Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Dragstrip Riot

It's Fonzi versus Richie in this all-singing, all-dancing, no-dragstrip, 1950s teenage drama. After a confusing opening number by The Ripchords, some 30-year old teenagers drive their Corvettes and Thunderbirds to the beach for some mild beach fun, and by "mild beach fun" I mean "an oddly choreographed and unconvincing singalong and some bickering". Then a motorcycle gang shows up, which forces the khaki-wearing kids to the questionably windowless beachside soda fountain where patrons drink bottles of pop. The leather jackets follow, which results in a tepid dance-off that turns into a dungaree-clad slap fight. Then there's some racing footage inserted in the film to pad out the running time and to keep the movie from being called "Bicker On The Beach And Burst Into Song", because no one would go see that, and by "no one would go see that" I mean "teenagers in 1958 wouldn't ignore it while necking at the drive-in". There's more implausibly choreographed singing and dancing, a smattering of fisticuffs, and a hint of unlikely spear-gun brandishing. Dragstrip Riot is a rock & roll delinquent film lacking actual rock & roll featuring approximately a dozen pages of script and interchangeable, uninteresting delinquents. Those expecting a thrill-a-minute rockabilly hot rod extravaganza will be disappointed, as it has no rockabilly, very few hot rods, and no thrills. People who like watching Connie Stevens' backup singers snap their fingers in an off-tempo fashion will be thrilled, however. Watch Dragstrip Riot for the cars, but expect them to often move at a rather slow pace.

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