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A propaganda film intended to highlight the growing problem of juvenile crime. Jane Koberly, present during a robbery, is falsely convicted of being an accessory. While being taken with her companion, Terry Marsh, to an industrial school on the week of Thanksgiving, Terry's boyfriend springs them both. With the police hot on their tail, they take over a farmhouse and terrorize the family within (the Grants) while waiting for a co-conspirator to arrive with money and transport. While waiting, the boyfriend becomes more psychotic as Terry starts putting the moves on the Grants's son (to make some kind of point), and Mr. Grant takes solace from the Bible. Written by
Leo L. Schwab <email@example.com>
Yes it's exploitational and the cast of 'teenagers' silly, but it's still very entertaining.
"Teen-Age Crime Wave" is clearly intended as an exploitational film--to scare the audience and sensationalize the topic of juvenile crime. Plus, it's doggone silly because the teens in the film are all closer to their 30s than their teen! Oddly, this sort of bizarro casting was the norm in the 1950s--even with higher quality films of the genre such as "Rebel Without a Cause" where only one member of the starring cast was high school age! Yet, in spite of its low budget and all its other obvious shortcomings, there is something strangely entertaining about this film and I do recommend it--but still give it a 5 due to the production values. As far as entertainment goes, it's far better. The acting is good for unknowns and the script is excellent--probably too good for a film of such low pedigree! It's a great film for exploitation lovers or someone wanting something different.
The film has a familiar theme--similar to "The Desperate Hours" in that a group of psycho criminals take a family hostage and spend much of the film menacing them. A similar low-budget film made just a few later is the surprisingly good "The Sadist"--by Arch Hall--a man known for genuinely crappy films! It's well worth seeking if you like "Teen-Age Crime Wave".
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