"13 Frightened Girls" just might well be the biggest WTF motion picture I've ever seen! If not the winner, it's in the running, and once again, it's all courtesy of Mr. William Castle!
The movie starts innocently enough at Miss Pittford's Academy for Young Ladies in Switzerland! Miss Pittford looks a lot like a guy we went to high school with, and was played by Norma Varden, who had been acting since 1932, and I'm sure you've seen her on one TV show or another!!
The cartoony music this go round is composed by Mr. Van Alexander, seems William had a penchant for using music by guys named Van and Von! Van Alexander wrote some all time classic songs that are almost like folk songs by today's standards, with titles like "A-Tisket, A-Tasket" and "Where, Oh Where Has My Little Dog Gone?"("Oh where oh where can he be?")He was also the orchestra leader on "The Wacky World Of Jonathan Winters" TV show, among many other accomplishments!
The star of the film was Kathy Dunn as this fairly obnoxious young lady named Candace "Candy" Hull! This would be Kathy's sole film outing. She did some TV and stage, but I guess this one movie was enough for her! I know it was enough for me!!
Candy has been rewarded by Miss Pittford for getting first place in Latin, so she gets to drive the bus!! Everything is going okay until this large tarantula drops down on the windshield of the bus and scares the crap out of Candy, and she almost loses control of the whole situation!
I think Miss Pittford must have had a couple of screws loose in order to be able to allow a 16 year old girl to drive a bus full of her international classmates on a curvy Swiss mountain road like this, especially when it is actually in California!!!!
Vladimir Nabokov's "Lolita" has nothing on Candy as she swarms all over Murray Hamilton as Spy Guy Wally Sanders, and your mind says, what kind of a Disney movie is this? Looks like Disney, sounds like Disney, but smells like William Castle!! Murray Hamilton has a face you've seen a million times from Mr. Death to Mr. Robinson!
Enter Hugh Marlowe as Candy's Dad, Diplomat John Hull! Hugh Marlowe was the star of "World Without End" and "Earth Vs The Flying Saucers" just for starters!
Joyce(Men Into Space)Taylor plays the role of Soldier, the voice of reason, and Wally's main squeeze when he isn't fighting off Candy! What the Hell kind of name is Soldier? Just getting weirder!!
Filmed in Pathécolor, Candy's outfit is almost electric!!
Candy's best friend from school is Mai-Ling, the neice of the Red Chinese diplomat to the U.S. Mai-Ling was portrayed by Lynne Sue Moon in her one of only four roles. The girls are having fun dancing to some American Imperialistic music when.........
.......They are interrupted by Mai-Ling's uncle and his goon squad! Uncle Kang was played by the Asian everybody loved to hate in the 60's, Khigh Dhiegh in one of his many roles as Lu Ming, Wo Fat, Tijo, Khan, Chung, Chong or Fu Cheng!!!
Candy starts snooping around, and getting into things no 16 year old should know about!!
She follows the trail of blood through the kitchen and into the meat locker where she finds the special of the day, sweet and sour dead man on hook!
On top of finding a dead body, there is also even one much larger problem, the dead man was stabbed with her father's letter opener!!
Uh, Oh! Somehow, just somehow, Candy manages to make it back and still avoid Kang and any undue questioning from Mai-Ling!
Garth Benton as sleazeball playboy Peter Van Hagen falls to his just reward after seducing, drugging and attempting to murder Candy!!
The whole world is now abuzz about a secret agent known only as "Kitten!" We'll just let you guess who that might be!!
But I've just scratched the surface of all the nutty international intrigue going on in this movie, but we've still got time for the Hull family's trusted chauffeur, Charlie Briggs as Spider, to try yet another attempt at eliminating Candy, this time with a car bomb!! C'mon guys, she's annoying as all get out, but she's just a little girl!!
It's pretty difficult to get all 13 girls into one shot, but that's okay, it's not really about very many of them anyway!!
Ringmaster Castle shows up at the end with yet another trick up his sleeve! So that's our tribute to William Castle, please sign the death register on your way out!!!