 20,000 feet. The poorly designed Siren 2 is able to far exceed that record with a hull crush depth of 35,000 feet. At 27,000 feet they find the naturally air-filled cave where an SOS signal is coming from, investigating the cave thins out the cast nicely as the mutant beasts have a feast. Robbins nearly achieves his goal of destroying the facility and leaving no witnesses but quick thinking on Wick's part saves our heroes. Well, two of them, Capt Phillips stays behind to set off the Siren's self destruct after being infected by the kelp. The scenes are poorly lit at times but there are so many monsters and people getting munched I couldn't help but like this film.
AUGUST 26 VHS MOVIE REVIEW : PENTATHLON
Pentathlon is a 1993 American action thriller directed by Bruce Malmuth and starring Dolph Lundgren as an East German Olympic gold medalist pentathlete on the run from a lethal coach (David Soul).
After winning a gold medal for East Germany at the pentathlon in the 1988 olympics in Seoul, East German athlete Eric Brogar (Dolph Lundgren) makes an escape to freedom from his abusive trainer, Heinrich Mueller (David Soul).
Eight years later, Mueller is no longer a trainer. He has become a terrorist, responsible for a series of attacks on German government officials, and Mueller has discovered that Eric is in Los Angeles.
Brogar had become a self-pitying boozehound until his talents were spotted by his diner-owning boss John Creese (Roger E. Mosley). Still smarting over Eric's defection, Mueller beats Eric's father Rudolph Brogar (Erik Holland) to death before flying to Los Angeles.
While Eric reunites with his former girlfriend Julia Davis (Renee Coleman), who hones his endurance skills at her dad's woodland retreat, Mueller joins forces with neo-Nazi sympathizers including Eric's former rival Rhinehardt (Daniel Riordan).
At a peace rally, Mueller and his thugs plot to assassinate a rabbi and an ambassador while spreading a hate message on cable TV. After viciously beating up Julia's father Vic Davis (Phillip Bruns) and shooting Creese, Mueller and his thugs kidnap Eric, who retaliates by wiping out most of the neo-Nazis.
Three weeks later, at the pentathlon finals, Eric not only triumphs in his tryout, but he also ends up shooting Mueller dead in self defense when Mueller tries to kill him at the finish line.
Dolph Lundgren as Eric Brogar (Brogar)
David Soul as Mueller
Renée Coleman as Julia
Roger E. Mosley as Creese
Evan James as Offerman
David Drummond as Hundt
Daniel Riordan as Rhinehardt
Philip Bruns as Vic
Gerald Hopkins as Christian
Erik Holland as Rudolph Brogar
Bruce Malmuth as Erhardt
Mel Stewart as Olympic Athlete
Anthony T. Pennello as Cop #1
Barry Lynch as Horst
Andreas Reinl as Schubert