The Violent Years (1956)

Not Rated   |    |  Crime, Film-Noir, Thriller

The Violent Years (1956) Poster

Paula Parkins is the teenage daughter of wealthy parents who don't seem to make time for her, so she looks for thrills as the leader of her all girl gang who steal, rob, and rape young men.


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11 October 2015 | gizmomogwai
| Ed Wood sure can write 'em, can't he?
Proving Ed Wood can write just as well as he can direct, his script The Violent Years is brought to life by another director, and the result is still not good. The Violent Years comes out of an age-old theme that people mistakenly think is recent- "Today's kids are out of control and it wasn't like that when I was that age!" Except, people have been saying that forever. Check the date of the film- 1956, remembered now as a golden, Leave It to Beaver age. Like the later A Clockwork Orange, this has a gang of four teens robbing and raping- intriguingly, these four are all girls, which makes it harder to sympathize for the man who is raped- this is more male fantasy than horror.

The film starts with the girl's parents up in front of a judge, who speaks about how hard it is to try a good friend. This is indeed hard, because judges can't do it at all- they have to recuse themselves. And since when can bad parenting be punished by the law? Much of what follows is ham-handed exploration of the kind of parenting that breeds delinquency- a mom who says her daughter's issues can't be all that important. And, skipping your kid's birthdays causes crime. The girls attempting to be bad leads to leaden dialogue and acting and cheesy lines. One woman needs to be told by the man that the girls are pointing guns at them, at which point the girls compliment him for being observant. The worst the woman who gives the gang its jobs can call the girls is "jerks."

Of course, it all ends with more "If only I had..." mourning from the parents, reflecting a morality play with all the subtlety of being hit over the head with a hammer.

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