HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
These Final Hours
Taste of Cherry
Jetsons: The Movie
Tobruk
Deer Hunter, The
Who's Minding the Mint?
Police Story: Lockdown
Tarzan Goes to India
Born to Dance
Honey Pot, The
Badlands
Masters of Venus
Disorder
Imitation of Life
Hail, Caesar!
Mississippi Grind
Survivalist, The
Andrei Rublev
Blood Orange
Tarzan
Mustang
Nurse Sherri
Aloys
Cut-Throats Nine
All Things Must Pass: The Rise and Fall of Tower Records
Scalps
Reflecting Skin, The
Nobody's House
Sweet Liberty
Victor Frankenstein
   
 
Newest Articles
The Stars Are Out Tonight: Hollywood Celebrity Casts in the 70s
Super-Irreverent: Deadpool and his Amazing Friends
Made in Britain: Alan Clarke at the BBC
Manor On Movies: Saucy Sexy Spicy Space Sirens
Whicker Ask It: Whicker's World on DVD
Pawn Takes King: The Hunger Games and Death Entertainment
Short Sharp Shocks: Worst Fears on DVD
Spare Us the Cutter: Ian McCulloch's Video Nasties
Hooked on Classics: Ken Russell at the BBC
Shakin' with Laughter or Stirred into Action: Silly Bond vs Serious Bond
   
 
  13 Frightened Girls Catch That KittenBuy this film here.
Year: 1963
Director: William Castle
Stars: Murray Hamilton, Kathy Dunn, Lynne Sue Moon, Joyce Taylor, Hugh Marlowe, Khigh Dhiegh, Charlie Briggs, Norma Varden, Garth Benton, María Cristina Servera, Janet Mary Prance, Penny Anne Mills, Alexandra Bastedo, Ariane Glaser, Ilona Schütze, Judy Pace
Genre: Thriller, Adventure
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Candace Hull (Kathy Dunn) is the daughter of an American diplomat (Hugh Marlowe) who shares her education at an exclusive school for young ladies, all of whom are daughters of diplomats just as Candy is. Today she has the chance to drive the bus that carries them all back to London for the holidays, and is delighted, or she is until a tarantula descends down the windscreen and gives her such a shock that she veers across the road and eventually crashes the vehicle. Still, the spider died, so that was one problem out of the way, although Candy will be having trouble with a different kind of spider when she enters the spy game...

13 Frightened Girls was designed by showman-producer-director William Castle to appeal to younger audiences than the usual crowd who flocked to see his chillers and thrillers, but that did not prevent him from including some inappropriate scares, with murder the order of the day: even now there would be few family films which would have the heroine threatened with being hung up on a meathook, Texas Chain Saw Massacre-style. That said, the more vivid violence than you might expect would probably have raised few eyebrows, although might have offered the kiddies a frisson of danger as they munched their popcorn.

Castle was all about the gimmicks, but this time there was no seat buzzers or floating skeletons in the auditorium, it was his cast which was the novelty item. For there are indeed thirteen girls here, handpicked to be of different nationalities, which is obvious when you recognise that few were chosen for their acting abilities. Castle wisely kept all but the leads from having too many lines, and only the most dedicated movie buffs would be familiar with any but the barest minimum of them. The only frightened girl who went onto a decent career in acting seems to have been Alexandra Bastedo, who here sounds impossibly posh, as all the others either left this as their sole screen credit, or did not much else.

As to the plot, it took its own time getting off the ground, but all you need to know is that Candy has a crush on Wally, played by Murray Hamilton. Yes, the mayor from Jaws is the romantic lead here, although Candy doesn't get her man as he's far too old for her and besides, he already has a fiancée in the shape of his co-worker at the American Foreign Office who he calls Soldier (Joyce Taylor) for reasons best known to himself - we never get to find out what she's really called, not even when she gets kidnapped. That happens because Candy has secretly become a spy who sends revealing information to her side under the alias Kitten, after she witnesses a murder designed to falsely incriminate the Americans against the Soviets.

The actual baddies are the Chinese here, although Castle does his bit for international diplomacy by making Candy's best friend the niece of the Chinese official (Khigh Dhiegh, an Oriental-looking actor who usually played the heavy, even though his roots were Euro-African) who is out to discredit the U.S.A. The niece, Mai-Ling (Lynne Sue Moon), is not anything like as wicked as her uncle, and is intended to make us think hey, if the kids of these nations can get along then why can't those stupid grown-ups? In fact, she's a poor soul with an inferiority complex who doubts even Candy's motives for befriending her. All the while Miss Hull gets further out of her depth, even causing a bad guy to fall a few storeys to his death in what suspiciously looks like murder, but could be written off as self-defence - again with those unsuitable elements. But for the most part, 13 Frightened Girls is breezy, casually forgettable amusement. Music by Van Alexander.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 3914 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which film has the best theme music?
Superman: The Movie
The Dark Knight
The Taking of Pelham One Two Three ('74)
Star Wars
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
The Great Escape
Halloween
The Ipcress File
The Magnificent Seven
Back to the Future
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
  Lambrini Vitsa
Enoch Sneed
Dan Schneider
Paul Shrimpton
Andrew Pragasam
David Dent
  Terry Durward
   

 

Last Updated: