Review: Jail Bait


A ne’er do well crook named Don Gregor (Clancy Malone) and his more amoral crook buddy Vic Brady (Timothy Farrell) who have just pulled off one successful heist and now Brady wants to rob a theatre too. Things go awry, Don freaks out and wants to turn himself in, which doesn’t go over well with the hardened Vic. Herbert Rawlinson (who died the night after filming was complete) plays Don’s plastic surgeon father, who urges his son to turn himself in, whilst Dolores Fuller plays Don’s squeeze, Lyle Talbot and Steve Reeves play cops.

 

Probably one of the least technically inept Edward D. Wood Jr. (“Plan 9 From Outer Space”, “Glen or Glenda?”) films you’ll come across, this bland, subpar 1954 crime flick is also one of the more tedious. It’s still a bad film, but you won’t get much ‘so bad it’s funny’ value out of this one, I’d wager. As such, my review will follow suit, and will be a more traditional, less snarky offering. Hey, don’t leave! I promise it’s still a really good review! Awww, you’re gonna hurt my feelings now.

 

First of all, the lurid title makes about as much sense here as the droning, Hoyt Curtin flamenco music score (stolen from “Mesa of Lost Women”). Seriously, both the title and score have no business here whatsoever. The music’s not even good flamenco and it’ll get stuck in your head forever if you’re not careful.

 

As for the acting, Timothy Farrell is much better here than in “Glen or Glenda?”, and he and veteran Lyle Talbot represent the only competent acting in the film. Talbot in particular always gave Wood way more than was warranted as an actor. The rest is varying degrees of the drizzling shits, with lead actor Clancy Malone a particular bore. It’s no surprise he was a one-and-done actor, and Steve Reeves gets nothing to do as a cop, though it’s a rare occasion where you’ll get to hear his natural speaking voice. The film’s plastic surgery twist is pretty idiotic, probably the dumbest thing about the entire film. 

 

Co-scripted by Alex Gordon (a producer who also co-wrote Wood’s idiotic mad scientist movie “Bride of the Monster”), in a way this is probably Wood’s best film. That’s why it’s no fun at all. It’s a boring, subpar crime melodrama with one of the most inappropriate music scores of all-time. See it once like all Wood films, but don’t blame me if you fall asleep, as it’s pretty tedious.

 

Rating: D

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