Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Violent Years (1956)

The Violent Years is a 1956 American exploitation film starring Jean Moorhead as Paula Parkins, the leader of a gang of juvenile delinquent high school girls. The film is notable for the input of Ed Wood, Jr. as author of its screenplay.

Paula Parkins, the spoiled daughter of a well-to-do newspaper editor, gets her kicks by organizing and directing a gang of bored young women like herself. The gang dresses in men's attire, robs gas stations, and terrorizes habitués of a local lovers' lane—even raping a young gentleman (off camera) after tying up his girlfriend. As a newspaperman, Paula's father has some inside information on police plans to capture the gang, so the girls are able to avoid capture with Mr. Parkins' unwitting complicity. After a make-out party with a few local gangsters, Paula and her pals agree to wreck a few classrooms — and destroy the American flag — in a public school at the behest of a female crime boss (it is implied that this is part of an anti-American Communist plot). The girls perform the job with gleeful competence until the police arrive and a deadly shootout takes place. Paula is captured and dies in the hospital giving birth to the child she conceived during the rape.

The cynical tag line "So what?" is used repeatedly by the girls to underscore their uncaring, nihilistic attitude.

65 MIN

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