Wednesday, January 21, 2015

HOT CARS - Les Baxter - "Sucker Bait" (1956)

Normally when you see the words "Hot Cars," you think of souped-up hot rods and hot chicks, and that's sure what this poster looks like, but No, that's not it! Welcome back to Weird-Ass Wednesday outside in the parking lot of The Dungeon, and tonight's red light special.........

"Hot Cars" is a truly unique movie about used car lots selling stolen cars, or literally, "Hot Cars!"

To make it look legit, they used real car lots, and gave them credit at the end! Robert(Invasion Of The Body Snatchers) Osterloh is the owner of this lot, Big John!

Now isn't this iconic America circa 1956? Handsome John(Revenge Of The Creature, Curucu, Beast Of The Amazon) Bromfield as the recently fired used car salesman, Nick Dunn, and his dear lovely stay-at-home wife Jane, as played by Carol Shannon. I don't know why, but Carol looks very familiar to me although she was only in 5 TV shows besides this movie. I must have seen them all!! Nick and Jane have a sick baby boy named Davy who is always off camera! I guess that's how they saved the money up to finance the big climax!

Bow House!

For some, the number one blonde bombshell of the 1950's and 60's was Joyce Renee Brown, aka Joi Lansing! Sometimes it's hard not to agree! Here's some creds: "Touch Of Evil," "Atomic Submarine," and "Hillbillies In A Haunted House!"

You might not know his name until now, but with 310 acting credits, Dabbs Greer as the snoopy Detective Davenport, has a face you will recognize if you've ever watched anything on TV from 1950 to 2003!

Joi Lansing died from breast cancer at the very young age of 43, but she still outlived both Marilyn Monroe (36) and Jayne Mansfield (34) by almost a decade! Besides her movie roles, some of her TV roles are forever too, like Shirley Swanson on "The Bob Cummings Show," and Gladys Flatt on "The Beverly Hillbillies!"

Nick Dunn just needs a shoulder to cry on, and Joi's character Karen Winter seems overly available!

Nick doesn't realize yet that Karen is the best girl of the crook who hired him! He's about to get set up to take a fall, but he doesn't have a clue! Sucker bait is right!

That claw of Karen Winter's might as well be around Nick's throat!

Detective Davenport has been murdered, and all the evidence points to Nick, but Oh, Yeah, he has an excuse, and his wife doesn't even care if he was with another woman as long as it means that he didn't kill anybody, so he admits that he was at Karen Winter's apartment! I like the way this shot is set up!

Another great shot shows the Detective questioning Miss Winter who denies she even knows Nick Dunn! Nick tells them he can identify the furnishings in the bedroom without going in there, but everything has been changed, and he looks like a dunce!

The music in the hot theme and throughout this film is by one of the Dungeon Super Faves, the phenomenal Les Baxter! You like horror movies, you like 60's surf movies, then Les Baxter is THE man!! Here are just the movies that Les composed for in the random year of 1963 : THE YOUNG RACERS, THE RAVEN, THE EVIL EYE, A BOY TEN FEET TALL, OPERATION BIKINI, X: THE MAN WITH THE X-RAY EYES, BEACH PARTY, BLACK SABBATH, SAMSON AND THE SLAVE QUEEN, I TABÙ, and THE COMEDY OF TERRORS!

I would imagine that cinematographer William Marguiles gets credit for stuffing a camera inside the dashboard! Mark(The Pharaoh's Curse)Dana is tough guy Smiley Ward! Both Mark Dana and Joi Lansing were also in the 43rd of 48 Bowery Boys movies made also in 1956, called ironically "Hot Shots!"

Great cast, great music, but what makes this movie truly unique and historically significant is that it ends up in Santa Monica at magnificent Pacific Ocean Park!

The Sea Serpent Roller Coaster is the stage for what is in my humble opinion the best fight scene I've ever seen on a roller coaster!

You would think they would have had to use green screen to get shots that look this good, but as far as I could tell, it's all live action footage!

Freakin' Smiley gets what's coming to him!
I found "Hot Cars" streaming on Amazon Prime, and you can too! It's compact at just over an hour long, and a roller coaster ride that's well worth taking!


Retro Hound said...

I thought that was pretty cool ending with the fight on the roller coaster!

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