Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Pusher (1960)

Director: Gene Milford

Starring: nobodys

More Info: IMDB

Tagline: SEE girls corrupted by "joy dust"! AND "You don't have to pay for this jolt...not in cash." AND "Daddy! If you love me...you'll get me a 'fix'!" AND "Here's some news for you, cop...Your daughter's mixed up in this!" AND The Jolting Story of Today's Thrill-Crazy Kids! AND SEE a cop find his daughter with the "habit"!

Plot: A detective investigating the murder of a heroin addict discovers that there is a connection between the junkie and his fiance, who is his boss' daughter.

My Rating: 6.5/10

Would I watch it again? I'd rather have some "joy dust"

How 'bout those taglines? Every one of 'em's a winner. It seems like the taglines that really grab you and entice you to watch the movie died with the 70s. Any one of those is enough to get me to watch even though I'm fully aware that the movie's gonna suck. Well, guess what? This one doesn't! Almost.

It starts out with a bang of sorts. Right after the opening credits with some tasty jazz licks courtesey of composer, the AWESOME, Raymond Scott, we get the first victim.

Sweet, eh? Yeah and then we meet the good guys (the detectives) who are on the square but hard-nosed side. Then there's The Pusher played cool & sleazy by Felice Orlandi (this guy rocks). He's a piece of work. This isn't really the exploitation flick I was hoping for. It's got your moralizing and social commentary. There's a kid the Pusher uses to sell dope and his mom shows up to take him home, scolding him. The Pusher says to himself, "Mothers should take care of their children."

One of the things that attracted me to this was that John "Gomez Addams" Astin was listed in the cast. I looked for him but didn't see him. Must've been an extra somewhere. I was left disappointed with my face in hands.

We're treated to a really good crime/drug story up until the point where the lead detective's daughter, Laura, who's hooked on the stuff and dad locks her in her room until she kicks it. This goes on for about 15 minutes. Then pops catches The Pusher after he kills someone else who's in the way - this Latin lovely...

And when pops gets home, Laura is cured, no longer angry at daddy and is ready to take care of her detective fiance. WTF? If they had dropped the "get clean" segment and kept on with the crime detecting with some more Pusher action this would have been a top-shelf, gritty gem of a crime picture. Instead they've got to have the super duper happy ending for all of the parents in the audience. Whatever. But it was fun while it lasted. Now if I can just get my hands on some of that "joy dust"...

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