Monday, January 25, 2016

The Beat Generation (1959)

Director: Charles F. Haas

Writers: Richard Matheson, Lewis Meltzer

Composer: Albert Glasser

Starring: Steve Cochran, Mamie Van Doren, Ray Danton, Fay Spain, Louis Armstrong, Margaret Hayes, Jackie Coogan, James Mitchum, Cathy Crosby, Ray Anthony, Dick Contino, Irish McCalla, Vampira, Billy Daniels, Maxie Rosenbloom, Charles Chaplin Jr., Norman Grabowski, Bil Hickman, William Schallert, Guy Stockwell, Sid Melton

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Behind the Weird "Way-Out" World of the Beatniks!

Plot: A detective is assigned to track down and capture a crazed serial rapist.

My rating: 7.5/10

Will I watch it again?  Yes.

Man, what a cast!  The film starts off with Louis Armstrong and his band performing the title song and it's off to the fun from there. The Beatniks get made fun of plenty but without this being a comedy.  It's part social commentary, crime, drama, serial raping, action, music interludes, poetry and abortion discussion.  It's a wild scene!  Can you dig it?  This picture looks like it's just another cheapie crime film with some weirdo kids hanging out at a coffee house but it quickly turns into trying to catch a Beatnik serial rapist doing the deed on the detective's wife and all kinds of unexpected shit starts happening.  This is a wild picture.  What's more, it's tackling some really heavy subjects and throws in some fun music numbers to mix it up a bit.  Did you see that cast?  Ray Danton?  Mamie Van Doren?  Louis Armstrong?  Vampira?  And that's just getting started.  There are a lot of familiar faces in this thing.  It's pretty well acted.  Some of the Beatniks over do it a little but that's OK.  They're playing stereotypes of the day.  The ending just.  Keeps.  Going.  And.  Doesn't.  Stop.  The filmmakers throw an incredible amount of material in the span of 95 minutes.  You really get your money's worth.  I taped this off of TV eons ago.  I see now that it's on Blu-ray for around twenty bucks.  As soon as it drops below fifteen I'm picking it up and showing it to the gang.  They're going to love it.  Why have I never seen this before?   I never realized I missed so much.  Find this one and watch it.  It really is out there.  Watch the video below.  The rapist is about to do the number on the detective's wife while the detective is at a beat club waiting for the rapist to show up.  That's Vampira reading the poetry holding a rat and the bald guy sitting next to the detective is Jackie "Uncle Fester" Coogan!!!!

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