20 August 2018 | a_chinn
Disappointedly routine juvenile delinquent film from master horror film producer Val Lewton
I'm a huge fan of producer Val Lewton and his moody atmospheric horror films that relied on suspense, and implied horror over showing a goofy looking monsters in ypical Universal or William Castle style of horror films. Lewton's films stood apart as something unique, including "Cat People," The Body Snatchers," and "Isle of the Dead." This film, "Youth Runs Wild," was a change from his usual horror picture for RKO and is instead a standard juvenile delinquent film, following a group of young people who's parents are either away fighting WWII or working in industrial plants, leaving the kids to their own devices, which, as you might guess from the title, is to go wild. It's a disappointingly routine film of this sort, but it was recut against Lewton's wished because the studio felt it was too violent and controversial, so I suppose you can't lay blame for the film's weaknesses all at Lewton's feet, who actually disavowed the finished film and I can see why. What's left is pretty safe and not all that compelling, despite the fact that it was directed by one of Lewton's frequent collaborators, Mark Robson, and has a cast that includes Lawrence Tierney. Overall, this isn't worth watching unless you're curious to see a non-horror Val Lewton produced film, which I was, but it's disappointingly routine and honestly pretty bad.