We are all interested in cool cars, loose women, unusual rum drinks, and painful sores in our “swimsuit areas” for that is the stuff that occupies our every waking moment. You are interested in the unknown, the mysterious, and the curable—that is why you are here. And now, for the first time, we are bringing to you the full story of some of the worst movies ever made. We are bringing you all the evidence, based only on the secret testimony of the miserable soul who survived a simple blood test and a shot of penicillin. I am that miserable soul. The absurdly low budgets, the overuse of dissolves, the ridiculous plots, the incredible score by the Ventures—my friend, we cannot keep these a secret any longer. Let us punish the guilty. Let us reward the innocent. Remember, my friends: terrible movies such as these (and the clap) will affect you in the future!
The Plot In Brief: High-school senior and sports car enthusiast Jim Radman (Robert Downey, Jr. look-alike Mory Schoolhouse) has a good thing going with his steady girl Judy Jackson (Charlotte Stewart). In fact, they are seriously contemplating getting married after graduation and starting their new life together instead of going to college. Needless to say, Judy’s parents are no fans of Jim and no fans of their daughter’s plans. (#fansofplans)
As Monk, Michael Bell gives the film’s only decent performance. Besides setting Jim on his road to perdition, the character of Monk seems to exist to throw around a lot of then-contemporary slang. Monk peppers his conversations with words like “crazy,” “baby,” “scene,” “groovy,” and “natch.” His character should be named “Lingo.” He is the 1961 human equivalent of an all-emojis text.
Michael Bell was also an elegant dancer. He and Delores Faith share a great dance number at the film’s 20-minute mark that is so energetic and delightful, we wish this film had been a musical instead of the venereal disease scare film it becomes in its final act. Yes, the dramatic structure of this film is, dare I say, cockeyed. After 45 minutes of warm California sun, surf guitar, fast cars, and jukeboxes, the film abruptly shifts genre. It’s as if a Beach Party movie suddenly ended with Dee Dee discovering she has Chlamydia.
Here’s the thing (I mean, the thing that’s not on your penis): I recently stood in a garden at a baby’s birthday party and told Mr. Patrick Bromley that he HAD to watch this movie. It is not good. However, if you have 75 minutes to kill and want to see a film (in color) that features some shots of 1961 Los Angeles and a movie-within-a-movie about “the nation’s deepest shame,” you might dig this. Perfect for a Junesploitation “Free Space”!