Rupert Pupkin Speaks: Vinegar Syndrome - THE CANDY TANGERINE MAN & PETEY WHEATSTRAW on Blu-ray ""

Friday, July 22, 2016


Vinegar Syndrome continues their stellar run of blaxploitation releases with this rare cult item. I remember this was a regular renter on VHS back at my old video store and I always meant to see it and never did. I lost track of it once DVD took over and as far as I know, it never really got a decent DVD release so this is sort of it's debut on any (non-bootlegged) format outside of VHS.
From the very beginning, this movie lets you know that the Candy Tangerine Man is one cool dude. He's a pimp and he's somewhere between SHAFT, SUPERFLY and TROUBLE MAN (obviously on a lower budget). I mean, check out this smooth opening theme song that sets the stage:

That's some cool funky stuff right? Well it's just bad enough to express the coolness/badassness of The Candy Tangerine Man (known as "The Baron" in the movie). Sidenote - I really really miss these character/tone setup songs that used to run with movies like this. They don't do them anymore (they'd probably play cheesy now, but I don't care) and that makes me sad. Anyway, The Baron is a mean mother himself, but he also has a mean machine as his automobile. It's a total pimpy classic kinda car, but there's a catch. He's tricked it out with hidden machine guns near both of the headlights so he can tear up anybody that tries to ambush him drive-by style. It's quite neat when he unleashes these bad boys on his unsuspecting foes (and he is forced to do so when he starts a war with a local mobster). The Baron is something of a dark  pimp superhero and he even leads a double life and has a secret identity too. This is a new wrinkle for a movie like this and it makes it more memorable than your average flesh-peddler blaxploitation actioner. 
This film was directed by Matt Cimber and Vinegar Syndrome has also included his film LADY COCOA as an extra added bonus, which is pretty cool. It's another blaxploitation flick about a jailbird girl who is out to take down her gangster ex-boyfriend.

Special Features
• Scanned and restored in 2k from 35mm archival prints - (Transfer is a little rough to start, but it gets better)
• Director’s video introduction for The Candy Tangerine Man
• Commentary track for LADY COCOA with Director Matt Cimber and Director’s Assistant / Actor John Goff
• Reversible cover for LADY COCOA
• English SDH Subtitles
You can buy THE CANDY TANGERINE MAN on Blu-ray here:

PETEY WHEATSTRAW (1977; Cliff Roquemore)
Rudy Ray Moore is back! After the success of his two DOLEMITE films (which Vinegar Syndrome also put out on Blu-ray), It makes sense that Rudy would make another film and this one is just as nutty as his other efforts. This time he plays the titular Wheatstraw, who we seen born in the first scene as a young child (as opposed to a baby) and who attacks his doctor right out of the gate. While still a teenager, Wheatstraw meets a hobo mentor (known as "Bantu") who teaches him the ways of kung fu and to take no sh*it from anybody. Of course Rudy had to work kung fu into this film too and in that way it's kinda DOLEMITE-y. Wheatstraw grows up to be a successful nightclub comedian (like Rudy Ray himself). He's so successful that he draws the ire of some competing comedians. Said comedians decide they have to take Petey down and when they do so, he is mortally wounded and runs into a Mr. Lou Cipher (aka The Devil himself). So when the Devil offers Petey a deal to save his life and come back, Petey takes it and then he's off to get revenge (using the Devil's magical "Pimp Cane" to get it). The whole movie affords Rudy Ray many opportunities to spout his spoken word comedy/poetry and also beat lots of dudes up with his martial arts skills. If you're a Rudy Ray fan, you really don't need much more than that from one of his films. If you dig the DOLEMITE films, you'll dig this movie too which is basically a DOLEMITE film with a "deal with the devil" supernatural twist. Rudy Ray is just as outlandish and ludicrous as Wheatstraw as you'd expect him to be the he entertains as only Rudy Ray can. 

As with THE CANDY TANGERINE MAN, PETEY WHEATSTRAW features a groovy theme song for our "hero". Check it out in this trailer for the film:

Special Features:
• Scanned and restored in 2k from 35mm original camera negative
• “I, Dolemite Part III” making-of documentary (the other two parts can be found on VS's Blu-rays of DOLEMITE and THE HUMAN TORNADO respectively)
• Commentary track with Rudy Ray Moore’s biographer, Mark Jason Murray, co-star Jimmy Lynch & director Cliff Roquemore.
• “Shooting Locations Revisited” featurette with Rudy Ray Moore
• Soundtrack • Promotional still gallery
• DISCO GODFATHER – theatrical trailer
• THE HUMAN TORNADO – theatrical trailer
• DOLEMITE – theatrical trailer
• Reversible cover artwork by Jay Shaw
• English SDH Subtitles

You can buy PETE WHEATSTRAW on Blu-ray here:


Steven Millan said...

Hoopefully,Vinegar Syndrome will someday bring the likes of both Matt Cimber's GEMINI AFFAIR and WELCOME HOME BROTHER CHARLES(a.k.a.: SOUL VENGEANCE) onto DVD/Blu ray,since they both would make nice additions to the Vinegar Syndrome film family.

KC said...

Petey Wheatstraw looks like a hoot. Digging that Kung Fu scene in the green underwear. I'm pretty sure I would watch Rudy Ray Moore in anything. It's amazing to watch someone having that much fun. His confidence is crazy.