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Petey Wheatstraw – Vinegar Syndrome (BluRay / DVD Combo) 
Written by: on July 29th, 2016

Theatrical Release Date: USA, 1977
Director: Cliff Roquemore
Writer: Cliff Roquemore
Cast: Rudy Ray Moore, Jimmy Lynch, Leroy Daniels, Ernest Mayhand, Ebony Wright, Steve Gallon, G. Tito Shaw

BluRay released: July 26th, 2016
Approximate running times: 99 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Rating: NR
Sound: DTS-HD Mono English
Subtitles: English SDH
BluRay Release: Vinegar Syndrome
Region Coding: Region Free
Retail Price: $29.98

Synopsis: A standup comedian who is murdered by his rival’s makes a deal with the devil, who gives him a second chance at remediation against those who did him wrong.

After the one two punch known as Dolemite and The Human Tornado, the conventional wisdom would have been to make yet another movie in the similar vein. Fortunately for those of us who thoroughly enjoyed those two aforementioned films, comes a film that retains all the elements its predecessors had and expands upon Rudy Ray Moore ever expanding cinema universe.

Though making a deal with the devil is something that has been the foundation of countless other films. They way in which this film explores this premise remains unique to this day. And when it comes to the tone of the film, this time around things take on a slightly darker vibe. With that being said, comedy still plays a large role in the film and in this regards this film delivers ins spades. First off, how many films you know start off with a woman give birth to a watermelon and then have that birth followed by a second birth, that is almost as absurd.

Without a doubt Petey Wheatstraw is a Rudy Ray Moore’s crowning achievement as an actor. With the scenes once he has acquired the devil’s magical pimp cane being some of the funnier moments in this film. Another key asset of this film is director Cliff Roquemore’s contributions to the film. He also wrote the screenplay for the film. Also it is shame that this would mark the last feature film that he directed, since this film show a tremendous amount of growth from a filmmaker who was about to hit his stride.

The BluRay:

Petey Wheatstraw comes on a 50 GB dual layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive widescreen. For this release a brand new HD master has been created from restored 35mm camera negative. The source used for his transfer is in very good shape. Wear and tear is minimal and never intrusive. Also colors look accurate, lack levels fare well, grain look natural and there are no issues with DNR or compression.

This release comes with one audio, a DTS-HD mix in mono English and included with this release are removable English SDH subtitles. The audio sounds clean, clear and balanced. Also the more ambient aspects of the soundtrack are well represented.

Extras for this release include, reversible cover art, a stills gallery, an option to listen to the soundtrack, trailers for Dolemite (2 minutes 55 seconds), The Human Tornado (2 minutes 45 seconds) and Disco Godfather (3 minutes 30 seconds), Shooting Locations Revisited featurette (8 minutes 53 seconds) and a featurette titled I, Dolemite Part III: Petey Wheatstraw (18 minutes 8 seconds) and an audio commentary track with Rudy Ray Moore’s biographer Mark Jason Murray and co-star Jimmy Lynch.

Topics discussed in the extra titled I, Dolemite Part III: Petey Wheatstraw include, the origins of the project and why they chose to make this film instead of another Dolemite film, screenwriter / director Cliff Roquemore contributions, shooting on a very limited budget, this film’s main location The Dunbar hotel and their thoughts about the film.

Topics discussed in the audio commentary include, the opening scene and montage opening credits, the film’s score, locations featured in the film, Rudy Ray Moore, Cliff Roquemore, the cast & crew and information about them, set design and other production related topics.

Also included with this release is a DVD that has the same content included on the Blu-Ray included as part of this combo. Overall The Human Tornado gets an excellent release from Vinegar Syndrome, highly recommend.

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