Monday, April 18, 2011

Jail Bait (1954)

From transvestites to gangsters... B-movie great Ed Wood takes on the classic crime thriller in his second feature film, JAIL BAIT, featuring another hare-brained plot and plenty more examples of filmmaking at its worst. After a botched robbery, Vic decides to blackmail his partner's father, a renown plastic surgeon, into building him a new face in order to avoid capture. Unfortunately for him, the good doctor has discovered his son's dead body in Vic's closet, and he has his own plans for revenge in store... For what it's worth, JAIL BAIT is probably the closest Wood has ever come to making a legitimate film. That being said, it is still downright terrible, but it isn't nearly as much fun as either BRIDE OF THE MONSTER or PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE. While the clumsy acting and poor editing are to be expected, it takes a sampling of dialog to truly appreciate Wood's gift as a writer: "This afternoon we had a long telephone conversation earlier in the day." What lies behind Vic's bandages will come as no surprise, but thankfully the final reveal and subsequent chase puts an abrupt end to this bore of a film. JAIL BAIT can safely be avoided for all but the die-hard Wood fanatics.

Rating: 3/10.

If you liked JAIL BAIT, check out:
BLACK DRAGONS, GLEN OR GLENDA, A TASTE OF BLOOD.

3 comments:

  1. You're neglecting the biggest star to come out of this film- Steve Reeves. He's the guy in the film that looks like Steve Reeves, only he can't act and just looks confused.

    There's also the fact that the actor who played the Doctor literally died the day after filming ended. So much for reshoots!

    My favorite part, of course, is the stock footage of a 'Minstrel Film' randomly-inserted for no reason.

    Is the film a little dull? Yeah. It could be worse though. Need I remind you that Ed Wood directed (and starred in one) porn films? Exactly.

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  2. Dude I was totally going to mention the minstrel show, but since that was the only noticeable piece of stock footage I decided to just let it go... My favorite scene is the doctor's reaction to finding his son's body. Uh, is that a cut, or should I just keep staring slack-jawed at the ground? Oh-- keep going? Ok..

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  3. Hey, if you knew that literally the last thing you would do is star in an obscure (even by his standards) Ed Wood film, how committed would you be?

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