"On the Road" author Jack Kerouac was disturbed that his friend, author John Clellon Holmes, managed to get his "Beat Generation" novel "Go" into print before his own was published ("Go", in which Kerouac is a main character, was published in 1952, while "On the Road" was not published until 1957). Kerouac was worried that Holmes was plagiarizing him, although Holmes was careful to credit Kerouac with creating the term "Beat" for their generation, and much of the material was common amongst them and other writers of their circle, such as Allen Ginsberg. Ironically, producer Albert Zugsmith outfoxed Kerouac by copyrighting the term "The Beat Generation", which he used as the title of this egregious exploitation film, which was released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in 1959. A year later, M.G.M. released a film of Kerouac's novel "The Subterraneans", made by with top talent: It proved to be a major disappointment as it grossly misrepresented the scene (as well as Kerouac's novel). Ironically, "The Subterraneans" probably is the premier contemporary movie about the Beats, as so few "Beat" movies were made ("On the Road" has never been filmed), the phenomenon occurring during a time of strict screen censorship in the United States. By the time censorship was lifted in 1967, the Beats had been supplanted by the Hippies. See more »
Stereotyped and clichéd exploitation film about a serial rapist known as the Aspirin Kid (Ray Danton), who hangs out with a group of beatniks while continuing to victimize attractive suburban housewives. Set in beatnik bars and on the beaches of LA, with some humorous dialog and a misogynistic cop played by Steve Cochran who tracks down the Kid after his own wife becomes a victim, the film has a refreshing originality, though generally it is laughably ridiculous, with its goateed beatniks staring off into space while listening to recorded car crashes, jazz, and the worst Beat poetry ever recited. With Mamie Van Doren, and a cast of several familiar faces that would crop up in Beach Party films, its nearly done in by what is now referred as camp, though there is enough of a story there to keep it moving along.
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