Here’s yet another in a seemingly unending line of Johnny Legend compilations. This time the subject is juvenile delinquents and in addition to the usual collection of movie trailers, this one features condensed versions of JD movies, theatrical ads, government short subjects, and church messages too.
First up is “A Boy in Court”, a fairly accurate look at the juvenile justice system in the 40’s and 50’s. Next is a WWII era government sponsored film called “The Birth of Juvenile Delinquency” that actually BLAMES juvenile delinquency on the war effort! (Must’ve been their attempt at reverse psychology.) J. Edgar Hoover of all people actually shows up during this short to try to set the record straight on juvenile delinquency. Then we get a pair of movie trailers for the JD flicks Teen-Age Crime Wave and Curfew Breakers (“Shocking But True!”). Next up is “Satan Was a Teenager” a church film about some rich parents who turn to their black nanny for guidance about how to handle their delinquent son. She suggests turning to God for the answers. Then there’s condensed versions of a Teenage Devil Dolls and High School Caesar (the rocking theme song is heard), that tells you everything you need to know in about three minutes or so. Trailers for Ed Wood’s The Violent Years and Married Too You are next, followed by Arch Hall, Jr. singing a song from Wild Guitar and another condensed version of a teen flick, this time Roger Corman’s Carnival Rock. Then there’s a trailer for The Giant Gila Monster and Teenagers from Outer Space intercut with spook show ads and Tab Hunter talking about mental illness. Trailers for The Night Holds Terror and Rock Baby Rock are next, and a recapping of The Violent Years rounds out the collection.
As much as I enjoy these Johnny Legend compilations, I have to admit, this one left me a little cold. I liked seeing the government shorts and some of the trailers were really cool, but I didn’t like the condensed three minute movies. I’d rather watch the whole movie than to see it edited down ADD style and randomly tossed in. This brings me to another gripe I had with Teenage Confidential: The editing. The flick was edited so haphazardly that you never knew what was what.
The trailers were easily the best part of the compilation for me. If Legend had loaded the flick with movie trailers (I could’ve even handled more shorts because they were entertaining too) instead of peppering them throughout, this could’ve been a lot of fun. Next time Johnny, drop the three minute summations of the movies and just give us the whole thing.