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Thursday, 6 June 2013

Drag Strip Riot (1958) - Star of the month... Connie Stevens

'Dragstrip Riot' is a 1958 teen exploitation film directed by David Bradley and starring Yvonne Lime (Fedderson), Gary Clarke, Fay Wray, Connie Stevens, Bob Turnbull and Ted Wedderspoon.

New kid in town Rick Martin (played by Gary Clarke) falls in with the local gang of hot rodders. After a harmless drag race goes wrong, Rick is unfairly blamed for the death of another teenager.

Watch the trailer:

Watch the complete film on YouTube:

Connie Stevens & The Ripchords sing "Jamaica Rock"

Musical program...

  • "Teenage Rumble" - The Ripchords
  • "Something New" - Connie Stevens with The Ripchords
  • "Rock & Rollin' Joe" - The Ripchords
  • "Jamaica Rock" - Connie Stevens with The Ripchords

Did you know...

  • After seeing Connie Stevens in this film, Jerry Lewis case her in 'Rock-a-Bye Baby' (1958)
  • This was the film debut of Steve Ihnat

Closing remarks

Below average 1950s teen exploitation b-picture, notable for featuring an early appearance of Connie Stevens, and an appearance from Fay Wray (who in 1933 played the blonde woman in 'King Kong'). Fay Wray, who was still a well known star, sure must have been desperate for an acting job for her to have appeared in this film.

The film is a product of it's time, and even from the first moment we will transported back to the late 1950s. The film features all elements of a classic teen exploitation film... bikie gangs, beach scenes, jukeboxes, diners, drag races and even an amusing cat fight between Connie Stevens and a girl from a rival gang.

The primary issue with this film is its pace. It develops rather slow. Of it's 70 minutes,  it takes approx. 30 mins for the primary storyline to commence, with not much happening before that. I think this could have worked better as a 25-30 minute short film, rather than a 70 minute feature.

Worth watching if you are a big fan of Connie Stevens and/or Fay Wray. If not, don't bother.

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