4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Hot Babe Dynamite

This week’s trio of films qualify as so bad they’re educational

The road to Hell is paved with Jeanne Crain, Laurie Mock, Dana Andrews, and Jeffrey Byron.
The road to Hell is paved with Jeanne Crain, Laurie Mock, Dana Andrews, and Jeffrey Byron.

John Brahm’s Hot Rods to Hell

Video:

Trailer for Hot Rods to Hell

Believe it or don’t, I’ve probably paid more visits to Hell than I have to Citizen Kane’s Xanadu. En route to the motel of their dreams, invalid (pronounced: “een-va-leed) Dana Andrews and his family are terrorized by the cleanest trio of beer can-hurling hooligans ever put on film. Dana was so sloshed during the making of the picture that a plank was slipped up the back of his shirt to keep the actor from lurching forward during closeups. From the slurred line readings to the well-intentioned morality pleas to the sun-drenched day-for-night cinematography to the thudding reminders of Tom’s chronic back pain, plus the performances by the Mickey Rooney, Jr. Trio, here’s one that’s perfectly awful (or is it awfully perfect?) in every way. Originally intended for TV, the MGM lion inadvisedly shat it into theaters. The TCM “restored” print contained on the DVD includes additional dialogue and different music cues than the version we grew up on.

Roy Del Ruth’s The Babe Ruth Story

Video:

Trailer for The Babe Ruth Story

There once was a man named Babe Ruth who played baseball. The truth stops there in this sickeningly maudlin and eminently uproarious junker that holds a high-ranking seat in the Pantheon of Putrescence. William Bendix plays the Bambino from adolescence to death in a tribute that makes Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ look sacrilegious by comparison. Instead of a warts-and-all portrait of a national treasure — the Sultan of Swill was a syphilitic drunk who hit a ball with a stick and was capable of devouring hot dogs and hookers with equal fervor — we are presented with Jesus in a Yankees jersey. According to Hollywood, Babe’s a walking Lourdes, capable of curing “crippled children” simply by saying “Hiya, kid!” or of convincing surgeons to operate on a mutt felled by one of Babe’s foul balls. (When it comes to recreating the dog’s injury, the filmmakers strive for reality by broadsiding the poor mutt with a line drive foul!)

Willie Dynamite

Video:

Trailer for Willie Dynamite

The costumes are unforgettable: imagine an Emerald City sentry outfit (with lapels that seat six) that was buried in Cher’s wardrobe trunk after the superstar found it hanging on the Bed Bath & Beyond sale rack, and you’ll have some idea of the power of this pimp’s dynamite accoutrements. It’s salmon pink felt jumpsuits like this — with Ming the Merciless collars — that made Edith Head’s head explode! An above-average script and fine supporting work by the largely forgotten Diana Sands keep it moving. (Ms. Sands died of cancer at the age of 39, not long after production wrapped.) She plays a “Ralph Nader for hookers” who convinces Willie’s stable that he’s…well, a good for nothing, opportunistic whore master. Unlike its poor relations at A.I.P., Universal’s good-looking (it was shot by Clint Eastwood regular Frank Stanley), relatively non-violent attempt to cash in on the blaxploitation craze was produced by the future Jaws team of Zanuck and Brown. With Roscoe Orman, Sesame Street’s Gordon Robinson, as the Pimpmaster General.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Driving a plane on Interstate 5, buying liquor in Tijuana

Women who love heroin, Seal lover on the Silver Strand, why Dean Martin greater than Elvis
Next Article

When burrito met Philly at El Pollo Grill

“You’ve never had better meat in a burrito.”
The road to Hell is paved with Jeanne Crain, Laurie Mock, Dana Andrews, and Jeffrey Byron.
The road to Hell is paved with Jeanne Crain, Laurie Mock, Dana Andrews, and Jeffrey Byron.

John Brahm’s Hot Rods to Hell

Video:

Trailer for Hot Rods to Hell

Believe it or don’t, I’ve probably paid more visits to Hell than I have to Citizen Kane’s Xanadu. En route to the motel of their dreams, invalid (pronounced: “een-va-leed) Dana Andrews and his family are terrorized by the cleanest trio of beer can-hurling hooligans ever put on film. Dana was so sloshed during the making of the picture that a plank was slipped up the back of his shirt to keep the actor from lurching forward during closeups. From the slurred line readings to the well-intentioned morality pleas to the sun-drenched day-for-night cinematography to the thudding reminders of Tom’s chronic back pain, plus the performances by the Mickey Rooney, Jr. Trio, here’s one that’s perfectly awful (or is it awfully perfect?) in every way. Originally intended for TV, the MGM lion inadvisedly shat it into theaters. The TCM “restored” print contained on the DVD includes additional dialogue and different music cues than the version we grew up on.

Roy Del Ruth’s The Babe Ruth Story

Video:

Trailer for The Babe Ruth Story

There once was a man named Babe Ruth who played baseball. The truth stops there in this sickeningly maudlin and eminently uproarious junker that holds a high-ranking seat in the Pantheon of Putrescence. William Bendix plays the Bambino from adolescence to death in a tribute that makes Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ look sacrilegious by comparison. Instead of a warts-and-all portrait of a national treasure — the Sultan of Swill was a syphilitic drunk who hit a ball with a stick and was capable of devouring hot dogs and hookers with equal fervor — we are presented with Jesus in a Yankees jersey. According to Hollywood, Babe’s a walking Lourdes, capable of curing “crippled children” simply by saying “Hiya, kid!” or of convincing surgeons to operate on a mutt felled by one of Babe’s foul balls. (When it comes to recreating the dog’s injury, the filmmakers strive for reality by broadsiding the poor mutt with a line drive foul!)

Willie Dynamite

Video:

Trailer for Willie Dynamite

The costumes are unforgettable: imagine an Emerald City sentry outfit (with lapels that seat six) that was buried in Cher’s wardrobe trunk after the superstar found it hanging on the Bed Bath & Beyond sale rack, and you’ll have some idea of the power of this pimp’s dynamite accoutrements. It’s salmon pink felt jumpsuits like this — with Ming the Merciless collars — that made Edith Head’s head explode! An above-average script and fine supporting work by the largely forgotten Diana Sands keep it moving. (Ms. Sands died of cancer at the age of 39, not long after production wrapped.) She plays a “Ralph Nader for hookers” who convinces Willie’s stable that he’s…well, a good for nothing, opportunistic whore master. Unlike its poor relations at A.I.P., Universal’s good-looking (it was shot by Clint Eastwood regular Frank Stanley), relatively non-violent attempt to cash in on the blaxploitation craze was produced by the future Jaws team of Zanuck and Brown. With Roscoe Orman, Sesame Street’s Gordon Robinson, as the Pimpmaster General.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Old Joe and the Border Boys

Now playing in wide release!
Next Article

City officials beg courts to declare Measure C passed so that Convention Center can expand services to migrant minors.

Court Packing ‘Em In
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close