November 10th, 2008

FUGITIVE GIRLS (1974) ****

A quintet of female prisoners escapes from jail and take off into the desert and get involved in all kinds of trouble.  They steal clothes from a bunch of dirty hippies, roll an unsuspecting motorist, battle some bikers, and rape a cripple’s wife while he watches helplessly.  It all ends with a big fight at a gravel pit.

 

Fugitive Girls is really stupid and cheap but that didn’t stop me from enjoying it immensely.  It was written by none other than the man himself, Ed Wood and features enough trademark Wood moments to make it a blast for his fans.  There are the patented Ed Wood driving scenes where the film cuts from day to night and back to day again within the same scene.  There’s the scene where the horny female criminals rape an unwilling man by the side of the road that’s almost exactly like the one found in Wood’s The Violent Years.  And best of all, Wood himself co-stars in not one but TWO roles! 

 

I also liked the fact that Wood and director A.C. Stephens employed the five women’s naked bodies to their fullest potential and used ANY excuse for them to take their clothes off, no matter how flimsy.  (My favorite was when they had to strip off all of their clothes to check them for lice).  The prison itself was freaking hilarious.  The budget was so low that Stephens couldn’t afford to film the movie in an actual prison so he filmed it in a goddamn summer camp instead!  Pure fucking genius!  And come to think of it, this may be the only Women in Prison movie in which you never got to see one damn prison guard!

 

Wood and Stephens also collaborated on the timeless classic Orgy of the Dead.  Co-star Rene Bond also starred in Wood’s Necromania.

 

AKA:  Five Loose Women.  AKA:  Hot on the Trail.  AKA:  Women’s Penitentiary 8.

LASERBLAST (1978) ** ½

Aliens that look like giant shell-less turtles come to Earth and blow up a green skinned dude with a laser gun attached to his arm.  A misfit teen named Billy (Kim Milford) finds the gun and it turns him into a green faced alien who gets his kicks by blowing up random shit (like a Star Wars billboard), as well as the cops and bullies that are always on his back.  Eventually, the Teenage Mutant Alien Turtles come back and kill off Billy, effectively putting an end to his reign of terror. 

 

Laserblast is goofy as shit.  From the turtle aliens that only speak in gibberish to the gun that has the ability to make Billy resemble an emaciated version of the Incredible Hulk, nothing in Laserblast makes much sense.  I don’t know; I kinda dug it though.  The aliens were so damn silly looking that I cracked up every time they were on screen.  That may not have been the intended effect, but to me there is no such thing as a “bad” laugh; especially in a cruddy, low budget, 70’s sci-fi movie.  The scenes of the scrawny green-skinned Milford running around town blowing things up were good for a few chuckles as well.

 

Alas, the flick grinds to a halt whenever Milford isn’t Laserblasting the shit out of something.  The scenes of a dumbass Fed pussyfooting around the desert looking for Billy really drags things down and the stuff with the annoying comic relief cracker cops is quite tedious.  The film really needed more scenes of the dorky aliens to keep up the nutty momentum necessary for Laserblast to be a classic.  As it is, there are only enough hilarious scenes of screwy looking space creatures to only warrant a ** ½ rating. 

 

The performances are wildly uneven.  While the flick gets some mileage out of extended cameos by old pros such as Roddy McDowall and Keenan Wynn, they don’t stick around long enough to make much of an impression.  Milford is bland as all get out in the lead and just looks plain stupid in the green-faced alien make-up.  That’s okay though because I’ll take any chance I can get to ogle the luscious Cheryl “Rainbeaux” Smith.  And say what you will about this movie, but it’s the only flick I can think of in which Eddie Deezen plays a BULLY, so that’s immediately worth SOMETHING in my book.