1954 | B&W | 1 Hr 11 Min | Crime | NR | Howco Productions Inc
Edward D. Wood Jr.
I'm always looking for a good reason to watch an Ed Wood Jr. movie call me silly but I like the guy and Plan 9 is one of my favorite movies! So when the Midnite Drive-In decided to run a blog-a-thon for Noir films I found my opportunity to jump in. Plus I do not watch anywhere near enough Noir/Crime movies.
Dubbed "The Worlds Worst Director" Ed Wood Jr has given (To Some of Us) gems like "Glen or Glenda" "Bride of the Monster" and "Night of the Ghouls" it comes as not surprise that he tried his hand at a Crime picture "Jail Bait" in doing his best to keep poverty row picture's style alive and well. So how does this slow paced micro-budget flick pan out when this blogger is soon going to tell you...
|Love the Name Inspector Johns|
Now the main bad guys are played by Clancy Malone and Timothy Farrell both have close ties to Woods. In fact, Farrell is in the movie The Violent Years written by Woods and is one of those I'm looking to track down and watch as well. Farrell is not too bad in this movie and plays the cool cat bad guy pretty well.
The locations used for Jail Bait was Southern California town that was shot at night. According to one reviewer, this perpetual night and darkness give the film an "otherworldly ambiance". The interior shots are pretty plain and boring I know Woods was cheap but wow things could not be any duller than this (see picture above). And the timeline is all over the place in an opening scene they start taking and you think to yourself is this later in the timeline? Then somebody will say I can not believe it has been two weeks with no led? What? What just happened here? Sadly co-writer Alex Gordon gave this movie a much tighter structured storyline than most of Wood's other films. Yet that continuity ugh!
|My favorite character in the Movie|
And then there is this...
|(Sorry for the poor quilty this was a youtube grab)|
And let us talk about this shirtless wonder for just one moment, shall we? That well-chiseled man is none other than Steve Reeves B-Movie fans know him as the Italian speaking, Hercules. The film was the first film credit of Steve Reeves. He was previously a bodybuilder that went on to a notable film career. And... this was one of only two films where the voice of Reeves was used. The other was musical, comedy "Athena". All the rest of his films were Italian productions with his voice dubbed.
Crazy just plain crazy. This also leads me to believe that Woods had a knack finding new talent and signing old greats to his movies as well. Kind of reminds me of Charles Band or Loyd Kaufman.
Ok back to the review at hand Jail Bait has a simple plot for a Noir/ Crime film that I predicted the outcome pretty early so seasoned Noir fans beware as you will see it coming within a few minutes. But with a very likable cast and not so fast police car chases this movie is not half bad, but the other half like the soundtrack and continuity bring this one down quite a bit. I'm glad I watched it and can check it off the back log as done! If you're a Woods purest you need to watch this one if you are a Noir fan you might want to skip it I'm sure there are better crime movies for the 30's/40's out there to watch. I will be back tomorrow with one more Noir film to the blogathon so fingers crossed it will be a much better viewing.
|2 Smoking Guns out of 5|