|Index||3 reviews in total|
After seeing what low budget success Sam Katzman was having over at
Monogram with the Bowery Boys, the folks at PRC put together their own
youthful group of miscreants. The Gas House Kids is a pale imitation of
the Bowery Boys and when you consider their stuff was pretty low brow
what can you imagine this crew is like.
Benny Bartlett, Rudy Wister, Tommy Bond, and Carl Switzer are the Gas House Kids and they're going to Hollywood to meet their idol, movie detective Michael Whalen. On the way they get involved with some girls, a pair of murders, a scientist in a haunted house in addition to finding out that they're idol Whalen isn't quite what they make him out to be.
We do find out one thing, even after he's grown up and lost that screeching soprano, Alfalfa still couldn't sing worth a lick. And he's not enough reason to tune in to this crew. Unlike the Bowery Boys this bunch has no distinctive personalities the way Leo Gorcey and Huntz Hall were.
GAS HOUSE KIDS IN Hollywood is another example of the 'kid gang' genre
of films that were popular with audiences during the 1940s. Other
examples include the Bowery Boys, the East Side Kids, and of course the
earlier Our Gang adventures. The Gas House Kids only had a trilogy of
outings, and there were only four of them, but they provide fitful if
The lightweight story in this film sees the quartet of youths heading to Hollywood to meet a star of the screen, popular detective actor Lance Carter. Chief among them is the overage 'Alfalfa', whose singing in the car goes on way too long and threatens the eardrums of any sane viewer. As is the usual with such films, the kids meet a mad scientist (an on-form Milton Parsons) and wind up at his house, where a criminal gang are on the prowl.
There's a lot of lurking around in corridors and stuff involving secret passageways and the like; in fact, the story is almost exactly the same as GHOSTS ON THE LOOSE, a Bela Lugosi-starrer I watched the day before. The comedy is pretty pitiful and the quality of the acting is little better. The overage child actors mug the situation for all their worth while the back-and-forth nature of the plotting goes on and on, dragging this out to endless length. It's only a film for die-hard fans of the genre, if there are any...
I managed to watch this "Gas House Kids" entry when I found out it was on an Amazon channel. Because some of the people were talking behind me while I watched, I relied on the visual humor to carry me through. One funny scene was when two former "Our Gang" members-Tommy Boyd and Carl "Alfalfa" Switzer-were initially unaware of a skeleton in their midst. Boyd-who used to play the bully Butch on his former kid series-is friends with Alfie here. And, yes, Alfalfa still sings off-key! Another member does sing a good number later on. There's also a movie star the gang are wanting to meet and some pretty girls. Anyway, this was pretty enjoyable for what I managed to get of the plot of it.
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