The Video Vacuum (thevideovacuum) wrote,
The Video Vacuum
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THE VIOLENT YEARS (1956) ****

A gang of well-to-do schoolgirls go out at night and hold up gas stations. Since the ringleader is also the daughter of the police chief, she uses her old man to stay one step ahead of the coppers. After riding high on the success of several robberies, the girls get roped into trashing their school for some well-paying communists. When the cops show up, the gals start shooting and two of the girls wind up dead. In the meantime our heroine also kills a cop, which seals the deal to her road to ruin.

The Violent Years is one of my favorite Juvenile Delinquent movies of the 50’s. It was written by none other than the man himself, Ed Wood. It may not have been directed by Wood, but it has his fingerprints all over it. (Yes, there is a scene that relies heavily on an angora sweater.) Not only that; but a few of Wood’s cronies also participated in the making of the film. Timothy Farrell, a veteran of many Wood movies, narrates the film (as well as has a small role) and Wood’s usual cameraman William C. Thompson also shot the picture.

I think The Violent Years is a terrific little flick. It’s often neglected, overlooked, and underappreciated compared to the rest of Ed Wood’s work. Sure, it’s not flat out outrageous like some of his most memorable films, yet it has a very distinct charm all its own. From the great introduction scene of the girls, to the final scene where the judge chastises their parents, it never fails to deliver on the J.D goods. And if you’ve seen a lot of this type of movie, you’ll be sure to appreciate the unrelentingly grim ending.

The standout scene of course comes when the girl gang holds up a necking couple at gunpoint. First they strip the gal and tie her up. Then they hold the gun on the guy and force him to have their way with them. This scene is pure demented bliss. If nothing else, it firmly cements The Violent Years in the upper echelon of Ed Wood cinema.

The Violent Years is on The Video Vacuum Top Ten films of 1956 at the Number 3 spot, which puts it in between The Searchers and The Wild and the Wicked.

Tags: cult, ed wood, v
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