Thursday, October 11, 2012


We get a lot of screeners here at ER HQ. (Seriously. If you're interested in reviewing straight-to-video schlock and have a high threshold for cheese contact me.) Most of them are for flicks that have recently been or are soon to be released, but every once in awhile we just get a DVD-R with a title scrawled on it. Like DEVIL GIRLS which apparently showed up in our PO Box back in 2008! I have no idea if this was ever officially released, but with Tim Burton's ED WOOD recently released on Blu-Ray it seemed like a good time to unleash this review by Crites on y'all.

Not having read Ed Wood, Jr.'s Devil Girls, and as the hand-lettered promo disk came in a simple plastic slip cover with a single press sheet, I wasn't at all sure what to expect from this flick. But, as "Criswell Predicts," it purports to be "The true story of juvenile delinquency and its horrible consequences." Which in this case means a lot of found footage, hyperbole, token transvestism, rubber masks, dope and spastic 'youngsters' running amuck. Oh yeah, and a lot of phony moralizing amidst a heap of grossly exaggerated scenes and stereotypes ("The sins we do one by one are paid for two by two," etc.) And believe me, the forced mincing narration gets old in a hurry, especially against the two-dollar production values.

The actual 'plot' is too ridiculous and convoluted to detail, but the film suggests that ol' Ed really wasn't much of a writer. Basically a bunch of young punks and old authority figures run around in circles and talk trash. Some of them get high, some of them die. The end.

Points for digging up a character actor with a remarkable resemblance to Tor Johnson, and the 'Salami Mommy' character was kind of amusing. However manufactured kitsch is never as honestly entertaining as the genuine article, and in fact the genuine article itself is never guaranteed to be a good time. (Plus, I was all out of acid so I just didn't 'get it.') Shot in grainy black and white for that retro-sleaze look, the overall effect is much like some drunken pseudo-hipster's Halloween party. Not entirely unlike a really poorly executed version of The Beatniks. Not entirely amusing, and not entirely deserving of a 71-minute running time.

DEVIL GIRLS comes with a short film, TO KILL A SATURDAY NIGHT, also based on an Ed Wood, Jr. story and adapted by DEVIL GIRLS director Andre Perkowski. In it a pair of old stew bums (Conrad Brooks and Ted V. Mikels) are working on a jug and talking about killing some whores on a Saturday night. This goes on for a bit too long before the bums pass out and the film comes to an end. Reminds me of a painfully bad rendition of a Bukowski story in the awful French experiment LOVE IS A DOG FROM HELL. – Crites

Ed Wood's paperback for Devil Girls is available at Amazon.

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