Thursday, November 18, 2010
TEENAGE DOLL (1957). Producer/director: Roger Corman.
A young lady is thrown off of a roof and killed, precipitating a series of events among some tough and not-so-tough slum gals. Female gang leader Helen (Fay Spain) is convinced that the killer is a vague young woman named Barbara Bonney (June Kenney) and is out to wring a confession from her come hell or highwater. Barbara has an upright father and a bizarre mother (Dorothy Neumann) who wears pigtails and looks demented. Another of Roger Corman's "bad girl/juvenile delinquent"films, similar to Sorority Girl, with its own twists, but, if anything, much duller. June Kenney was introduced in this film; she later wound up in Earth vs the Spider and similar low-budget films in addition to other Corman productions; she's not bad at all. In general the actors are much better than the material. John Brinkley [as bad boy Eddie] and Barboura Morris [as Janet, who hopes for a better life] display genuine acting ability and charisma, as do most the actors, in fact. But the script is entirely forgettable. Screenwriter Charles Griffith generally did much better with Corman's horror items.
Verdict: Watch Corman's Attack of the Crab Monsters -- also written by Griffith --instead. *1/2.