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  • 4 months later...

Teenage Doll (1957)

Directed by Roger Corman


Dull and uneventful juvenile flick, with June Kenney spending most of the movie on the lam from a gang of girls. I spent most of the movie trying to keep awake.


The film does open with a bang, as we see a dead chick lying in an alley. The Black Widows, led by Fay Spain, arrive on the scene and realize the corpse is one of their members. They also find some evidence that incriminates Kenney.


From here, the film turns into a snoozer. The Widows and Kenney seem to just wander around, wasting my time.  We get glimpses of the home lives of each of the Widows, which is supposed to make us understand why they are all screwed up.  Instead, it made me want to throw up. One of the Widows has a kid sister whom she treats like crap. One who has an older sister who is about to sleep her way to a better job. Another has a father who is a cop (and she steals his gun). Kenney’s parents are the most unbelievably matched pair since Fritz Feld and Virginia Christine – if you can imagine Feld as the mother.


Then there is another gang, this one composed of guys whose collective IQs would not break 10. I forgot the name of this group, because I was nodding off. So I’ll just call them the Idiots. I lost track how many times these guys said “dumb broads,” but I must confess, I’ve used a similar expression many times while driving.


Eventually it is revealed that Kenney and the dead chick had a fight, with the dead chick hurtling off a building. But by this time, you will wish everyone in the cast was dead. By the way, 30 minutes into the film, the dead chick is still lying in the alley. I hope she had a strong bladder.


Finally, there is a rumble at the Idiots hideout, between the Widows, the Tarantulas (another set of chicks), the Vandals (another set of guys), and the Knights of Columbus.  This is fun for a few minutes, with the chicks clocking each other. Several guys leap through the air at their opponents, like Burt Reynolds used to do during the opening credits of “Dan August.” The cops show up and almost everyone escapes. But Kenney and two of the Widows turn themselves in.


Kenney goes through various stages of hysterics, mostly unsuccessfully. She tries to convince her father that the blood on her dress is from a nosebleed. He notes that the blood stains could not be from drips, but must have occurred when someone bleeding was pressed against it. Hire this guy for Forensic Files. Kenney’s mother, played by the horrifying-looking Dorothy Neumann, looks like Judy Canova at 90 years old. Fay Spain is wasted as the leader of the Widows, as we don’t even get a look at her cleavage. The Roger Corman Stock company all show up, with Richard Devon as a Detective, and Ed Nelson and Dick Cutting as cops. Bruno VeSota plays a fat drunk, which really stretches his acting abilities, as well as his pants.




When a film starts like this, it’s a good time to ask for your money back.





When your mother looks like this, you have every right to be screwed up.





“Man, you ain’t gonna live long, and you ain’t gonna prosper.”





This guy is so drunk, he forgot the proper way to scratch himself.




Meet the cinematographer:  Laszlo Cataracts.





Yeah, lady, you and me both.


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  • 1 month later...

Rumble on the Docks (1956)

Directed by Fred Sears


Entertaining (for a change) JD flick, with James Darren in his film debut playing the typical mixed up kid from Brooklyn who eventually straightens himself out. Also (for a change) there are some actual rumbles, although only one of them is on the docks.


The film opens quickly with two members of the “Stompers” trying to assault a chick (Laurie Carroll), when two members of the “Diggers” (Darren and Robert Blake) save the day. Later, during a dance at the school gym, there is a full-scale rumble, ending with two cops running in the front door and everyone else running outside the side entrances. Then there is a minor rumble on the docks, between an honest union leader (Joseph Vitale) and the hired muscle from the crooked union (Timothy Carey). Finally, there is a rumble between the Stompers and Diggers on a street. So if you like fights, you won’t be disappointed. 


In subplots, Darren is being smooth talked by the crooked union leader (Michael Granger, who, like Frank Gerstle, wears the worst fitting suits in the history of filmdom). This upsets Darren’s father (Edgar Barrier), who runs a newspaper which is critical of Granger. Meanwhile, Carroll is trying to convert Darren from the dark side.


Carroll: “Oh, the waterfront’s always so beautiful at night.”

Darren: “Yeah, you can’t see the garbage floating in the water.”


The film is never dull, and doesn’t get too preachy either. There are even some shocking scenes, like when some of the Stompers suspend a kid over the side of a building.


Darren is fine in his first appearance, although his eyebrows look a little too furry. Carroll is bland. Robert Blake doesn’t kill anybody, so I guess that’s a plus. Granger channels Rod Steiger on a few occasions. Carey is his usual creepy self, and is fun to watch. Barrier looks more like Darren’s grandfather, as he is disguised like Tim Conway’s doddering old man. Celia Lovsky, as Darren’s mother, looks more like his great-grandmother. I just cannot watch Lovsky without seeing pointed ears and hearing her tell Captain Kirk “dis fight is to da deadth.” Freddie Bell and the Bellboys sing “Get the First Train out of Town” during the dance. After watching them perform, I probably would have started a rumble myself.




Carey and Granger are assaulted by Edgar Barrier’s gastritis.





Is it me, or do those “Diggers” on the left look a bit old?





A rare shot of Inspector Henderson in academic regalia.





Just another Trump rally.





Yes, I agree. Get the first train out of town … please.





“Hey Jimmy, I bet that Coke feel reals good against your thigh, don’t it Jimmy?  Huh, Jimmy, don’t it?”





“Holy crap, Artie was right. Mr. Dadier is makin’ it with Miss Hammond!”


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  • 3 months later...

Teenage Wolfpack (1957)

Directed by Georg Tressler


German (dubbed in English) attempt at juvenile delinquency is pretty boring, but is slightly redeemed by a decent ending, if you can stick around that long.


Horst Buchholz (billed as Henry Bookholt to fool us, which doesn’t work) plays the leader of a gang, and for most of the film, they do nothing but terrorize the audience with tedium.  Buchholz’ girlfriend is played by Karin Baal, who is cute and is a fairly decent actress. She seems somewhat torn between Buchholz and his brother, but she is really playing them both. The plot, which is finally revealed after about an hour, involves Buchholz and his pals robbing a mail truck. They end up with squat, and everyone gets p***ed at Buchholz. In one final attempt to score, Buchholz leads his gang of losers to rob a house owned by one of the gang’s bosses, a guy named Garezzo. The German guy playing Garezzo tosses out a few Italian words in an attempt to convince us he is really not a German guy playing an Italian guy. He ends up looking like a caffone.


The first six minutes of this film are very bizarre, as we see lots of teenage boys cavorting in and around an indoor swimming pool. Oh, there are a few girls as well, but the camera seems to linger on the very short and tight bathing trunks that the guys are wearing. The guys are all well-toned, with bulging quadriceps, hard abs, a hint of gluteus maxima, the pool water glistening like dew off their Adonis-like physiques … oh, sorry, my mind just wandered for a moment.


The acting is acceptable, but it can’t save this film. Buchholz actually shines in a few scenes, but that’s only because the light is reflected off his leather pants.



As part of the initiation to get into the gang, apparently you have to impersonate Hulk Hogan.










A rare shot of the set of MélièsA Trip to the Moon. As for that balloon on the left, make up your own joke.





“Turn your head … and dumbkopf.”






Buchholz has a seizure … no, it’s an allergy … no, it’s pneumonia … no, it’s Parkinson’s … no, it’s the flu …


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  • 2 months later...

Night of Evil (1962)

Directed by Richard Galbreath


Someone had the brilliant idea of casting Lisa Gaye as a 26-year-old high school cheerleader named Dixie Ann Dikes. Make up your own jokes.


In the opening, Dixie is assaulted by the high school football star. Since her foster parents want nothing to do with her, she is sent to a “school for girls,” but ends up as a roomie to Linda, an “alumna” of the school. Linda takes Dixie to meet her boss, who immediately decides that she should enter the Miss Colorado Beauty Contest. This makes perfect sense, since the movie was shot in Indiana.


Dixie wins the contest, becomes an instant celebrity, and meets Chuck (William Campbell). After a week together, they decide to get married. But this poses a problem for Dixie. Contestants in beauty contests are not allowed to be married, so the marriage is kept a secret. Another issue is that Chuck is a crook, but Dixie is too dumb to realize how her husband makes his money. He is supposed to be an escaped convict, yet he just comes and goes as he pleases, has a boat, swimming pool … what the hell is this?


Things go downhill quickly, and that’s just in the audience. After Chuck’s plan at a kidnapping goes awry, Dixie finds out the truth. Somehow she becomes a blonde and ends up working in a seedy joint, where she is promptly slugged by a scumbag. When she recovers, she needs $40 in rent money. Her landlady looks her up and down and suggests she could probably make that amount in two hours. That’s the only believable line in the film.


Dixie buys a gun, considers offing herself, then robs a drugstore instead.  The courtroom finale is not to be believed.


I’ve seen Gaye in several movies, and her widow’s peak has always bothered me. Here, she still has it, but in several scenes, it’s barely noticeable, so that’s a break. And she looks good in a bathing suit. Campbell is as repulsive as ever. He barks at one of his gang: “You keep your mouth shut and do what you’re told or I’ll cut your liver out.” Personally, I would have liked to have seen that.


The rest of the cast is played by justifiably unknowns, like Sammy Mannis, who croons the equally unknown “Don’t Ever Change.”


The film is narrated by columnist Earl Wilson, who is saddled with crappy lines like this while describing Dixie: “The fears were gone now and so was the hurt, and there was a happy sense of belonging in the world. But yet, she still couldn’t help but feel that she had been amputated somewhere.”


The paying customers probably felt the same way.





Alright, I did this one just for me.






Guys, when you call technical support, have you ever dreamed about who is on the other end?






John Cassavetes demonstrates the proper way to shoot your hair.






“Look bub, if you saw my date, you’d understand why I’m stealing this paper bag.”






It ain’t even 2020, and already the accusers are lining up.






This sign pretty much sums up the plot.


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  • 6 months later...

The Savage Seven (1968)

Directed by Richard Rush


OK biker flick which meanders for awhile before the inevitable “all hells breaks loose” finale. The novelty here is that most of the conflicts take place between bikers and Indians. The soundtrack contains a few songs from Iron Butterfly and Cream.


Adam Roarke and his gang ride into nowheresville, inhabited by Indians and a few white guys. Naturally the white guys, led by a large fellow played by Mel Berger, are keeping the red guys down, by having them work for low pay. Robert Walker Jr., as a blue-eyed Indian, is constantly getting beat up by everyone in the cast. Roarke sets his sights on Walker’s sister, played by Joanna Frank. Of course, this leads to another beatdown of Walker. But Walker and Roarke suddenly become best buds, and take part in raiding Berger’s store, supplying all the Indians with essentials like Frosted Flakes, Quaker Oats, and casino chips.


When a couple of the bikers are arrested, Berger cuts a deal with Roarke. He will decline charges against the bikers, if Roarke agrees to burn down the shacks where the Indians live. Roarke agrees, then decides to back out of the deal. He spends the night with Frank, which leads to another beatdown of Walker the next morning.


After one of the bikers is killed, Roarke thinks the Indians did it and orders his gang to destroy the village. This leads to the climax, with lots of motorcycle stunts, knifings, gunshots, people flying through the air, explosions, and one Indian having his dump in the outhouse interrupted.


This is pretty mindless all the way through, so don’t expect too much. Roarke is good as a creep with a slight trace of decency.  Perennial biker Larry Bishop is one of the gang, and acts mentally impaired. At least, I think he was acting. Did I mention Walker gets beat up? My favorite character was the heretofore unknown Mel Berger, who is built like Tor Johnson and is always smiling, even when he is shooting someone. Laverne DeFazio makes her screen debut.


The film was produced by Dick Clark. Thankfully, none of the Indians say “How.” But I suspect most of the critics said “Why?”





“So … you like ketchup on your steak???”





“Haven’t I warned you about taking selfies?”





Roarke tries out the local hair salon, SuperScalps.





“Alright, but this is the last time. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 Schlemiel! Schlimazel! Hasenpfeffer Incorporated!"





This is a version of “bobbing for apples,” with a difficulty factor of about 9.5.





A rare still from the failed Chuck Norris pilot Walker, Texas Reindeer.


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The Savage Seven (1968)

Directed by Richard Rush



...Did I mention Walker gets beat up?


...The film was produced by Dick Clark. Thankfully, none of the Indians say “How.” But I suspect most of the critics said “Why?”





Yep, ya sure did, Rich.


However, what ya didn't mention here was that guitar legend/R&R Hall of Famer/occasional actor Duane Eddy was in this flick too. He's the biker on the left sportin' that Civil War era rebel cap, and somewhat appropriate considering his first big hit recording was 1959's "Rebel Rouser", isn't it...




(...and apparently because Duane and Dick Clark had been friends since his first appearance on American Bandstand in the late-'50s, this was probably the reason for Duane getting this part)

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  • 2 months later...

I am in the process of restoring all the photos to this thread, starting with the oldest reviews.


Good. I was thinking of reading them all again anyway.


ETA: Glad your doing this. The task is worthwhile, this thread should be preserved with all its attributes intact.

Edited by laffite
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  • 2 months later...
On 5/13/2010 at 7:48 PM, scsu1975 said:

Well, summer is almost upon us, and I like to think back to the time when I would get in my hot rod, pick up my chick, vandalize school property, and perform other acts of juvenile delinquency. Okay, I never did any of that stuff, but there were plenty of movies made in the 50s and early 60s about these subjects, so I'm going to watch a few and get my mind off oil spills, Tiger Woods, and whether or not TCM should be showing Jacques Cousteau. Join in if you like.

High School Caesar (1960)
Directed by O'Dale Ireland
Reggie Perkins (who???) sings the title tune.


John Ashley stars as rich kid Matt Stevens, who is the Don Corleone of his high school. He runs a protection racket, skims money off the high school dances, and sells exams to students too lazy to study. He also manages to get elected Class President, but Al Gore cries foul.

The Principal, who is played by I don't know who, calls newly-elected Ashley into his office to discuss a 'problem' at the school ...  seems some kids are getting roughed up. Hey Mr. Principal ... check out the guys wearing the leather jackets ... that's a clue. Imbecile. You're now qualified to be Superintendent.

Ashley's buddy is named 'Cricket,' whose whining will have you yearning for some pesticides.
Daria Massey, who plays Ashley's girlfriend Lita, regularly wears tight dresses to school. Apparently, there was no dress code back then. She also works for the Principal, so maybe something was going on around the mimeograph machine. Judy Nugent plays Wanda, the new blonde at the school. Cricket wants Matt to 'set him up' with Wanda (I love this 60s talk), but Wanda is more interested in Bob, played by Gary Vinson ... the only recognizable actor in this, aside from Ashley.

Ashley organizes a road race (entrance fee -  two bucks) and puts up his gold coin as the prize. He loses to his rival (the guy he beat for Class Prez), and decides he is gonna get his coin back. Exit the rival. Ashley plays with his coin more often than Captain Queeg plays with his steel balls.

The director goes for some Shakespearean symbolism (I think) at the climax, when virtually everyone turns on Ashley. Not you too, Crickett? Ashley moans. Yes, I can see the resemblance between Ashley and Louis Calhern.

This film isn't half bad. Ashley always seemed better at playing the part of a slick scumbag than an ineffectual hero (see his useless performance in Frankenstein's Daughter ). And we're also spared his singing. Of course, he was more successful as a producer, if you call The A-Team art. The actors are all in their 20s, so they are not too convincing as high school students. Then again, this IS 1960, and students were actually 'retained' back then, before school systems got tired of lawsuits. I suppose it's conceivable that 20-year-olds could still be stuck in high school ... it's the algebra that kills them, I tell you. Which reminds me ... Crickett has difficulty figuring 10 percent of $75. Some things never change.

Oh, I'm no animal expert, but Ashley promises to buy the school a bulldog. Whatever he buys isn't even close.

For you modern schoolkids out there, we used to refer to this as
reading a book in the library.

Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris arrive at spring training.

"Hey, he who smelt it, dealt it."

Today, this would be called "inappropriate touching."

These morons don't quite understand the 1960 meaning of "parking."

S. Z. Sakall makes pancakes for Ashley.

"Repeat after me. It's Toyota's fault."

Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris? I thought I was looking at Phil Simms and Troy Aikman.

I'm going through some of these, Rich. Going from one post to another is like turning the pages of a good book.

Glad you resurrected the photos. Not in vain.



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  • 2 weeks later...

The Devil’s Sleep (1949)

Directed by W. Merle Connell


Hilarious exploitation, centering around adolescents getting bennies, goofies, and raisinets.

Timothy Farrell plays Umberto Scalli, which, in Italian, means “scuzzball.” He runs a racket with a juvenile, supplying the stuff to the local kids. Judge Rosalind Ballantine (Lita Grey) is determined to wipe him out, but she has too much trouble reading her lines. Also, her daughter goes to a pool party with her boyfriend Bob and is photographed au naturel, so Farrell has a bargaining chip. Meanwhile, Sergeant Dave Kerrigan (William Thomason, who looks a little like Ronald Reagan) is dating Bob’s sister (Laura Travers, who looks a little like Gloria Grahame). Mildred Davis, who looks a lot like a condominium, provides comic relief as the tubby Tessie T. Tesse, measurements 51-47-64. George Eiferman, who was Mr. America in 1948, has a few scenes, including one where he rips a lock off a locker. He is pretty much useless for the rest of the film.

There are several scenes that take place at a reducing center, so we get to see women in various states of undress. Travers looks decent half naked. Eiferman demonstrates that he has the largest breasts in the cast. The acting is generally abysmal, and the finale is straight out of a Bowery Boys film.

John Mitchum, younger brother of Robert Mitchum, has a bit as a doctor. In a 1949 interview, Mitchum said he had been doing some narration in a studio when a director rushed in from the next stage. “He said an actor didn’t show up and would I take his bit part in some movie. I didn’t even see the rest of the script. I had no idea what the movie was about, or even the title. I got $55 for an hour and a half’s work. I thought the movie was just a ‘B’ quickie. I don’t remember groping that woman” (okay, I made up that last sentence). In the film, Mitchum’s character tells us that education is the best way to handle these drug problems. Unfortunately, watching films like this will make you want to overdose.


When the producers can’t even afford a hat rack, you know this is a cheapo production.




“Okay fellas, routine 6!”




“Does this dress make me look fat?”




How would you like to be downwind of these babes?




Oddly enough, the politician is the one on the right.




When you’re Mr. America, 1948, you can get away with crap like this.




And this is how you become Mr. America, 1948.


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