A gang of teenage delinquents terrorize a small community by stealing cars and stripping them for parts, then selling the parts to a crooked junkyard owner. The police and an insurance company investigator set out to break up the gang.
Arch Hall Jr.,
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Connie Hayward mounts an expedition into the Himalayan Mountains looking for her brother, who has not returned from a previous trek trying to locate the Yeti, or "Abominable Snowman". ... See full summary »
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I wonder if John Wayne had to go through this to get his start.
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There are no credits of any kind for the first 8 minutes. Then, during a chase scene we see a roadside sign with the words "Spies A-Go-Go" (apparently the original title). The rest of the credits are listed on small signs in the shape of rabbits. See more »
A few of us over the age of thirty five remember an Eighties spy spoof from the makers of Flying High. In Top Secret, a pre-obnoxious Val Kilmer stars as a pretty boy Sixties rock singer who heads behind the Iron Curtain, and engages in some espionage silliness mixed with fake Beach Boys tracks. Now, if Nasty Rabbit from 1964 wasn't its direct inspiration, I'll eat my fake fur hat.
It's another film from Fairway International, a next-to-no budget production outfit set up to promote would-be rocker and matinée idol Arch Hall Jr. In fact Nasty Rabbit, or Spies-A-Go-Go (its original title, still visible on a road sign during the opening credits) is more of a shameless vanity vehicle to showcase the fading though still ham-flavored properties of arch-auteur Arch Hall SENIOR as producer "Nicholas Merriweather", co-writer, and in not one but TWO roles as American government man Dr McKinley and a Russian submarine commander, who sounds like he found his accent in the bottom of a vodka bottle. He dispatches the painfully lovable Mishkin aka Agent X-11 to let loose a little white rabbit with a vial of bacteria around its furry neck to let loose on the Free World. With the bunny disguised as a camera box, he goes undercover on the Killdeer Dude Ranch, perched on the edge of the Continental Divide where the bunny can do the most damage. And, as cowboy "Laughing Moose O'Brien" (see how sophisticated the humor gets?), he believes he has the stupid decadent Americans fooled. Jackie Gavin, the Killdeer ranch owner's daughter, says to Mishkin "You're the first cowboy I ever saw who drinks vodka!" "Oh " he replies, "Because I'm half-breed Indian." Hmmmm Let's consider the racial implications of that comment for a moment! At this point Arch Hall Jr rides in on a white charger (read: chopper) as "dreamy" recording star and secret agent Brett Hunter to play a gig with his combo The Archers at the Killdeer Ranch whilst keeping an eye on the damned Russkies. Of course it's no Fairway picture without Arch-Baby, who tears through a musical number or two to a presumably bribed audience of admirers. But for once he plays more like fifth or sixth banana to a gaggle of fast-aging Vaude-Villains out-mugging each other as an international smörgåsbord of agents and counter agents in on the bunny caper. There's Japanese Colonel Kobayashi, still in his WW2 threads, dwarfish Israeli agent Maxwell Schtump, Senor Gonzalez from South of de Border, Heinrich Kruger Former "nutty Nazi" that old chestnut - now representing the West German team, and not to forget Chuckle the Wonder Dog. However it's the boxed bunny himself who gets the best lines of chipmunkish internal dialog courtesy of his Jewish speech writer.
Like every Fairway picture, it has a family ranch feel: The Sadist's James Landis is back in the director's seat, Eegah's Richard Kiel aka Jaws from The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker, plays a cowboy with gigantism, and the film looks fantastic thanks to Fairway's future Oscar-winning cameramen "William"/Vilmos Zsigmond and second unit "Leslie"/Lazslo Kovacs, but even they can't hide the boom mike shadows on the plywood walls. Real life Vegas showgirl, gangster's moll and perennial sex kitten Liz Renay plays Cecilia Solomon, love goddess in a halo of cigarette smoke, of no fixed allegiance other than the international community of Hopeless Romantics. As memorable as she is in Arch's final film Deadwood '76 and Ray Dennis Steckler's The Thrill Killers (both 1965) and John Waters' Desperate Living (1977), here she's plain painful, and over-enunciates each line like she's dictating the Kabbalah to a deaf monk.
It's as if Arch Sr saw It's A Mad Mad Mad Mad World the previous year and tried to copy its "throw in a thousand jokes and a thousand cameos and one of them has to work" approach. Naturally it backfires on the Halls; whilst their earlier films are unintentionally hilarious, Nasty Rabbit has the exact opposite effect. Part of that idiotic pre-post-modern American idea of comedy, alternately described as "zany", "kooky", and a boatload of other obnoxious buzzwords, Nasty Rabbit's like an extended episode of Get Smart written by a small navy of sea monkeys, who moonlight as the creative team behind Laugh-In. Needless to say, I'd be checking those sea monkeys' credentials, if I wasn't shaking my head in disbelief over the sheer chutzpah of the 1964 spy-a-go-go saga Nasty Rabbit.
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