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High School Big Shot (1959)
Directed by Joel M. Rapp

Sordid, tepid, and stupid account of 26-year-old high school senior Marv (Tom Pittman) who goes from smart kid to hood, all because of a drunken loafing father (Malcom Atterbury) and a chick named Betty (Virginia Aldridge).

The film opens in a high school English class, presided over by Peter Leeds. Leeds attempts to engage the class:

Leeds: "To whom was Hamlet's graveside speech delivered?"
Student named Vince Rumbo: "I don't know, man. I didn't catch the name and address on the envelope."

Marv comes to the rescue with the correct answer, which ticks Vince off. Vince is further ticked off when his babe Betty shows some interest in Marv (cue the saxophone). You know, those high school dames really dig those nerds. Just ask me. Of course, I never went to school with anyone named Betty, but I did know Archie, Veronica, and Jughead. Even Marv's father is impressed: "Hey, she's the best looking chick in the school." In fact, she's the only chick in the school, and in the flick, unless you count a quick bit by Atterbury's real-life wife when she discovers him "hanging around the house."

Betty plays Marv like a cheap fiddle (cue the saxophone), and gets him to write her term paper on Shakespeare. Leeds does a quick google search and nails the two of them. Betty fails the class, and Marv loses his chance at a college scholarship.

But all is not lost. Marv overhears his boss (Byron Foulger) planning a drug deal worth a cool million dollars. Marv enlists a safecracker, played by Stanley Adams, whom "Star Trek" fans will recognize as the guy responsible for all those damn tribbles. How Marv knows a safecracker is anyone's guess. So Adams and brother-in-law Louis Quinn sign on to steal the mil from Foulger's safe before the drugs arrive. Marv can't resist blabbing to Betty that he's gonna have plenty of dough for her; Betty wastes no time in telling Vince about the plan, and suggests he steal the money from Marv (cue the saxophone).

In the whacko finale, Marv and the safecrackers stage the heist, while Foulger and his drug dealer arrive from one direction, Vince and his goons arrive from another, and Betty from another (cue the saxophone). And no one sees each other until they are about 10 yards apart.

Bodies pile up as shots are fired indiscriminately. The million bucks goes floating into the river. We get a closeup of Foulger's nostrils (not pretty). The filmmakers split the drugs.

This isn't a horrible film, just dumb. Pittman is decent, and looks like a cross between Gary Oldman and Billy Jack. But he is too old for the part. He died almost a year before the film was released. Aldridge is good at playing the town mattress (cue the saxophone), but the least they could have done was show her in various stages of undress.


"Did you just cut the cheese?"

This guy confused Mae West.


Ben Mankiewicz auditions for the lead in Marty.



This was the producer's reaction when the box office receipts rolled in.


Ben Mankiewicz auditions for West Side Story.


A short-lived 50s fad – the Anthony Weiner-cam.


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The Mini-Skirt Mob (1968)
Directed by Maury Dexter

This has to be the worst biker film ever made, although, in fairness, I still haven’t seen The Glory Stompers with Dennis Hopper.

Diane McBain, with her inflatable hair, plays the leader of the Mini-Skirt Mob. In case you forget the name of the gang, the back of their jackets says “Mini-Skirt Mob.” The other “stars” of this mess include Jeremy Slate, Sherry Jackson, Harry Dean Stanton, Patty McCormack, and Ross Hagen (as Jeff Logan). I have no idea why “as Jeff Logan” has to follow Hagen’s name in the credits, unless he had a good agent – but then, that agent should have gotten him out of this gig.

Hagen (as Jeff Logan) is a former member of the gang, and has just married Jackson. This annoys McBain, who had a fling with Hagen and now decides to make his life miserable. So she and her gang of in-bred morons descend upon Hagen’s trailer and annoy the hell out of him and Jackson. However, it’s all in good fun. After minutes of nothing happening, McBain and the crud accost the pair in another locale. This time, the mob beats down Hagen, while McBain b-slaps Jackson an infinite number of times. Oh, what fun. Finally, Hagen gets his rifle and shoos everyone away. Out on the highway, one of the gang members is killed when his bike goes off the road during a taunting session with Hagen and his trailer.

Next, the mob corners Hagen and Jackson in their trailer out in the Arizona desert. Nice scenery, by the way. Patty McCormack, playing McBain’s sister, pleads with the gang to call off the vendetta, to no avail. So we have to sit for around 50 minutes while the gang decides how best to “off” the pair. This gives McBain the opportunity to pour out a monologue on how snakes swallow mice whole, and gives the rest of us an opportunity to throw up.


Meanwhile, back in the trailer, Jackson is whining and Hagen is converting his propane tank into a flame thrower, which he never gets to use on anyone. Slate, who is too stupid to be a psychopath, creates some Molotov cocktails and hurls them at the trailer. This does not end well for one of the cast members, who gets char-broiled. Eventually, the protagonists and antagonists square off in the desert, with predictable results.

This film is just fine if your idea of a good time is to see women pushed around, slapped, slugged, and killed. The b-word flies around like crazy. McBain is particularly sadistic, and her coif looks like it was blown up with an air compressor. McCormack spends most of the film looking disgusted, either because she is hanging out with these moral derelicts, or because she was cast in this film. I’d heard of Hagen (as Jeff Logan) but had never seen him act. After this performance, I can safely say I still haven’t seen him act. Jackson is annoying, despite her great looks. Stanton plays a dumb hick. Three boy scouts make cameo appearances.

The music is okay, except for the title tune, which Patty McCormack belts out (although it sounds like a guy):

"Disregard their good looks,
They’re just a bunch of dirty crooks,
With skirts showin’ plenty of knee,
That’s the Mini-Skirt Mob,
On another spree.”

What a waste of non-talent.

Harry Dean Stanton comes out of the closet.


Jeremy Slate auditions for The Thing with Two Heads.


Ross Hagen (as Jeff Logan) prepares a weenie for Sherry Jackson.


And you thought Linda Blair was the first to throw up green stuff.


“Where the **** is Cary Grant when you need him?”



Patty McCormack pretty much sums up the film.


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I've never watched TCM Underground, but I might make an exception for this one. Worst hair ever . If she'd go ahead and fall off the cliff, the drag from her hair might equal that of a good-sized parachute.


Edited by: smileys on Jul 1, 2011 11:25 PM

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  • 2 weeks later...

Jacktown (1962)

Directed by William Martin


The southern Michigan prison in Jackson is called “Jacktown” by its inmates. In April 1952, riots broke out, with guards held hostage. The Michigan Governor called out the State troopers. After several days of rioting, an agreement was reached. The inmates got a steak dinner, and ice cream for dessert.


This has little to do with the film, but it’s more interesting than anything else crammed into this 58-minute snoozer.

The opening scene is in a delivery room, and the narrator, who does a bad Rod Serling impression, says:


“This is Frankie Stossel, a child of God. Was he born to be bad?”
No, that would be the director.

Frankie is played by “Introducing Richard Meade,” who, after making this picture, became known as “Who is Richard Meade?” Frankie and his pal Vince cold-**** some poor sucker who is coming out of a Rexall drugstore. Frankie’s mother wonders why Frankie can’t hold a job. I wonder why anyone would have wanted to have sex with Frankie’s mother.

Frankie makes a date with a car-hop, and after he gets her pants off and is rousted by a cop, we find out the girl is only 15. Frankie is charged with “contributing to the delinquency of a minor.” So Frankie goes to the slammer (aka, Jacktown). Inside the cozy walls, Frankie makes a new friend, a 300-pound gorilla named Lefty, who wants to protect Frankie from the other inmates.

On the outside, buddy Vince holds up a grocery store and gets shot in the back by the cops. This was before police brutality was invented. The old geezer inmate in the cell next to Frankie starts moaning that he’s Vince, just to unnerve Frankie. Later in the film, the old geezer somehow turns into a black inmate, gets younger by 30 years, and sings “Jacktown Blues.”

The Warden thinks Frankie is a good kid, and assigns him to work in his garden. This occurs around the 30-minute mark of the movie. I remember this, because for the next 45 seconds, there is a piece of lint on the film. Ironically, the lint gives the most animated performance in this movie.


The Warden has a daughter, played by Patty McCormack (billed as “Miss Patty McCormack,” to avoid confusing her with “Mr. Patty McCormack”). She is the only person in this film with acting experience, halfway in her career between The Bad Seed and The Mini-Skirt Mob. I would not say her career was progressing well.

Anyway, Miss Patty makes friends with Frankie. The Warden is not so sure he likes this, so he decides to make Frankie a driver. On his first day on the job, Frankie drives a guard and an inmate into town. The inmate jumps the guard. While the two wrestle on the ground for what seems like an eternity, Frankie just stares dumbly at them. Finally, the guard pulls his gun and shoots if off to the side. Somehow, the inmate buys the farm. Now that is really good shooting. Frankie runs away, and steals a car, only to discover a young kid is asleep in the back. Eventually, he ends up at Miss Patty’s apartment, where she confesses she has never been with a man. So what. Neither have I


Frankie calls the Warden and says a friend is driving him back to prison. He asks the Warden “to leave the light on.” What is this, a Motel 6?

The film is boring. The acting is terrible, although Miss Patty does at least try. The music is nauseating, and sounds way, way, way off-key. Some of the roles are played by actual prosecutors and law enforcement officials. They are the ones who should have been jailed.



Look kids, next time bring your own nightlight.”




This is why I gave up substitute teaching.


I’m not certain, but I think the name of this drive-in restaurant is “To Serve Man.”


“Uh … you’re supposed to drink it.”


A TCM fan reacts upon hearing the news that the TCM boards are about to be upgraded – again.


A short-lived 60s fad – cigarette butt-kissing.



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  • 4 weeks later...

> {quote:title=FredCDobbs wrote:}{quote}The Delinquents

> Original Release Date: Feb 23, 1957

Yes, I have my DVR ready. I've seen it before on TCM, and even wrote a review years ago in some forgotten thread somewhere around here. I am going to review it again, now that I know how to add photos.

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The Ghost of Dragstrip Hollow (1959)
Directed by William J. Hole, Jr.

You have to wait 40 minutes before you hear the phrase “Dragstrip Hollow.” Until that point (and even after), this film is a colossal bore. And don’t expect a ghost until around the last minute.

After an opening scene of a drag race between two chicks, which is almost interesting, the film quickly bogs down into the trials and tribulations of a gang of kids who are about to be evicted from their hangout. I can’t even tell you the names of most of the characters because I didn’t care. One (slightly) recognizable face belongs to Russ Bender, only because I’ve seen him in a previous American International motorcycle flick. Yes folks, this film is from AIP, RIP. If you can stick around to the end, there is a good in-joke involving Paul Blaisdell, who created a lot of the creatures for AIP horror flicks.

One of the gang members is named Lois, and is played by Jody Fair. She’s cute, and shows some acting talent. She drives a hot rod, and manages to stay mostly out of trouble. Her father is a square, but her mother seems hip. Lois’ love interest, played by some guy, is uninteresting and sweats under his armpits quite a bit, judging by the shirt stains when he makes his first appearance onscreen. Jack Ging tries to play a tough guy, but he’s only in a few scenes and has no bearing on anything – so why is he even in the film? I kept thinking this would have been a perfect part for John Ashley, but apparently this film was beneath even his borderline talent.

In the opening fifteen minutes, we get three songs, none of which I recall. There are a few others thrown in later, including one called “Geronimo.” Clearly, this film needs to be shown during the next TCM “Native American Images in Film” festival. One song was written by future Beach Boy Bruce Johnston – unfortunately, I must have been napping when they played it.

In the midst of this tedium, Lois’ aunt shows up. The aunt is played by the crone-like Dorothy Neumann. Neumann brings her parrot with her. The parrot gives the best performance in the movie, and has the best lines as well.

Lois’ father: “Polly wanna cracker?”

Bird: “What the hell would I do with a cracker?”
Lois’ aunt: “Always say please.”
Bird: “Drop dead, please.”

The gang eventually spend the night in a supposedly haunted house, where candles move and fireplaces swing around. Oh, I’m sooooooooooooo scared I may wet myself.

For much of the dialogue in this film, you may need subtitles. This late 1950s lingo is pretty foreign to me. “Somebody get this bag of bacteria lost.” “He’s got static in his attic.” “Don’t boil.” “Put that thing down Dad before you clobber your clavicle.” “Take your flippers off me, seal.” “Man, you’re cuttin’ me down.”

However, I did understand this exchange. After Lois’ father spies too kids making out, the boy says “we thought we’d come out for a breath of fresh air.” “Where did you think you’d find it?” asks Lois’ father. “Down her throat?”

The worst soliloquy in the movie occurs early on, when a nerd tries to explain the principles behind his hotrod:

“You will be particularly interested in a theory I have evolved on the basic principles of locomotion, using of course the Euclidean system of mathematics and naturally interposing that with the Einstein theory of relativity. I have come up with proof positive of the transcendental nature of locomotion and combustion.”

It’s crap like this that makes kids hate math and science.

“No, lady, you weren’t speeding. I just need to unbunch my shorts.”


While staring at her idiot son, Jane Powell rethinks her marriage to one of those seven brothers.




Long before there was The WHO, there was The W T F.


OK, I admit this part of the movie was pretty good.



Mr. Spock (far left) sets his guitar on “stun.”


And not a moment too soon.


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The Delinquents (1957)
Directed by Robert Altman


Tom “Billy Jack” Laughlin stars as Scotty, who just wants to date his girl Janice, played by Rosemary Howard. If only her parents had been more agreeable, this film could have ended in 10 minutes and saved us a lot of time. But then we’d have a short subject. The parents think Laughlin is too old for Janice. So they forbid him to see her, although they might let him stop by when Christmas rolls around.

Despondent, Laughlin heads to the drive-in, where the local gang of morons also hangs out. The morons are led by Peter Miller, who looks like the Reverend Billy Graham with a ducktail. Not to be out-ducktailed by anyone is Dick Bakalyan, the vilest member of the group. Bakalyan spots a rival gang, and slashes one of their tires. He tries to pin the rap on Laughlin, and a rumble ensues between the two gangs. Miller is impressed with Laughlin and offers to do him a favor. Miller will pretend he’s Janice’s date, pick her up, and deliver her to Laughlin. Laughlin agrees. Idiot.

In short order, everyone winds up in an abandoned house, and liquor flows like water. In the background, we inexplicably hear the theme music from the 1950s trash fest The Violent Years (scripted by the king of crap, Ed Wood). The cops raid the place, probably because they can’t stand the music either, and Bakalyan claims it was Laughlin who tipped them. So the next day, they offer Laughlin a ride to the corner, and he accepts. Idiot. They get him likkered up, then head to a gas station, where they order “a buck’s worth of cheap.” While Laughlin is hurling, Bakalyan knocks over the till and Miller clobbers the attendant. As the gang escape, Laughlin picks up the money and wanders off. Idiot.

To ensure his silence, the gang puts the bag on Janice. Finally, in the last ten minutes, we get some action as Laughlin goes Billy Jack and kicks Bakalyan’s *** all over the lawn, and then beats the crap out of Miller. Then the narrator tells us that delinquency is a disease, like cerebral palsy.

The only person worth watching in this film is Bakalyan, who was making his debut, and excelled at playing crumbs in his career. Miller is okay. Laughlin’s character is too stupid and naïve to root for. Howard is not very attractive – try to imagine Kyle McLachlan in a Prince Valiant haircut. The parents are typical 1950s pains in the butt.

The film is not horrible by any means, but it’s just not interesting. At least Altman survived as a director.



A short-lived 1950s fad – wife commemorative plates.




“I’m sorry dear, but this is going to happen every month.”



“I’d say you wear a size medium – now I’m going to check your cup size.”


Um – now that you’ve hiked the ball, you’re supposed to run down the field.


I think I saw the guy on the right in The Road Warrior.


A still from the unreleased epic Billy Jack Tosses his Cookies.


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