“You must think I’m a cheap floozy – but I’m not. Not really…”
Based on the director’s novel, Girls on Parole, this prime slice of Juvenile Delinquent nonsense remains endlessly fascinating for students of “bad” movies, not least for its schizophrenic approach. It manages to combine moralistic doctrine – most notably from a parole officer who speaks Entirely In Headlines – and exploitation, with the heroines stripping down to their foundation garments (hey, this was 1956, whaddya expect?) about every ten minutes.
Three “teenage” girls – quotes used advisedly, since they’re about as convincing as Olivia Newton-John was in Grease – graduate from muggings to robbery, using guns bought from a leering fence (Timothy Farrell, narrator of Ed Wood’s Glen or Glenda). Of course, I’m giving little away to say that it all goes horribly wrong, this being the era when criminal behaviour inevitably led to tragedy. Also, I’d be the first to admit that the acting, direction and production values are about what you would expect. But how can you not like a film with lines like the one atop this review or, “C’mon, Dora – let’s conceal these weapons”? For despite many, obvious flaws, this still managed to entertain us, and at a mere 67 minutes, doesn’t hang around. You should know that the print quality on Something Weird’s release does leave a bit to be desired though.
There was a happy ending, at least for one of the actresses. Despite our suspicions that none of the trio would ever work again, Eve Brent, who played Joy (under her real name, Jean Ann Lewis), went on to a long, surprisingly reputable career including The Green Mile. I guess crime does pay, after all.
Dir: Robert Detrano
Star: Jeanne Ferguson, Jacquelyn Park, Timothy Farrell, Jean Ann Lewis