Fun teen stuff from AIP has John Ashley playing John Abernathy III, a cool teen who drives a fast car and even manages to get the pretty new girl (Jody Fair) in town. However, trouble happens when his gang of friends are about to be thrown out of the place they hang out so they decide to use their band to make some money and they also get some help from Gene Vincent. If you're looking for a film that will change your life or change your views on certain topics then HOT ROD GANG certainly isn't for you. If you're just wanting some cheap fun from the 1950s drive-in craze then this film offers up a pretty good time. I thought the story was actually one good enough to where you could get wrapped up in what was going on. Yes, it's pretty far-fetched and you could argue that it was silly but in a teenage guys life is there anything more important than a girl, a car and a place to hang out? I thought director Lew Landers (THE RAVEN) did a very good job at keeping the film running at a nice pace and he also added in some nice touches with the supporting characters. I really liked how eccentric, weird and rather silly all of the adults were. This is something that happened in most of these films but here it's done in a way that was pretty funny to watch and especially the two aunts. The performances really weren't all that bad with Ashley once again playing the type he's best remembered for and he even gets to sing a couple songs. Fair made for a good love interest even though she wasn't all that energetic. Future Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Gene Vincent gets to do a few tunes including his final hit Dance to the Bop. Again, HOT ROD GANG isn't going to change your life but it's fast and fun entertainment.
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