HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
1 chance sur 2
Betterman
Scooby-Doo! Abracadabra-Doo
Yin Yang Master, The
Hail, Mafia!
Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase
Mirai
Strange House, The
Morfalous, Les
Dreambuilders
Everything Went Fine
Lux AEterna
Rum Runners
Fairy and the Devil, The
Mad God
Outside the Law
I Remember Mama
Superman Unbound
Lawrence of Belgravia
House Across the Lake, The
Wonder Park
Hornsby e Rodriguez
Operation Mincemeat
5 Kung Fu Daredevil Heroes
Scoob!
Earwig
Offseason
Peau Douce, La
Double Indemnity
Na Cha and the Seven Devils
Deep Murder
Superman vs. the Elite
Adam Project, The
Osamu Tezuka's Last Mystery of the 20th Century
Horse, La
Buffaloed
Train Robbers, The
Let Sleeping Cops Lie
Abominable
Funeral, The
   
 
Newest Articles
3 From Arrow Player: Sweet Sugar, Girls Nite Out and Manhattan Baby
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
   
 
  High School Confidential Hip To Be Square
Year: 1958
Director: Jack Arnold
Stars: Russ Tamblyn, Jan Sterling, Diane Jergens, John Drew Barrymore, Mamie Van Doren, Jackie Coogan, Michael Landon, Charles Chaplin Jr, Ray Anthony, Lyle Talbot, William Wellman Jr, Jody Fair, Mel Welles, Jerry Lee Lewis
Genre: Thriller, TrashBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: There's a new boy, Tony Baker (Russ Tamblyn), in high school this morning and he's making his presence felt. After finding a parking space for his car, he makes a move on Joan (Diane Jergens), the girlfriend of the school top dog, J.I. (John Drew Barrymore), instantly landing himself in trouble. But he starts as he means to go on, making a big splash by heading over to the principal's office and waiting for him while smoking a joint. He has a lot of cash he's not afraid to whip out of his pocket and show off, and when he gets to class, he tries to chat up the teacher, Arlene (Jan Sterling). However, it's the local drug scene that he wants to be involved with, and it's not long before he's tracking down the major players...

Written by Lewis Metzler and Robert Blees, from Blees' story, this trashy, knowing crime expose is still a lot of fun to watch, not least because of the amount of fifties slang that the characters speak. We first see Arlene teaching her English class about slang, but Tony is deeply unimpressed by her choices, and shows off his superior knowledge of the dialect, leading to him being thrown out and sent to the principal. "Don't flip your lid," as he says, and this dialogue has the effect of making Tony come across as the coolest character in the film, coupled with his rebellious attitude, even if it sounds like an alien language nowadays.

But the most important message the movie tries to impart is "Just say, 'No' to drugs", and there's plenty of narcotic-related slang in there too. We see the heads of the school being taught about the dangers of marijuana by a policeman, and he endorses the theory that smoking the stuff leads directly to heroin use. Parents refuse to believe that their offspring could be doing such a thing, but the cops know better, and let their views be known. As campy as the drama is, it appears to be perfectly serious about this topic, and the budding pothead Joan is already an addict-in-waiting thanks to J.I. Her friend Doris (Jody Fair) is trying to go cold turkey, as we can guess when she refuses to go swimming in the outdoor pool with the others.

Mind you, one recovering heroin addict in the entire cast isn't much of an epidemic, but the implication is that there will be a domino effect and soon the whole school will be stoned out of their minds. And what a cast it is, with the son of Charlie Chaplin rubbing shoulders with piano-playing gangster Jackie Coogan at the local bar, Drew Barrymore's dad and the Teenage Werewolf himself, Michael Landon, as students, and, most memorably, Mamie Van Doren as Tony's Aunt Gwen. She acts like a cat in heat, constantly trying to seduce Tony while her husband is away, and provides a lot of the laughs as she pouts her way though plentiful nympho dialogue.

There is a danger that all this could look completely ridiculous, and to a certain extent it does, but everyone seems to be having a ball playing up for the cameras. From the opening, which sees Jerry Lee Lewis performing the title song with his band on the back of a truck - just for the hell of it, to the tongue-in-cheek moralistic finale, High School Confidential is marked out as top grade exploitation entertainment that could easily be a send-up of the contemporary juvenile delinquent movie. Its smart attitude is just enough to get away with the serious drugs theme, while still packing in such delights as an illegal drag race meeting and two priceless speeches of heptalk ("Tomorrow is a drag!"). Music by Albert Glasser.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 8924 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 star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Mary Sibley
Enoch Sneed
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M
  Sheila Reeves
Paul Smith
   

 

Last Updated: