TEENAGE DOLL - Roger Corman - "Tempted...Tarnished...Violently Thrown Aside! (1957)
Tonight's Saturday Night Special is a tribute to the filmmaking skills of Roger Corman entitled "Teenage Doll!"
My only gripe with this Roger Corman masterpiece is the title! It's not very indicative of what the film is really about! The TV title "The Young Rebels" or something even grittier would have probably generated more box office success!
The set designer for "Teenage Doll" was Robert Kinoshita, the man who created two of the most celebrated robots in cinema history, Tobar The Great, and Robby The Robot!!
Roger Corman is responsible for bringing us some of the best titles in all of Sci-Fi and Horror film history! "Teenage Doll" was his 17th film and was preceded by the classics "Monster From The Ocean Floor," "The Beast With A Million Eyes," "Day The World Ended," "It Conquered The World," "Attack Of The Crab Monsters," "Not Of This Earth," and "The Undead," and Roger was just getting rolling!! Amazingly enough, Roger Corman still has four movies coming out this year!!!!
The music throughout "Teenage Doll" was created by Walter Greene who wrote the music for a plethora of Woody Woodpecker, Chilly Willy, and Pink Panther cartoons etc etc!
"Teenage Doll" starts off with the death of a girl gang member!
The very innocent looking new girl in town as played by June Kenney as Barbara Bonney, is the one who gets pinned with the murder, but I'm not here to describe the plot of this film to you, I want to talk about the characters in the movie!
There are four people in "Teenage Doll" that have fairly small parts who would go on to be the heart and soul of quite a few of Roger Corman's films! Ed Nelson pulls double duty in this movie, as both this blind man, and as a cop! Ed was also in the Corman classics "Attack Of The Crab Monsters," Invasion Of The Saucer Men," "Teenage Cave Man," The Cry Baby Killer," "Night Of The Blood Beast," "The Brain Eaters," and of course, one of the main reasons we made a movie and created this blog, "A Bucket Of Blood!"
Fay Spain as Helen, the leader of the girl gang called "The Black Widows" and one of the stars of the movie was not part of the Corman stable! This scene that shows her living in filth with her little sister reminded me of the dirty little kid in the meth freak's house in "Breaking Bad!" Sadly, Fay left this world at the very young age of 49 from cancer!
In 1957, this shot was probably almost grounds to get an X rating, if they would have had ratings back then!
A 25 year old Barboura Morris had the small role of Janet, one of the gang girl's sister! Barboura was also in Corman's "Teenage Cave Man," "A Bucket Of Blood," "The Wasp Woman," "X: The Man With The X-Ray Eyes," "The Haunted Palace," "The Wild Angels," "The Trip," and "The Dunwich Horror!" Barboura also checked out way too early from cancer at the age of 43!
The dubiously coiffed Dorothy Neumann, as Barbara's Mom, Estelle Bonney, was also not part of the Corman crew, but did have the role of Anastasia Abernathy in "The Ghost Of Dragstrip Hollow," and was 'the landlady' in the "Twilight Zone" episode titled "The Landlady!"
Paul Bryar as Helen's scumbag Dad was also not part of the Corman troop, but had been acting since 1937 with some 357 credits to his name, everything from "Twilight Zone," and "The Many Loves Of Dobie Gillis" to "Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid!"
This is the reason why Paul had his face in his hands, and she's not his daughter! You figure it out!
After this film June Kenney went on to be in Roger Corman's "The Saga Of The Viking Women And Their Voyage To The Waters Of The Great Sea Serpent," and "Hot Car Girl," and also in Bert I Gordon's "Attack Of The Puppet People" and "Earth Vs. The Spider!"
Richard Devon as Detective Dunst has a discussion with Ed Nelson in his other role in this film as a police officer! Richard Devon had the role of Satan in Corman's "The Undead," and was also in Roger's "The Saga Of The Viking Women And TVTTWOTGSS," and "War Of The Satellites!" Awesome non-Corman appearances were in "Blood Of Dracula," and the "Twilight Zone" episode called "Dead Man's Shoes!"
That brings us to the big man in a small role, the always amazing Bruno VeSota as the 'fat witness!" Besides being in non-Corman greats like "Dementia," and "Daddy-O," Bruno was also in numerous Corman classics like "The Undead," "War Of The Satellites," "A Bucket Of Blood," "The Wasp Woman," and "Attack Of The Giant Leeches!"
"Teenage Doll" is a great little film available from Netflix that clocks in at just a little over an hour! When a movie has a girl gang named "The Black Widows," and a guy gang named "The Tarantulas" vs "The Vandals" and "The Vandalettes" and all the aforementioned talent, you know there is no possible way to go wrong!