A tough kid comes to a new high school and begins muscling his way into the drug scene. As he moves his way up the ladder, a schoolteacher tries to reform him, his aunt tries to seduce him,...
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Mamie Van Doren,
A tough kid comes to a new high school and begins muscling his way into the drug scene. As he moves his way up the ladder, a schoolteacher tries to reform him, his aunt tries to seduce him, and the "weedheads" are eager to use his newly found enterprise, but he has his own agenda. After an altercation involving fast cars, hidden drugs, and police, he's accepted by the drug kingpin and is off into the big leagues. A typical morality play of the era, filled with a naive view of drugs, nihilistic beat poetry, and some incredible '50s slang. Written by
Ed Sutton <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Mamie Van Doren as somebody's aunt could put a whole new slant on "visiting the relatives". Here her twin gunboats are aimed at no one in particular, and I expect she was added at the last minute to further hype this exploitation exercise. But then this was cutting edge material for 1958 teens-- sassing the teacher, hotrod chickie runs, and maybe a pull on a joint if you could find one. Yeah, this is reefer-madness for the pre-Vietnam Pepsi generation. Never mind that the movie is one-third Blackboard Jungle, one-third Rebel Without a Cause, and the rest sheer Hollywood hokum.
Producer Zugsmith may not have known Leonardo Da Vinci from Leonardo Da Caprio, but he knew how to crowd teens into drive-ins. Then too, lead actor Tamblyn may look more like a cheer-leader than a hoody delinquent, but at least he's not bored with the part. Fast-buck artists like Zugsmith knew how to market these exploitation quickies as timely warnings to parents and teens. But kids weren't fooled. They knew they could see forbidden topics like teens kissing on a bed under the uplifting guise of civic betterment. No, this drive-in special may never have made it into uptown movie houses, but as an artifact of its time, it's more fun than any 10 of that year's dreary A-productions.
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