24 April 2002 | youroldpaljim
Some familiar faces, but a trivial film.
Jim Benson(Lloyd Bridges) is an ex-coast guardsman who runs a charter boat and finds himself down on his luck when he can't make payments on his boat. After taking an obnoxious fisherman named Shanks (Barton MacLane) and his girlfriend Sally(Nancy Gates)fishing off the waters of Mexico, Shanks runs off without paying him and leaves him and Sally stranded in a Mexican port with no money or gas. Benson then is tricked in helping a gangster named Bodine (John Hoyt) into using his boat to smuggle illegal aliens into the United States.
This film looks to have been filmed very quickly on a very small budget. The low budget shows. Watching this film I couldn't help but get the feeling most of the scenes were done in one take. In one scene a Mexican boy named Pedro who is a friend of our hero, is roughed up by some gangsters who are looking for Benson. We see the gangsters beating up the kid and Benson running to his rescue and carrying the kid away safely. This whole scene is shown entirely in one single far shot. Then there is the car chase scene where Benson sets a trap sending the bad guys car off into a ditch. We never see the car swerve off the road into the ditch, we only see it after its in the ditch and then the bad guys get out.
WETBACKS has fairly exciting final confrontation with the bad guys. Yet, despite a pretty Nancy Gates, the presence of John Hoyt and Lloyd Bridges, WETBACKS is pretty a trivial film. Its another one of those films that I don't think anyone would call good or recall with any fondness, but where nothing is really done bad enough to make anyone strongly dis-like it either.