Wednesday, February 13, 2013

THE BEATNIKS - Paul Frees - "Crazy, Huh?" (1960)

Well, it's time for "Beat Week Down In The D With Eegah!!" And to get us going is tonight's feature presentation, "The Beatniks!" Now I really wish I would stop renting movies from Netflix to only later find out I could have downloaded them for free at The Internet Archive, but oh, well, better late than never as they say! At least it makes life easier for all you crazy cats and kittens out there "living by the code of Rebellion and Mutiny!"

Now I like this movie, but I do have one ax to grind, and that is with the title! By my standards, the people in this movie are not beatniks, but just a bunch of punk 1950's thugs! I mean like, you'd never find Maynard G. Krebs acting like this, and there's no coffee, no acoustic guitars and no dripping candles or beat poetry either!

"The Beatniks" was pop culture genius Paul Frees only attempt at writing and directing a movie! We've gone this route before, but I'll tell you again, that life would not exist today as we know it without the work of Paul Frees! Now most of Paul's work was as a voiceover artiste, but the scope of his work spreads far and near! There's no place to start or end so I'll just hit some of the high spots! In the cartoon world, Paul Frees was the voice of Bozo The Clown, Ignatz Mouse, Barney Google, Boris Badenov, Captain Peachfuzz, Barney Bear, and Wally Walrus! In the 1960's Beatles' cartoons, he was the voice of John Lennon and George Harrison! He was the the voice of Francis the Talking Mule in "Francis In The Haunted House," and he was the voice of The President in "When Worlds Collide," the voice of the second radio reporter in "War Of The Worlds," the voice of the Alien in "Earth Vs. The Flying Saucers," the voice of the Police Chief in "Rodan", the narrator in "The Monolith Monsters," he overdubbed several voices in "The H-Man," he was the narrator in "The World's Greatest Sinner," and he dubbed several voices in this movie, and that's only up to 1962! Paul worked until 1987!!!!

This shot is nothing more than a shout out to our pal Charlie!

This gang of "Beatniks" is so uncool, they keep robbing the same little Mom and Pop store over and over!

Personally I make a point of avoiding people who talk to you with their head cricked over to one side like this! I find it terribly disturbing and annoying! This is Peter (THE CRAWLING HAND) Breck as gang member Mooney!

The leader of this gang of "Beatniks" is Tony Travis as Eddy Crane! Where's the shades, the goatee, and/or the Beret? Even though he was the star of this film, Tony's a difficult guy to find out much information about!

Eddy belts out a little number called something like "Sideburns Don't Need Your Sympathy" to his girl Karen (IT CONQUERED THE WORLD) Kadler as Iris!  Charles (THE THIRTEENTH HOUR) Delaney as Talent Scout Bayliss catches Eddy's karaoke routine and thinks he just might have some talent worth cashing in on! The songs in "The Beatniks" are all written by Paul Frees, and I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if he is actually the one singing them! Another one of Paul's credits was he sung "The Darktown Strutters' Ball" in "The Abominable Dr. Phibes!"

So here's the whole gang: Peter (112 Episodes of The Big Valley) Breck as the crazed Mooney, Karen (13 Demon Street) Kadler  as Iris, Tony (Jamboree!) Travis as Eddy Crane, Sam (Between Heaven And Hell) Edwards as Red, and Bob (The Obligatory Decapitation Finale) Wells as Chuck!

Eddy goes on Channel 5's popular TV show, "Rocket To Stardom" in L.A. and the kids really go crazy for his schmaltzy style! Next thing you know, it's record contract city!!

But Mooney and Iris and the rest of the guys ain't taking it that swell. They think Eddy's going to bug out on them!

I just happen to like this transition shot from inside and outside of the Hollywood Inn where the gang is living it, and tearing it up, all at Eddy's expense!!

Even though Eddy was perfectly content to just sit in the hotel room and drink a couple of beers, the gang guilt trips Eddy into going out with them and raising some Hell just like the good old days, and Mooney's big mouth gets them in a lot of trouble with the Charlie the local barkeep!

First Mooney sucker punches Charlie with a liquor bottle............

.............then he ends up murdering the poor bastard!!! So much for Eddy's career! Moral of the story? Don't have asshole friends!!

Eddy had fallen for Bayliss's dollface secretary Joyce (The Neanderthal Man) Terry, and tries to tell her that he's just no good, and that their hope for a relationship and a normal life was a rocket to oblivion from the start!

Back in the hotel room, it's all doom and gloom, Iris is starting to get the idea that Eddy doesn't dig her that much anymore, Red got shot by that barkeeper, Eddy doesn't know Mooney killed the guy, and he's scheduled to cut a record the next day!! What a mess!! Wow, just look how far that boom mike is hanging down into the scene!

In the studio everybody's buzzed about how popular Eddy is going to be since they have no clue what deep shit Mooney has gotten Eddy into! The photo on the right shows "Love Is A Thief" being cut directly onto acetate!

While the recording session is going on, Bayliss volunteers to go back to the hotel room to try and talk some sense into Eddy's friends, but instead ends up getting shanked by Mooney!

After that little incident, Mooney flips out completely, and goes on the lam to nowheresville!

Eddy is pretty dense, but he finally sees the light, and tracks Mooney down where they have the final rumble! Eddy kicks Mooney's worthless ass and then gets hauled off by the cops! Life just ain't fair!


gog magog said...

My favorite scene in this movie is when the hero is getting discovered by the record company and Monney comes in, saying "I can sing too, y'know..." wherein he proceeds to mumble "Hunka-dunka-doo-doo-dum..." before shuffling off sideways and banging into a wall.
I saw this flick on internet archive as well. Worth every penny I paid for it!

Exeter said...

I've got this one!
It's on VHS tape #..... Oh crap.
It's one of those without a number!
It's in one of these boxes....

Grant said...

I'm guessing he was embarrassed by it later on, but I think Peter Breck was really entertaining in this.

The MST3K showing of it caused some of their biggest running jokes - "I'm gonna moon ya, man" and "I killed that fat barkeep!" And of course, "hut up, Iris."

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