Rat Pfink a Boo Boo (1966)
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I have been dreaming about seeing this movie ever since I heard it mentioned in an old issue of Castle of Frankenstein Magazine when I was like 10 years old. It never plays on TV, never ever made it to any repertory cinemas in my neck of the woods... and not even the more eclectic video stores around here ever carried it. God bless the amazingly fast growth of DVD technology which allowed me to finally *purchase* the movie for my very own at a ridiculously low price! Even so... after purchasing it, I was scared to watch it at first. After having dreamed about this movie for so long could it possibly live up to my expectations? Or would it be just another in a long list of disappointments? Well, I needn't have worried... this movie... as low-budget and cheesy and downright STRANGE it is... it is absolutely brilliant! Infused with incredible passion from the director and the cast... it transcends its monetary limitations and is wildly infectious in its creativity! Rat Pfink and Boo Boo, our two low-rent superheroes, are obviously inspired by Batman and Robin... but actually created and filmed BEFORE the popular 60s TV show! A bunch of psycho delinquents are terrorizing women... when they begin to pick on the girlfriend of rockabilly musician Lonnie Lord (secret identity of Rat Pfink) they cross the line and incur the wrath of our heroes! Genius filmmaking! Just imagine what director Ray Dennis Steckler could do with a budget!
This is one of the strangest low (and I mean LOW!) budget movies of the 1960s. Watching it is like watching a car crash. You know you should stop looking at some point but you just can't tear your eyes away!
Makes Ed Wood look like Sam Fuller.
It starts out innocently enough- world famous rock star Lonnie Lord and his gal pal Cee Bee frolic about California in an endless whirl of touch football games and swingin' rock and roll tunes! But things go wrong when middle-aged hoodlums decide to kidnap Cee Bee and hold her for ransom! Luckily, Lonnie and his pal Titus also happen to be Rat Pfink and Boo Boo, two crime fighters with goofy costumes and no particular powers with which to fight crime. But they sure give those hoodlums a licking, albeit after a car chase that takes roughly four and a half hours to play out. But it does, and Rat Pfink and Boo Boo save Cee Bee from the evil In Cold Blood-esque gang AND a rouge gorilla named Kogar! It's all wrapped up in a swingin' beach finale where the drunken salesman from "The Incredibly Strange Creatures...." looks on!
This is definitely a strange movie, to say the least. It's from the great Ray Dennis Steckler, but despite it's amazingly silly subject matter it's not as good as his other classics; the movie lacks a starring performance from Steckler (he's great in his "Thrill Killers", the aforementioned "Creatures", and his later "Body Fever"), and some of the photography is very dark and confusing.
But the music is great, and Steckler regulars Titus Moede, Ronald Haycock, and Carolyn Brandt shine. Brandt, Steckler's one time wife, appeared in nine of his movies, but this is the one where she looks like she's having the most fun. This movie is amazing in it's own twisted way- at no point does it make sense or come close to a regular narrative, but the freedom and joy Steckler had while making it comes across in every frame, and that's why Steckler's strange body of work holds up so well today. He had a passion for film-making that most directors could never hope to grasp.