The adventures of the Lemon Grove Kids in this Bowery Boys inspired kiddie film.The adventures of the Lemon Grove Kids in this Bowery Boys inspired kiddie film.The adventures of the Lemon Grove Kids in this Bowery Boys inspired kiddie film.
Ray Dennis Steckler
- (as Cash Flagg)
- Kogar the Gorilla
- (as Kogar)
Steckler makes good, kiddie-style
Ray Dennis Steckler put together a trilogy of comic shorts modeled on the Bowery Boys series, with impressive results if you're not expecting any sort of masterpiece. In the first story, the kids, a motley bunch of toddlers and adults dressed as teenagers, head to Coleman Francis's house to do some housework. Extraterrestrials start picking them off, a green grasshopper in a flying saucers claiming the main kid, so it's up to doofy Steckler (acting as Cash Flagg) to find a way to save the day.. In the second part, the kids get a job doing housework for falling star Carolyn Brandt. Some bumbling villains kidnap her, but her sleazy agent says she's not worth the ransom. Thus it falls to Steckler once again to intervene and rescue both Brandt and her career. This episode also features a very annoying adult who spends a little too much time with the kids and sings remarkably uninspired songs about them on an acoustic guitar. Not a person I would trust with my own offspring, but Steckler probably couldn't afford high-end babysitters. In the final part of the trilogy, Steckler heads into the wrong side of town to buy some sodas on a hot afternoon, instigating a rumble. They decide to settle their differences with a cross-country race. A funny French saboteur, hired by the rival team, does their best to put the Kids' star athlete out of the ahem running, and somehow we're led into a startling monster attack sequence. This conclusion seals tight the possibility that Steckler was having a grand time making these shorts, possibly never intended for theatrical release. In a way, Lemon Grove Kids exists as an interesting home-movie documenting the styles and culture of the early 1960's made by a barely experienced filmmaker, who had only been in the business for a few years. Although I enjoyed this film quite a bit, I'd only show it to children I really hated. Some of the women-children boast some surprisingly sexy outfits, plus a certain amount of the humor veers toward the sophisticated. Brandt appeared in a number of Steckler's films. Steckler fans with be happy to see hero Ray Pfink in a cameo.
- Matt Moses
- May 11, 2001
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