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Jail Bait

Lyle Talbot , Dolores Fuller , Edward D. Wood Jr.    NR (Not Rated)   DVD
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 17.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Product Description

Amazon.ca

"How can a great doctor have such a jerk for a son?" asks Ed Wood in his cheap dime store crime thriller about a sneering delinquent whose mania for handguns leads to murder. "I never thought carrying a gun would lead to this," he burbles to his far-too-understanding father, but it's too late. His cold-hearted partner Timothy Farrell blackmails Daddy (who just happens to be the most gifted plastic surgeon in the world) into giving him a new face, but Dad has a trick up his sleeve. Wood regular Lyle Talbot headlines as the investigating police inspector, former Mr. America and future Hercules Steve Reeves takes his shirt off for no good reason to flex his physique to the camera, and Wood's real-life girlfriend and frequent costar Dolores Fuller wears angora as the doctor's nice-girl daughter. "Cheap? Does this look joint look cheap to you?" demands the crook's gold-digging girlfriend? In a word, yes. There's a pleasing grungy B-movie aesthetic to Wood's nighttime location shooting, giving those moments a film noir flavor, but the rest of the film takes place on bland, generic sets with the flat look of a sitcom. Actually, flat is the operative word for this lethargic thriller: Wood displays his genius for arch dialogue and draws wooden performances from his largely mediocre cast. In other words, it's prime Ed Wood. The annoying guitar and piano score was borrowed from Mesa of Lost Women. --Sean Axmaker

Product Description

She's a good girl--to leave alone! Fresh from his sensational "Glen or Glenda?," Ed Wood, Jr. presents his homage to the gangster films of the '30s and '40s, starring his sex kitten girlfriend Dolores Fuller and introducing to the screen handsome young Steve Reeves (Hercules). Inspired by the popular TV show "Dragnet," this Ed Wood film tells the story of a rich but troubled young man who kills a cop and has plastic surgery to hide his identity. Filmdom's legendary Alex Gordon co-wrote this clever script to help Ed make his first legitimate feature film.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Truly "Edwoodian." So Bad it's good Jan. 24 2004
Format:DVD
Folks, leave your brains at the door. This is good old Edwoodian schlock about a bad boy who gets mixed up with the wrong crowd. Laugh out loud at the outragous stupidity and unintentioned humor of horrible dialougue, bad acting , and sheer senselessness. Who the heck would insist that a doctor under pressure of gunpoint operate on him? (That's just for starters). The surprise ending (which I won't reveal here) is pretty good. But the Blackface minstrel performance as an abomination not only for modern P.C. reasons (as an African-American myself, I've seen far worse in old movies), but it is not funny at all (the guy in Blackface whines and strains his voice in a gross effort to sound "Black" and the gags consist of very bad puns). In true Edwoodian style, it has nothing whatsoever to do with the story. But if you and your friends are filled with beers and pizza and want a good howl for over an hour, then this is for you.
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Format:DVD
Written by the one and only Edward D. Wood Jr in collaboration with Alex Gordon. JAIL BAIT concerns Don Gregor (Lyle Talbot) a criminal whose father (who just happens to be a plastic surgeon) wants him to straighten out and start a new life; and yes that includes getting a new face.
That's the basic "plot". The more "serious" approach to this movie means it isn't as fun as say, NIGHT OF THE GHOULS; but JAIL BAIT is still a worthwhile addition to the collections of cult movie afficionados. But the feature itself is weak, flat and poorly paced, even by Wood's rock bottom standards.
So why doesn't JAIL BAIT rank as one of Ed's "classics"? Because:
a)The story is more conventional.
b)The film's direction is almost COMPETENT. If you viewed this without knowing Wood directed, you could be forgiven for easily dismissing JAIL BAIT as a forgettably bad B crime melodrama and:
c)Bela Lugosi, Tor Johnson or Criswell are nowhere to be seen.
Despite this; I've given the movie 2 stars simply because it's difficult to completely dislike an Ed Wood movie, no matter how much you may wish to. The DVD is also worth a look since this edition of JAIL BAIT is the digitally remastered Director's Cut. So that's got to be worth something. The movie is also notable for Wood's casting of a pre- HERCULES Steve Reeves, using his own voice for once.
Last of all, I have a question: Is it just me, or did this inadvertently inspire the movie JOHNNY HANDSOME, which featured Mickey Rourke at his most mumbling and incoherant? Try comparing the movies sometime and you may see a few parallels between the two.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Jail Bait Lures Laughs Sept. 25 2002
Format:VHS Tape
This unintentional film-noir spoof has all the marks of Ed Wood's zany script and direction. In other words, it's absolutely hilarious! There's nothing basically preposterous about a plastic surgeon deconstructing a face, yet Wood managed to make this movie a farce--even though he obviously tried to produce a straight-up crime drama. The only competent actor involved, Lyle Talbot, moves stolidly through the story, tossing off the dumbest dialogue with professionalism and aplomb. His sidekick, Steve Reeves, however, flips off his lines as though each word were a fleck of dandruff to be brushed hastily and unobtrusively away. Wood's non-actor girlfriend, Dolores Fuller, looks like a blonde bombshell trussed up in business suits as she strides martially back and forth in her living room. The movie is a windfall of loony lines, cheap props, and ridiculous situations. A purportedly luxurious apartment is so cheaply and sparingly furnished that it looks one notch above a flophouse. Surgery is performed on the couch of a gangster's moll, and then she attends the bandage removal in a fur and cocktail gown. A corpse is propped, standing up, in a shallow closet, prompting the moll to rail about dead men cluttering up her place. As far as so-bad-it's-good flicks go, this one's so terrible it's terrific!
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