Home
- Review IndexRatingsContent Icons - Links


Ghost of Dragstrip Hollow


Title: Ghost of Dragstrip Hollow
Year Of Release: 1959
Running Time: 65 minutes
DVD Released By: MGM Home Entertainment
Directed By: William J. Hole Jr.
Writing Credits: Lou Rusoff

Starring: Jody Fair, Russ Bender, Henry McCann and Martin Braddock
Taglines:
None found
Alternate Titles:
The Haunted Hotrod (USA) Working title

Review Date: 11.7.04 (updated 1.1.10)

Shadow's Title: "The Ghost of the Last 30 Seconds of the Film"

Buy This Film From Amazon

Amazon Prime
(Watch for FREE with Prime membership!)
Ghost Of Dragstrip Hollow

DVD
 Ghost of Dragstrip Hollow / The Ghost in the Invisible Bikini
(Midnite Movies Double Feature)

Characters
Stan – The leader of the Zenith Club - a group of teen hot rod enthusiasts - he is a rarity: basically a good kid with a level head. Stan does his best to keep all the other kids in line while in accordance with the club’s rules, especially when they must look for a new place to call home. However, if this guy is a teenager, then I’m one, too.
Lois The only female hotrodder in the Zenith Club. All the other girls were the girlfriends of male club members. Lois knows more about cars than some guys do. She is also easily goaded into racing, and that gets her in trouble time and again. She seems to like Stan, but cannot seem to commit to being his girl.
Dave – The token nerdy guy, complete with regulation nerd glasses. He uses big words when he talks, even if all he is gabbing about is the weather. Two cars that Dave built are shown in the film, an awesome one and one that looks like a demolition derby reject.
Amelia – This is Dave’s Super Hot Girlfriend. Amelia really doesn’t do much aside from standing around and looking hot. Hell, I think she spoke less than fifty words in the entire film. She is by far the hottest looking chick in the film, despite the addition of the nerdy glasses. Hell, some of us think those glasses just make her even more hot.
Bonzo – Obviously given his nickname, he is the clown of the group as well as the group’s resident chickenshit. That receding hairline and thinning mop up top is not something you see in your normal teenager. Unless of course that teenager is undergoing chemotherapy or something.
Rhoda – Bonzo’s girlfriend. She’s cute. She’s petite. She’s perky and has loads of spunk. In other words, she’s the type most likely to drive you friggin’ nuts with her boundless energy and enthusiasm for such “fun” things like shopping, cleaning and worst of all…talking. Shivers!
Tommy – This guy played himself, so I guess in real life he was noted for his way with automobiles and really did have those world records. Probably why he got the part. A real life hotrodder in the film was probably meant to lend some credibility to all those teenagers with thinning hair.
Sandra – Her name is never mentioned. Going by the IMDB, there were two female names I could not account for – Hazel and Sandra. Since the former is a definite old lady name, I chose to call this girl Sandra. She also looks very much like an ex-girlfriend of mine. Disturbingly so, in fact. I'd almost think it was her mother.
Mr. Hendry – A reporter doing a series of articles on teen hotrodders and the Zenith Club in general. He tackles his assignment with far more enthusiasm and aplomb than I would if I were in his shoes. I hate interacting with most people, and having to work so much with teens would drive me nuts.
Anastasia Abernathy – One of Mr. Cavendish’s clients that comes to spend time with him and his family. She looks like a stuffy, mean old broad, but she is really quite down to earth and despite resembling the title card in an Old Maid deck, she gets along fine with all the teens.
Wesley Cavendish – Lois’ jackhole of a father. This guy loves to whine, bitch and moan. When he is not doing that he’s griping, grousing and groaning. In other words, this guy spends ninety-five percent of his screen time complaining about something or just flat out being an irritable asshole.
Alphonso – Anastasia’s sentient pet parrot. Why do I call him sentient? Parrots phonetically repeat sounds they hear. However, this one has a vocabulary of hundreds of words, can carry on lengthy conversations, think for himself and make observations on what is going on around him.

 

The Plot Hold your cursor over an image for a pop-up caption

Somebody call Jason and Grant,  quick.After some truly goofy music over the opening credits (and the only credits this film is going to show for that matter) we fade in on a street with an open-top car traveling toward the camera. Almost immediately a similar car turns onto the roadway from a side street and pulls up alongside the first one. A close up shows that both vehicles are being driven by teenage girls – or women who are supposed to be teenage girls. These actresses were probably in their early twenties at this point. Anyway, right off the bat this film has managed to instill a sense of fear and dread in me unparalleled by any other film in history. Monsters? Psycho Killers? Aliens bent on performing an endless stream of anal probes? Nah…those are the proverbial fart in the wind when compared to this maelstrom of terror: teen girls behind the wheel of a car! Run for your lives!!!

So with just an exchanged look and no words being said, it is obvious that these two girls have agreed to race one another. No smack talk, no rude gestures, no one cutting off the other; just a look accomplished this. Ok, again…am I the only one who finds this development truly frightening? Is this an example of some type of primitive telepathy? Since we know this time period predates the cell phone era by about thirty plus years, we can surmise that these two have not been furiously trading scathing remarks via text messaging. Are there other “looks” that can accomplish other things? For example, with a simple look can I convince someone to lend me money, or buy me dinner or better yet, persuade a hot chick to give me sweet lovin’? I know we’re bordering on Jedi mind trick territory here, but if such skills exist…I want to learn!!!

So the two cars barrel down the road, swerving back and forth, tires screeching across the pavement in a frenzied race for supremacy. Well, I suppose that is what the producers intended to show us. What we really get is just footage of the two cars driving down the road at what appears to be a standard within-the-speed-limit velocity and the sounds of screeching tires dubbed in. Close ups allow us to see faces of the two girls and it becomes apparent when the driver of the second car is shown, complete with racing helmet and a mean, sadistic grin on her face, that she is the antagonist and we need to be rooting for the girl in the first car, who is sporting a girlie hat and worried face.

Eventually, both cars race down a concrete ramp that leads to one of those extensive aqueduct/spillway systems seen in films like Them, Grease and Terminator 2. In fact, at one point they pass a section that closely resembles the stretch of land where Arnold Schwarzenegger, as the good Terminator in T2, jumps his motorcycle off a ledge in order to close in on John Connor, who he is supposed to protect. Take a look at the screen caps below and judge for yourself. Are they one and the same location or as is most likely the case, are such places abundant in any type of similar aqueduct/sewage system and they just happen to appear similar? Who really cares, right? I suppose those are two different spots, but most likely both are part of the same spillway system.

Now unhindered by things like pedestrians, other cars or those pesky contraptions called traffic lights let alone traffic laws, our two young ladies proceed to open it up and really begin to tear down the spillway. VROOM! Who doesn’t like fast girls? Unfortunately for them, they pass under a bridge and are noticed by a motorcycle cop, who promptly gives chase – though unlike what Arnold would do 32 years later, he opts for the same ramp the girls utilized in order to get down into the spillway rather than engage in a spectacular jump. Too bad. This film could have used a cool stunt right now…or at any time for that matter. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

The two girls continue careening down the spillway, but they hit a short stretch of water a few inches deep where the turning wheels on the second vehicle (the “bad” girl’s car) causes the liquid to spray up into its open engine compartment and said engine to sputter out. Bad Girl looses control of her car and it crashes into the wall of the spillway, knocking off one of her wheels. Good Girl manages to get away while the motorcycle cop pulls up to Bad Girl in her crapped out car. I almost expected Bad Girl to wave her fist menacingly at Good Girl in one of those “I’ll get you someday” type of moments.

Now we switch to the Zenith Club, a group of teens who have passion for hot rods and who have set up shop in their own clubhouse, which comes with fenced-in parking lot and garage. Several “Hot Rods” are present with a number of teens, both girls and boys, working on their machines. All we need now is a green/blue van with “Mystery Machine” painted on the side and a Great Dane and we’d really be in business. As it is, Stan (whose name isn’t mentioned until nearly eighteen minutes into the film), the leader of the Zenith Club, is giving a tour to Tom Hendry, a local reporter. The kids in the club are hoping for some good press to help rid themselves of the image that many people label them with – drag racing young punks. These kids are serious about their pastime and racing is the fastest way to get booted from the club.

"A car? Hell no. This is the world’s first diesel powered bong!"To say that these kids are serious about their cars is like saying that a vampire has a mild aversion to sunlight. Stan introduces Mr. Hendry to several of the youths and the reporter is quickly lost amongst all the technical talk being passed back and forth. Some of the kids we meet are nerdy Dave and his girlfriend Amelia, clownish Bonzo and his main squeeze Rhoda plus Tommy and his girl Sandra. What I found to be amazing was how the girlfriends of all these guys seemed perfectly at ease with how much time their boyfriends spent fixing up their cars. Even more amazing than that is the fact that all of these guys even had girlfriends. From my admittedly dim and fading memory, teen girls usually wanted their boyfriends to spend time…and more importantly, money with and on them. Maybe times were different back then. Maybe. Somehow I doubt it. Even more amazing is the fact that the nerdiest kid, Dave – the one who rattles on about Euclidean mathematics and Einstein’s theory of relativity – has what is in my opinion the hottest girlfriend of the bunch. How the hell did that happen? If this information had come my way twenty years ago, I would have ran like hell for the school auto shop. Oh, wait. Our school didn’t have an auto shop.

So after Mr. Hendry’s head is sent into a dizzying spin by Dave’s scientific approach to cars, engines and what not, Stan leads him over to see Tommy and his car. This guy has won over three hundred trophies across the country, according to Stan. Three hundred? When the hell does this kid have time to go to school? Is he in one of those home schooling programs? Nah…they didn’t have those back then, either. Even more impressive is the fact that he holds two world records: one for the fastest unblown gas engine, clocked at 154.37 miles per hour, and the other for quickest single engine gas car. When Mr. Hendry asks him if he designed his car himself, Tommy replies with a positive and then rattles off a series of facts on his choices in building the vehicle. Aside from sending Hendry’s head into another spin, it also made me wonder if Tommy grew up in, or spent any time in a chop shop. He sounds like he could have hosted the 50’s version of Monster Garage.

By this time Mr. Hendry is impressed with the kids and their dedication to safety and adherence to the law (what a bunch of squares). Stan rattles off some figures that detail how few kids who are into hotrods are actually into dragstrip racing as well and how all club members take a pledge to not race or else face expulsion from the group. Dave and Bonzo chime in with their own inane comments on the matter, then Rhoda and Sandra take turns posing on the car for photographs…though Mr. Hendry does not seem to be armed with his camera. He makes what could be interpreted as a “sexually suggestive” comment to Sandra, which in this day and age would have his ass slapped with a harassment suit before he could take another three steps. Then again, he could have been referring to her shoes when he told her that “they” looked fine. Still, he never really looked at her feet or took his eyes away from her chest, for that matter.

About this time we hear a horrible screeching sound (no, not me clawing my eyes out…that comes later) and Hendry looks up at the car we cannot see yet and says “that girl is burning rubber.” I can only assume that he means that she is setting erasers on fire with matches and not that her wild driving is shredding her tires, because an instant later when the vehicle does slip into view, it’s moving about as fast and as dangerous as my Aunt Edna in her wheelchair after an Ambien cocktail. The car comes to a halt and when the driver gets out we see that this is Good Girl from earlier in the film. Stan describes her to Mr. Hendry as Lois Cavendish, one of the “hottest riders in the club.” I’m guessing “hottest” refers to her piloting skills and not her sexual attractiveness, cuz let’s face it…Amelia is way, way, way, way, way, WAY hotter.

Stan introduces her to Mr. Hendry and tells her what the reporter is working on, but Lois seems keen to scram. Stan tries to get her to stick around but she alludes to some trouble with the police and insists that she has things to do. Stan relents and Lois runs off to work on her car. Hendry comments on how unexpected it is to find a girl so caught up in hotrodding and is told how Lois does all her own mechanical work and won’t let anyone touch her car, or her for that matter. Dave finds it quite disgusting to see a woman engaged in such unfeminine work, then is hauled off back to tinker on his own car by his super hot girlfriend Amelia. Geez, I have a tool for her….wait! Did I say that out loud?

Mr. Hendry wants to talk about dragging on city streets, and something tells me that he is not referring to people out and about dressed like Divine. Indeed, if this film had been about that kind of “drag” strip, then it would quickly have found itself removed from my DVD player and sailing out the nearest window in a crude imitation of one of Ed Wood’s flying saucers. Stan informs Hendry that only six or seven percent of hotrodding kids are “hot shooters” – youths who drive for kicks. As for the Zenith club, they are a month away from attaining their charter and in order to qualify, members must take a pledge to abstain from racing of any kind or they are booted out. Uh…someone might want to remind Lois of that particular policy. Hendry wants to make the club his home base while writing his series of articles, but Stan says that it may not be feasible as the club is out of money and can no longer pay the rent on the building. Within a couple of weeks they will all be out on their asses, but until then the reporter can be an honorary member. Apparently one of the duties for new honorary members is to buy food for everyone, so the entire gang heads to the local malt shop.

A quick scene then shows the motorcycle cop from the very beginning of the film ride into the club’s yard and quickly make for the two legs sticking out from under a beat up car. Not bothering with manners or niceties, he just grabs the legs and hauls Lois out from under her hotrod. She tries to feign ignorance, but he demands to see her driver’s license. Looks like the long arm of the law has caught up with her after all. Fade out.

Spinal Tap: the early years.And fade into the local malt shop where a band, and I use the word band VERY loosely here, is playing while a few teens hop around in the ritualistic and damn near epileptic movements that were called dancing back in those days. The “band” is a complete and utter joke. These guys are so obviously and painfully just pretending to play their instruments. The bassist is just randomly slapping the strings on a guitar while making token movements with his fretting hand. The drummer is just hitting thin air, which when you think about it is quite the accomplishment in poor coordination given the fact that his drum kit is made up of a single bass drum, a snare drum and a crash cymbal – not exactly the hardest thing to miss! The piano player’s hand looks like he is in the midst of a seizure. His other hand is holding a pistol that, at strategic points during the song, he fires into the air. This guy is also the “vocalist” but the lyrics are limited to a single word – Geronimo, spoken before each gunshot. The only one that looks like he actually knows how to play his instrument is the guitar player, who makes a valiant attempt at looking like he’s playing live on stage. However, the sad fact is that all these morons are just lip synching and playing glorified air instruments to the obviously piped in music.

Amazingly enough, there is one guy who is squeezed into the back that is not holding any type of musical instrument. Instead, he is also sporting a pistol, which he fires after the vocalist shoots his own. I never realized that “firearms” was a musical position within a band. Worse, this habit of shooting guns during the song is infectious, as we see the owner of the malt shop (or at least the clown working behind the counter) fire off his own rifle at the ceiling during the number. In addition to no doubt putting a sizable hole in the ceiling, he has also managed to inadvertently shoot a bird out of the air. Where did it come from? Was it flying a holding pattern near the ceiling or was it hiding in the attic and fell through the new hole when it was shot? Before all these blazing guns make it seem like we’re watching a rap music award ceremony, the song mercifully begins to wind down. As the song gradually fades out to an end, each band member just stops at different times. This whole idiotic affair really reminded me of my youth and the garage band my friends and I had. We could have given these guys a run for their money…barely.

It turns out these clowns in the band are Zenith club members as well. Let’s pray to god that these dorks can drive better than they play. Stan explains to Hendry how they had hoped to use the band to raise some “scratch” by throwing a few dances but the club doesn’t even have the loot to rent a place to hold them. Given what is on display, I think they’d have pay people to come rather than the other way around.

No sooner does KC and the Dipshit Band end their song, than Rhoda, Amelia and Sandra take center stage to sing another song, this one titled, “My Guy” or something similar. Oh, did I mention the fact that despite a running time of only sixty-five minutes, this film manages to pack in numerous musical numbers? No? Well, …oops. I wonder how that slipped my mind. Anyway, this is another lip synching job, but since the camera lingers on the three cute young girls, we are spared more shots of the inept band. At least that one dork in the back has traded his pistol for a guitar. The three women are also much better at lip synching than the “vocalist” for the band – sometimes too good, putting on a performance that exceeds what the song seems to convey. They also displayed an annoying habit of looking straight into the damn camera on several occasions. Still, overacting and staring aside, it was more entertaining to watch them than the band…mostly because of the super hot Amelia. After these three American Idol rejects get off stage, Lois excuses herself to go home. She isn’t even to the door before the band strikes up another tune, but mercifully for us, the movie fades out at this point.

Next we see Lois arrive home. Inside, her parents are discussing their daughter’s odd fascination with cars. When she comes in her father gets on her case for forgetting to do something. What follows next is a truly creepy, but brief conversation between the two where the topics of boys, cars and sex are alluded to. Given how she is sitting on her father’s lap and some of the statements she makes and you’ll see why I was rather icked out by the whole thing. Best to forget it and move on. Quickly.

Now we’re back at the malt shop again. Mr. Hendry remarks on how the hangout really is a nice place frequented by basically wholesome kids. Stan reveals that the club has been served their eviction papers and in three weeks there will be no place to base their headquarters. Lois arrives and Hendry asks Stan if she is his “chick.” He admits he wished it was so, but Lois just loves her car too much to let a guy into the picture.

Mr. Hendry is about to leave when Tommy comes rushing up to announce that somebody named Tony, Anita and their “creep” friends are on their way. Stan tries to keep everyone calm as the rival “gang” arrives and comes sauntering in like they own the place. When they do, we see that Anita is the girl who was racing Lois at the beginning of the film (was that only just 12 minutes ago? Seems like A LOT longer). Anita and Tony confront Stan and Lois, and some typical smack talk is exchanged, including a threat by the rifle-wielding owner of the place, Frenchie, to put so many holes in Tony that he’d sound like a piccolo in a good wind. Anita tries to goad Lois into another race, but Stan reminds her of the Zenith Club’s rules about dragging. Anita says that such regulations did not seem to stop Lois earlier in the day. Stan looks at Lois with slight disappointment, like she just gave away the last of his fries or something. Lois makes a smartass reply to Anita which seems to impress Tony, who then tries to put the moves on Lois.

Hendry just sits at a table while all of this is transpiring and takes notes on his pad, the ever-dutiful reporter. Anita – who, in this scene is much cuter than when she appeared in the beginning, no doubt due to the godawful helmet she was wearing at the time – seems to be in her mid twenties. This Tony guy on the other hand looks like he is pushing thirty so hard that it decided to push back even harder (in reality the actor was about twenty-eight). Anita and her “creep” friends then leave and Mr. Hendry remarks how Stan showed more restraint than he would have under the circumstances. This movie is really going a long way to portray the Zenith Club kids as level-headed, well meaning youths who are not out to cause trouble. Is this Science Fiction or Horror, again? The kids start dancing and Hendry makes his way over to the counter where he talks with Frenchie who seems to be missing more than a few cards in his deck. Hendry tells Frenchie how he feels the need to help these misunderstood kids. Then the camera starts fading out long before their conversation is even done, almost as if the movie itself realizes that the audience is already nearly comatose and is trying to speed things along.

We fade in again at Lois’ house, where she and Stan are pulling up in separate vehicles. Lois parks hers in the driveway and then gets into Stan’s car. Her father watches from the window and grumbles at every little thing he sees, from how close she is sitting to Stan, to his kissing her. The guy is really about to soil himself in a fit of fatherly indignation, but Lois’ mother keeps berating him to get away from the window, stop being a peeping tom and to sit his ass down and relax. When he talks about “kicking that guy in the pants” for messing with his baby, Mrs. Cavendish reminds him of how old they were when they first got all hot with each other. Seeing these two, I only have one word for that mental image: YUCK.

Lois comes in and despite being warned to behave himself by Mrs. Cavendish, Lois’ father insists are talking to her alone. Her mother leaves the room while her dad hauls out a newspaper and reads a story where Lois is mentioned as having been involved in speeding and leaving the scene of an accident. Her father is naturally upset and bemoans the fact that this had to happen when Anastasia Abernathy was coming for a two week visit. She is one of Mr. Cavndish’s best clients and he doesn’t want anything to ruin her stay.

Lois apologizes and pleads with her father but he just grounds her on the spot for two weeks. She is not to have anything to do with cars, hotrods or the Zenith Car Club during that time. She is a little disappointed because the club was planning a “bash” for the next Saturday. “A Bash?” Her father asks. “That sounds positively indecent!” Is this guy a total square or what? Her father insists that she is grounded for two weeks but her mother bullies Mr. Cavendish into allowing Lois to hold the “bash” at their house. Lois is overjoyed at being able to have the “blessed event” at their house. This terminology used to refer to the party is damn near enough to send Mr. Cavendish into cardiac arrest. Lois then says that the bash will be a “double do” – meaning that once the party is over and the guys leave, the girls will have a slumber party. At that news her father gets this look on his face as if he just woke up from an extended sleep after taking both Ambien and Ex-lax. Having four sisters and knowing what all slumber parties entail, I really can’t blame the poor oaf. Another fade out follows some light family banter.

Sometime after that, either later that night or later that week, the Cavendish family welcomes Anastasia Abernathy into their home. Earlier Lois’ father called her one of his most important clients, but no mention has ever been made as to exactly what he does for a leaving. Anastasia enters and orders Mr. Cavendish to retrieve her luggage from the taxi and to tip the driver thirteen cents exactly. This tip is based on his driving performance, with which Anastasia doesn’t seem impressed. Lois’ father nearly trips over himself in his haste to get out the door. Anyway, Anastasia is at first glance one of those bossy old spinsters that delight in making everyone around them miserable. That is how she looks. In reality, she is quite friendly and charming in an old lady kind of way, if still a wee bit bossy. When he returns, she inquires as to why “Wesley” (Mr. Cavendish) hasn’t sold her “Flint Canyon Place,” so I guess that means he is a realtor or has something to do in that field. He responds by saying that he can’t even give it away (PLOT POINT!!!).

"That wasn’t exactly what I meant when I said blow me."Anastasia hasn’t arrived by herself it seems. She has brought her parrot, Alphonso, along with her. Mr. Cavendish sets the bird’s cage upon one of those mammoth ancient radios that were damn near the size of a washing machine and we are then treated to a scene where everyone taunts and goads the parrot into talking. Suffice it to say that this bird’s vocabulary is on par with your average sixth grader and his interactive social skills, while crude, belay evidence of wit and sarcasm. In other words, no bird is that intelligent and the movie is really making this feathered freak out to be smarter than most of the remaining cast. After playing with the annoying bird, Anastasia decides for some unholy reason to practice her flute since she is not tired. She hauls it out and begins making everyone cringe at the hideous noises she produces. Even Alphonso is about to willingly relinquish his life at the horrid sounds. Doesn’t she even want to unpack? How about hit the head after the drive? Nope. Time to torture the locals with sounds that would make Satan dive for earplugs.

Now the film flashes forward to the night of the big “bash.” Everyone is excited because the club band recorded their song, “Geronimo.” What is interesting is that we get a close up of the record and the label clearly says American International Records. I suppose a little self promotion isn’t too bad, considering the film was produced by American International Pictures. Naturally, some fool decides that despite the fact that they all have heard the song numerous times, we poor saps in the audience should have another torture sessio…er…listen, so they play the record and everyone starts dancing.

Outside, Mr. Cavendish and Mr. Hendry (who seems like a freakin’ club mascot at this point – always around but contributing nothing) talk about “today’s youth” after catching Tommy with his tongue so far down Sandra’s throat that he no doubt knows what she had for breakfast…the day before. Cavendish just cannot relate to the teens, comparing the dancing inside to the 1953 earthquake, but Hendry is more sympathetic, understanding what makes them tick. In this conversation Hendry talks about how their fast paced society and a world that seems headed for self-destruction makes for kids who want to grow up in a hurry. Geez, that sounds like the same spiel that was espoused when I was a teen waaay back in the 80’s. Cavendish moans about the interior lights being turned off and wonders what the teens find so fascinating about an unlit room. “You’re not that old,” Hendry supplies with a shit-eating grin. Well…a something-eating grin, as he’s been chowing down on some type of party snack this entire time.

Heading back in, it is time for a slow dance. Naturally, Mr. Cavendish grumbles at how close everyone is dancing. This guy is really starting to become a MAJOR pain in the ass. All he does is bitch and moan. I was really hoping for something…anything to come along and take him out of the film. Hell, I’d even settle for Ro-Man showing up in all his cheezy glory if it meant that this whiny old ass would take a hike. Bonzo gets Mrs. Cavendish to dance with him after muttering some of that indecipherable teen slang, while Dave grabs Anastasia and makes for the dance floor. Mr. Cavendish is on the verge of another whiny statement when Amelia grabs him for a dance. Personally, I’d like to show her how I do the mambo. Crikey! Did I say that aloud again?

More dancing ensues. Stan notices Mr. Cavendish’s ever-watchful gaze and jokes about it to Lois. Eventually Mr. Hendry bugs out and Anastasia heads for her room so she can play that damn flute. Mrs. Cavendish suggests to her husband that they also retire for the evening and allow the kids some time without adults hanging around like the Black Death. What a cool mom! Predictably, he nearly blows a fuse at the very idea. However, she forces him to say good night to the kids, which he does quite unhappily. I swear, if this guy got anymore worked up, steam would be coming off that balding scalp of his.

Outside, Anita and the Creeps have arrived, apparently having invited themselves. I hate people who do that!!! They head on in and the party crashes to a halt. The predictably tough words are once again exchanged between Tony and Stan. Even that annoying bird Alphonso chimes in! Anita’s creep friend Tony wants to dance with Lois, who agrees if it means averting any trouble. Tony gets in a few steps with her before Stan tells him to leave and Anita yanks him away. WTF? Why did you even show up if you’re only going to stay thirty seconds? I think Anita and the Creeps only put in an appearance here because the filmmakers want to remind everyone that the Zenith Club has rivals. Not that the conflict between these two groups is played up too much. This film is in no way a West Side Story and these two groups are a long way from resembling the Jets and Sharks, but it is almost as if rival teen “gangs” (or clubs) were a standard ingredient in youth oriented films of the day. Oh, by the way: fade out.

Fade in. Now we come to the part of the movie that no doubt had all the teen males salivating and doing their best to hide their wood – the girl’s slumber party. Once again, somebody has the bright idea to play “Geronimo,” and we are treated/subjected (you choose) to the sight of all those girls dancing around in their skimpy sleepwear. The television is turned on and images of some old western are displayed, albeit all funky. Sometimes the image is upside down, sometimes it is sideways and sometimes it is even running backward. Dubbed over this are sounds incongruent with the setting – submarine sounds, dogs barking and screeching tires. The young girls begin laughing hysterically at all this, which only confirms my suspicion that there was something more than ice in their punch.

Elsewhere, Mr. Cavendish is bitching and moaning as usual, over all the racket. It’s interesting to note that he and the wife are sleeping in separate beds. He decides that he needs to pee and gets up to visit the little whiner’s room. The door is locked, meaning someone is inside. He fumbles with his robe, a cranky look on his face the entire time. Unfortunately he turns his back on the door just long enough for two girls to exit and another two to rush right in, missing his chance. HA! He paces in the hall for a while, waiting out the girls in the bathroom. Again, just as they exit, another pair rushes in and he is left outside with a full bladder. HAHA! He eventually leans up against the wall and falls asleep! Lois notices him and wakes him up, asking him what he is doing there. The doofus is so out of it, he’s forgotten why he is waiting outside the door to the crapper and thinks he has been sleepwalking. Didn’t he have to pee? Is there a freshly made puddle at his feet now? Lois sends him back to bed under the logic that it will soon be time to get up. Huh? I’m almost as confused as he now is.

Once again we are in the malt shop, where a duck flies by Frenchie, who is without his rifle. Um…what? A duck flies by?! How the hell did it get in there? Plus, for some reason there are men busy re-possessing everything in the place: tables, chairs, musical instruments (fine by me if it means that band won’t ever play again), even the guy playing a saxophone. This must be what happened to Frenchie’s rifle – it was repossessed before the dumbass could put any more holes in the damn ceiling. Mr. Hendry now comes in, having been out looking for a place the club can call home, but has had no luck. I understand that the club is out of a place to call home, but how does that impact Frenchie’s place? Was it located in the club’s hangout? If so, why wasn’t the money generated from food and drinks applied to the rent?

A dejected Stan calls Lois, to tell her the bad news. Lois is at home, still under restriction. Her sentence is up at midnight and she begs her mom to let her drive to the club so she can be with the gang at the end, but her mom refuses to budge. So much for her being a cool parent. Nearby Anastasia overhears while busy sewing a coat for the damn bird. What the flying f*ck?! A coat?! What…feathers don’t keep the little bastard warm enough that he needs a freakin’ coat? Anyway, since Lois is not supposed to get behind the wheel of a car, Anastasia offers to take Lois herself, despite not knowing how to drive. Right now I will refrain from the obvious joke about women drivers. I suggest you supply one of your own. It should be fairly easy.

Driving Miss Daisy II: Hell on WheelsSo Lois and Anastasia don their headwear and pile into the car, the older women bringing Alphonso the parrot along. Lois gives Anastasia lessons on what to do in order to get the car started and into gear. VROOM. The older woman takes off instantly. The car careens around street corners and rushes madly down the road in a brief montage of bad driving. Naturally, the car isn’t really going that fast – the film has just been speeded up again to make it seem like it is racing like a bat out of hell. The annoying bird gets several smartass comments in during this whole affair, which really makes one hope his cage would have fallen out. At one point, Anastasia takes her hands off the wheel and turns around to look behind her! Hand her a cell phone and a compact and she’d be just like ninety percent of all the other females on the road. Ok…ninety-five percent.

Eventually, they arrive at the Zenith Club having no doubt left a trail of mangled pedestrians behind them. Upon hearing that the kids no longer have a place to base their club, Anastasia offers the use of her place in Flint Canyon AKA Dragstrip Hollow. The problem is…you guessed it! The place is haunted! Reportedly the last woman who lived there was scared to death by a monster (how do they know it was a monster? She could have been scared to death by the smelly neighbors for all anyone really knows). Bonzo suggests that they de-spook the place (who ya gonna call?) but Anastasia isn’t so sure that is a good idea. Mr. Hendry pledges his aid and they all decide to check the place out.

Naturally, the place is very creepy looking. Before the gang can even enter, we are treated to the sight of a fireplace that swivels, eyes glowing in the dark, eerie moaning and menacing shadows moving about inside. Anastasia is ready to bolt when she hears the moans, but Scully…er...I mean Mr. Hendry is positive that there is a rational explanation for it all. He demands the key and unlocks the front door once she hands it over to him. So far, he is showing more backbone that any of the others. Several of them, most notably Dave and Bonzo, seem quite ready for a change of underwear. In fact, Bonzo tries to sneak away once everyone walks through the front door, but Rhoda grabs his chickenshit ass and hauls him inside.

Inside they find the usual creepy looking abandoned house. Cobwebs abound, old furniture is everywhere and no doubt the place smells like a coffin. Odd screams and moans can still be heard, so they light some candles and decide to explore. Again, all we need is a talking Great Dane and this would be a totally different show. There are a few false scares derived from the kids bumping into things, knocking things over and what not, but no real ghosts manifest themselves immediately. Bonzo’s hat levitates at one point and I am left wondering if that was done for comic effect or was supposed to be the result of ghostly interference. Dave is such a nervous wreck he decides he needs to sit down, and is practically swallowed by a chair. Lois sees the fireplace swivel but no one seems to believe her. Then all the candles seem to go out and then light again by themselves. One even floats through the air in order to give Hendry a little help in lighting up a cigarette. Gathered in one room, Hendry is going on again how there must be a rational explanation for it all. No sooner does he say that than an invisible force undoes his bow tie.

Next it seems some time has passed and everyone is huddled in chairs or on the couch sleeping. WTF? They decided to stay the night? What is wrong with coming back the next day? Won’t their parents be wondering where they are? A panel opens up and a monstrous hand appears and pinches Rhoda on the ass. She awakes and instantly blames Bonzo. Alphonso the bird gets in a few more wisecracks at this point. Hendry then wakes Stan and Lois in order to trade watch positions. They hear a weird scream and when Stan goes to investigate, Lois – who is sitting near the fireplace, vanishes momentarily when it swivels around again. This time however, it disgorged a monster from the other side before completing its revolution and returning Lois to the room. Keen observers will note that the monster suit has been recycled from The She Creature. Stan comes back but just accuses Lois of dreaming when she tries to explain what happened. Later, the monster snuggles up in a chair next to Dave, who thinks at first it is his hot girlfriend Amelia. When he touches the monster’s hand and feels the rough skin, he wakes fully and gets one of those goofy-frightened looks on his face before the scene fades out.

Now it is morning, and if you are wondering how the Dave-Monster situation was resolved – don’t. The movie will not address it, so it is best not to dwell on it. Dave seems ok in the morning and nothing is said of the incident so why the producers even put it in the film is questionable. A search of the house in daylight has turned up nothing odd and no evidence of a room behind the fireplace can be found. The place seems perfect for their needs and plans are made for a grand opening bash that very night. Hendry suggests a spook-themed ball, Stan gets the idea to charge admission to help raise a few bucks and Dave reveals that he will unveil the car he has been working on, named for his super hot girlfriend Amelia, at the party that night.

 

Note - It is at this point that the movie enters its final segment, so if any of you really feel the need to watch this film and not know the ending ahead of time, skip the rest of this section.

 

So night has come and the costume party is in full swing. That idiotic band is playing again, only now they are in cheap, cheezy costumes. We see that the one moron who was only shooting a gun off last time is now playing the bass guitar, while the guy who was playing that position is now just groovin’ to the tunes. The kids all dance and we get another horribly choreographed dance number with Bonzo and Rhoda dressed as skeletons. Zzzzzzz. I do have to say that Dave’s super hot girlfriend Amelia looks fantastic. She is wearing this tight-fitting one-piece cat suit that is supposed to make her look like a fish. All it does it highlight all her curves. Excuse me one moment while I wipe the drool off my keyboard. It mkes it very difficilt to type propeely.

Mr. Hendry is sure that whoever was trying to scare the group away the previous night will be turning up soon (well duh). The lights go out and a fake skeleton on a wire flies around the room, but this is just part of the festivities. I hope these people didn’t pay too much to get into this party.

Next, the most horrifying part of the film arrives. The segment that will surely send you screaming and running in madness. Yes, some moron gets up and starts singing a song called Tongue Tied. The credits for the film on the Internet Movie Data Base list this guy, Jimmie Maddin, as playing himself so I can only assume that he was some two-bit, flash-in-the-pan singer from that era. As the band begins to play, we see that the former bassist is now the saxophonist! Pick an instrument and stick with it already, man!

Mr. Hendry then recruits Stan to help him look for the spot where the “ghost” has been hanging out. I suppose the several thorough searches of the house so far just were not good enough. The band strikes up another tune and the dancing begins anew. The monster from the night before is seen descending the stairs into the crowd, only now he blends right in with the costumed kids. The monster begins dancing with Lois who is quickly distracted when Anita and the Creeps show up. They pay their admission fare and join in the dancing. Anita bumps into Lois at one point and the claws come out! Lois is tired of Anita and wants to know how she can be rid of her once and for all. Anita suggests – you got it, a race. Lois agrees and tells her to meet her outside so the others won’t know. They all depart out the front door. Since we won’t be seeing her anymore in this film, I must say that Anita is much sexier and better looking than Lois. She may supposed to be an utter bitch, but at she is at least one fine bitch!

Later, Hendry and Stan are still looking for a secret room when Lois returns. Stan grills Lois as to where she has been and she admits to racing Anita. Apparently she won the race, but we have to take her word for that as the film DOES NOT SHOW THE RACE!!! A film called Ghost of Dragstrip Hollow and when the climactic race occurs, we don’t even get to see the bloody thing! I feel ripped off! They showed the cheap race at the beginning of the film and the scene with Anastasia barreling down the road, but not the final confrontation between Lois and Anita? What a complete and total RIP!!!! Stan and Lois then head for the dance floor.

Time has now come for Dave to unveil his car and the curtain is lifted on The Homer. This piece of crap looks even worse than the wreck Homer designed on The Simpsons. I must give some credit to Dave, as his new car has an interactive vocal interface – decades ahead of Detroit. One must wonder why Dave’s invention never saw the light of day. Was he bought out or did he go for “a ride” with some representatives of the big auto companies? The world will never know. Anyway, they monkey around with the car for a while and we are treated to inane exchanges between Alphonso the bird and Amelia the car, the latter of which has a voice that sounds like the Frankenstein monster on steroids.

Anastasia is chosen to be the recipient of the first ride in the car and is quickly ushered over and into the contraption. Now, for some asinine reason, they ask the car if the house really is haunted, to which it says yes. Hold the phone! WHY are they asking the car? Suddenly it’s a vehicle and a databank? Then they ask it to reveal the ghost’s hiding place, but it refuses. Dave commands it to do so, so it turns and rolls towards the wall. A long protrusion on its hood (flagpole perhaps?) happens to hit the spot on the wall that triggers the fireplace to swivel open. When we see the spot that needs to be hit, I have to conclude that everyone here is a colossal idiot for not finding it earlier. Inside the secret room is machinery for transmitting sounds and creating other such spooky effects.

"Let's just see who it is under the mask.""Old man Smithers!!!"Hendry announces that it is time for the best costume award and tells everyone to remove his or her mask. Everyone does except the monster that has crashed the party. He is quickly subdued and in a true Scooby-Doo moment, has his mask removed. Inside is a balding man with a high-pitched voice. We learn that this guy used to work in the film industry portraying various monsters and was quite upset when he was discarded in favor of someone else on a new movie. This apparently is why the fool has taken to hanging out in this old house and making like a ghost. Any normal person would have just gotten drunk, but he felt the desire to haunt a place that NO ONE goes to! Idiot.

With the spook unmasked, the music starts up and the dancing begins again. Sadly this is another song that requires pistols to be fired at key points. However in the midst of the dancing, the very real ghost of John Abernathy the First shows up. Things come crashing to a halt as everyone stares wide-eyed at the specter, who walks towards Anastasia. She says that she always knew he was haunting the place and the ghost seems to vanish. Alphonso the annoying bird states that the ghost won’t be back, as the rock and roll music has driven him away for good (I understand perfectly). The music and dancing then resume as if nothing ever happened.

The End.

Yes, that is right, the movie ends right there. Pow. Over and done. Time to move on.

Would that be The Omega Man's little brother?
Move along. Nothing to see here.

 

Review

Before the mid 1950s, the protagonists in horror and science fiction films were almost always adults, be they knowledgeable scientists, devoted soldiers, fearless explorers, every day Joe Blows caught up in extraordinary and/or terrifying events or even shifty individuals out to benefit themselves by any means necessary. Somewhere along the line however, somebody noticed that the bulk of the audience flocking to such films was comprised of teenagers. Why not appeal to those youths even more by producing and marketing such films directly for that target audience?

James H. Nicholson, a sales manager for the RealArt Production Company, and Hollywood lawyer Samuel Z. Arkoff were the first to realize the ticket buying power of that teenage audience. They formed the American Releasing Corporation in 1954 in order to cater to that newly emerging youth market. Two years later the name was changed to American International Pictures, but the focus on youth-oriented action, comedy and horror films remained. Thus began thirty years of AIP films, categorized by low budgets, quick shooting schedules and all the problems that such measures usually beget. Still, in many cases the films were loaded with a sense of fun – the epitome of what the “B” movie represents in our day and age.

While Ghost of Dragstrip Hollow may not be remembered as one of their better efforts, nor will it be recalled as one of the worst, it can be said that this film fills a special niche – the comedy-horror, and it’s look at teen culture from that era is almost fascinating. Ghost of Dragstrip Hollow is the quintessential AIP film: cheap and quick. Things such as story, characterization, drama, action and relatively cool-looking FX were left by the wayside in order to churn these things out. Why bother with such things when the kids paying to see the film would be equally satisfied with cute girls, fast cars and the occasional spook with some Rock ‘n’ Roll thrown into the mix for good measure? The ingredients for many movies from American International Pictures were basically the same, yet they managed to produce a variety of flicks that are still loved to this day. At a time when the big studios were spending major bucks to lure TV viewers back into the theater, AIP was making a killing because they knew what the core audience wanted, and they delivered. This simple method was the epitome of the idea of supply and demand.

The Storyline.
One of the first things that came to mind after watching this movie was how it resembled the Police Academy movies. No, there was not a hulking ex-football player, a timid woman, an over zealous gun-loving quick draw or a guy who specialized in making sound effects with his voice…though there was Alphonso the annoying parrot, who did do his impersonation of a few different things. No, how it reminded me of the Police Academy movies was in how it was structured. There really didn’t seem to be a strong central plot. It was more of a general idea in which to go while the film showcased one set piece and skit after another. There really was no logic to how the film unfolded and the viewer can often get the sense that they have missed something, the way the narrative leap frogs around. Since the film is rather short, and is also filled with musical numbers, this really doesn’t present that much of a problem. Still, don’t expect a finely tuned and carefully crafted piece of cinema. This is an AIP film after all.

The film is hard to describe at times. Despite the title and the haunted house towards the end, it really isn’t a horror picture. Instead, it is a teen comedy that throws a few horror elements into a story about cars and racing, but these are played more for comedic effect rather than scares. The plot is almost non-existent and the quest to find a new hangout for the club doesn’t come up all that often. In place of that, we get a series of scenes that are used to draw the teen audience in, by showcasing how misunderstood they are by adults. This generation gap is the source of much of the comedy in the first half of the movie. Mr. Cavendish personifies the adult world who just doesn’t “dig” the new youth, while the character of Mr. Hendry is utilized to convey the idea that despite the differences, the teens are not that hard to comprehend. All that is needed is a little communication.

Characterizations & Acting.
The kids in the film also are much different than teens in similar movies. The Zenith Club is not a collection of hoodlums out to stir up trouble. On the contrary, they seem devoted to following their hotrod passion within the law. They are also well mannered and polite towards their elders, which I have to believe is the movie going to bat for the youth of the 50’s. Sure, some kids will always be polite, but others will always be trouble, no matter what decade you’re talking about. However, I do have to believe that if this film was made today, these kids would be smokers, drinkers and would be screwing their way through half the film. In other words, normal teens. The really artificial thing about these kids is that the actors do not appear to be the ages they are portraying, but this was almost an epidemic back in those days.

The film really does take its time in going anywhere and several of the main characters are not even named until a significant way into the movie. The large cast of characters is a detriment at times, as it really does not allow for all of them to get fleshed out beyond the stereotypes – geek, clown, etc. Even the lead characters get very little in the way of development, going through the motions because it is what is expected of them in such a film, rather than from any sense of characterization or motivation. Still, they do somehow leave their mark on you, despite their brief time on screen. At the end I was left with a desire to see more adventures from this group, but such escapades never did materialize. Too bad.

As for the acting involved…don’t worry about being subjected to the equivalent of a high school drama production just because these are teens we’re dealing with here. No, the fact that these “teens’ are all in their twenties (and some are damn near in their thirties) means that the actors had a modicum of talent. There was no way in hell they were ever gonna find themselves on stage at the Oscars unless they were severely lost, but they still manage to pull things off adequately enough.

FX.
Not much. Lots of rear screen projection, dubbed in sounds and sped up footage to represent cars racing, some on set tricks to make inanimate objects seem to move and one lame effect to make a ghost walk out of a painting and surprise a bunch of dancing fools. Like I said, not much. By far the biggest trick was fooling audiences back then that those actors were really teenagers.

Music.
A major facet to this movie is the music, and in a teen-oriented production from this time period, you just know it’s gonna be Rock ‘n’ Roll. The film has several musical scenes, with either a band playing or someone singing and almost always someone dancing. Depending on your viewpoint, these moments will either cause the film to grind to a halt – and considering how slow things are moving already, is a impressive feat unto itself, or offer up a nearly inexhaustible source of laughter and ridicule. Remove all the music and dancing from the sixty-five minute running time and you’ll end up with a much shorter film (apparently by nearly fifteen minutes). The original songs are not bad for the most part, though a couple get played more than once and may end up grating on the nerves by film’s end.

Technique.
In a word, sloppy. In two words, sloppy and uneven. In three words…well, you get the idea. I think this film was made in about two or three days and was edited in about five hours. Not only does the “story” jump around a lot, but also things change from shot to shot, making for some piss poor continuity. I know it is not a major problem and should be expected in low budgets films like this, and call me anal for getting annoyed by it, but when a character’s arm or leg is in one spot in a particular shot, it had better be in the same damn place two seconds later in the next shot taken from a slightly different angle. And when a character moves back and forth between two very different locations over several shots which play out during the space of about ten seconds, I get really annoyed.

One of the highlights of the movie is the wild teen slang of the period. As someone who was born a full ten years after this film was released and whose adolescent years were in the 1980’s, I have to wonder…did kids really talk like that back then or was the dialog embellished to make it more appealing? One almost needs a translation dictionary when watching this picture. It’s hard to imagine that anyone ever talked in such a fashion and I often wonder if much of the slang was really that prevalent in modern life or just one of those pop culture phenomena that everyone knows about, but no one ever uses. My own father was a teen during those years but he never spoke of using slang like that.

Summation.
In the end, despite being an AIP cheapie, and not having much to set it apart from similar productions, Ghost of Dragstrip Hollow is an entertaining and sometimes funny romp through the teenage wasteland of the late 50’s. There is no teen angst here to wade through, but just plain, good old-fashioned silliness and fun. While viewed through modern eyes the lack of scares and the dated humor might seem tedious, fans of such movies or just those who are feeling nostalgic for the “olden” days will still get a kick out of this one.

 

Expect To See:
Comic Relief
Comic Relief - Take your pick. This film is loaded with characters that would normally be the single comic relief character in another film. Here they are EVERYWHERE.
Dancing
Dancing - LOTS of dancing here. And I mean a lot. With several musical intermissions and various people singing, the opportunity for dancing is never ignored. Never.
Ghosts
Ghosts - One fake and one very real ghost. The real one is scared away by rock music no less! And here I thought it took nuclear accelerators mounted on one's back!
Haunted Houses
Haunted Houses - One big haunted house with all the standard amenities: Swiveling fireplace, secret rooms, spinning paintings, floating candles, eeries sounds and one ghost.
Hotrods
Hotrods - When not showing dancing teens, this film highlights lots of cool looking cars. Just don’t expect to see much racing. In fact, after the first three minutes, you won’t see any at all.
Monsters
Monsters - We see one monster roaming around the Flint Canyon place. In reality, it isn’t a real monster, but the film kinda plays it up as if it is one.
Nature Run Amok
Nature Run Amok - This aspect isn’t in the film too much, but once Alphonso the annoying parrot enters the film, this icon could not be ignored. He is obviously a mutant of some kind.
Rock 'n' Roll
Rock 'n' Roll - Yes, lots of Rock and Roll to get all that dancing into high gear. The songs may have been considered good at the time, but now they just sound…sad.

 

Movie Stats:
Shadow's Commentary:

Actual ghosts seen: 1
Actual drag races seen: 1
Songs: 9
Gunshots fired during songs: 9
Percentage of movie accompanied by musical numbers: 24.23%
Birds with an above average IQ: 1
People with a below average IQ: Too many
Deaths in film: 0
Suicides in audience: several

06 Mins – Wait…did he just compliment a teenager on her boobs?!
09 Mins - For the love of god, somebody gong these fools quick!
36 Mins - Wow, those repo guys are damn tough.
37 Mins - A woman who knows nothing about how to drive. Shocking.
39 Mins - The inspiration for Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride.
43 Mins - Standby on the Scooby Snacks.
59 Mins - That car just appeared out of nowhere.
63 Mins - Why you meddling kids!
64 Mins - The endest man!


Shadow's Drinking Game: Every time a band strikes up a tune, people start to sing or somebody begins playing a record…take a drink. A good, long drink while you’re at it.

 

Images Click for larger image

"So Zsa Zsa, where were you
heading this time?"


Sadly, the girls failed to get a
recording contract after refusing
to change their name from
White Chicks With Spunk
.



"Oh, damn. There are two guys in
suits approaching the
door with Watchtowers."


 
"You behave or I’ll feed you
to my pussy."

Victoria’s Secret’s abandoned
"teen angel" ad campaign.


The authorities began cracking
down on sax offenders.


Own your own Ghostbusters
franchise today! 

 
"Oh my god! How many beers did
I drink last night?!"

This must be where Larry Buchanan
got his cost-saving ideas from.

"So, this is where you hid
your porno stash."

Hey! This place is haunted by
the ghost of Abraham Lincoln!

As opposed to the boys' drag contest,
which was fatal...when Divine and
Dame Edna tag teamed Eddie Izzard.

 

Immortal Dialog

Lois telling her parents about the club’s impending party.

Lois: “But the club has a big bash coming up.”
Mr. Cavendish: “A bash? That sounds positively indecent”

Shadow’s comment: The only bash I was hoping for was this guy’s head on the pavement.


Mr. Cavendish catches Tommy and Sandra necking on the porch.

Mr. Cavendish: coughs
Tommy: “We…uh…thought we’d come out for a breath of fresh air.”
Mr. Cavendish: “Where did you think you’d find it, down her throat?”

Shadow’s comment: Wait til he tries to take her temperature.


Bonzo in the haunted house.

Bonzo: “You know, I used to think I was chicken. Now I’m sure!”

Shadow’s comment: After this, Bonzo grew a goatee, became a beatnik and changed his name to Shaggy.

 

Keep In Mind
  • No doubt due to radioactive fallout, teens of the 1950’s looked like they were in their mid twenties.
  • In the 50’s even nerds had hot girlfriends.
  • Some mechanics love to boast about the size of their “driveshafts.”
  • Cops can track cars across the city as if they were big game.
  • Pistols can be used as musical instruments.
  • Parrots are much more intelligent …and annoying, than they initially appear.
  • Teen girls are easily amused.
  • It is quite easy to fall asleep while standing up.
  • Never having driven before need not keep a person from displaying Michael Schumacher-type skills.
  • Spending the night in a haunted house without informing anyone as to where you will be, makes perfect sense.
  • Naming your car after your girlfriend is a good idea only when the vehicle in question doesn’t look like a wreck.
  • The world’s first artificial intelligence was a beat up car built by a nerdy teen.
  • Ghosts hate Rock ‘n’ Roll.



This Film & Me

Before a month ago I had never even heard of this film, which considering my love of 50’s horror and horror-related films, is somewhat surprising. There are very few genre films of the era I have not seen, and fewer still that I have never heard of, but every now and then one such film comes along, such as this particular flick. I found it while perusing through the DVD section of my local Best Buy when I happened upon an entire shelf of MGM’s Midnite Movies, now in "double features" – a single disc with two movies. I wasn’t exactly loaded with cash that day and was unable to scoop them all up like I would have done under normal circumstances. Since all the other volumes contained films I had already seen, I opted to purchase the one volume that contained a movie I had never seen – this one. I actually waited a few days before deciding to watch it as I was neck deep in researching another film for this site, but when I did sit down to take a look, I got pretty much what I was expecting – a cheap, campy 50’s film aimed at teens. Needless to say, I loved it despite its low grade pedigree.

Shadow's rating: Five Tombstones



The Good

  • Plenty of cute chicks
  • Amelia's tight clothes
  • Lots of fun
  • Short running time
  • Cameo by often unsung FX pioneer Paul Blaisdell

The Bad

  • Actors pushing 30 playing teens
  • Horrible musical numbers
  • Mr. Cavendish: idiot
  • Serious shortage of ghost action
  • Climactic drag race occurrs off screen
  • Unbelievable law-abiding teens

The Ugly

  • You may need a translator for all that 50's slang
  • Worst. Band. Ever
  • Lousy continuity
  • Alphonso the annoying parrot
  • Too many actors look directly into camera

 

 

Review Round-Up
Check out other reviews for this film!
- Internet Movie Database - movie Review Query Engine


Home - Review IndexRatingsContent Icons - Links