Plot: What’s it about?
In High School Big Shot, we watch as teen genius Marv goes from top of the class to top of the pops. He used to be a bookworm, but when the gorgeous bad girl Betty saved his hide from her boyfriend Vince, his attitude took a turn. He was so smitten with Betty, he would do anything to win her affections. But Betty’s generous move wasn’t out of kindness, she just wants the brainiac to pen her a high grade term paper. Marv decides he needs to impress her in massive fashion however, so he plans to break into a safe that holds a cool million bucks. But will his plot unfold as he desires, or will it all backfire in his face? In High School Caesar, a rich kid named Matt Stevens rules his school’s hallways with an iron fist. Although he has more money than he could ever spend, two hot rod cars, and a massive mansion, he still shakes down the other students. He promises to protect them if they cough up the cash, he thumps the poor saps and how. But when he snaps and murders a rival school’s student, then kidnaps a young woman, has his reign of terror come to a most violent, horrific conclusion? In Date Bait, a young man named Danny is obsessed with the hot as hell Sue, a girl he doesn’t have much of a chance with. Then he ingests a massive load of drugs, which prompts him to go mad and kidnap his crush. As he goes through a twisted trip, can he escape his overdose alive, or will this be his final mistake?
I love movies from the 50s & 60s about juvenile delinquents, as the kids always seem to be more like mobsters than students. So when Something Weird unleashed this troubled teen triple feature, I couldn’t wait to take in all the derelicts. And since Something Weird was involved, I knew the kids would be rowdier than ever. Just as expected, these three flicks have it all, from heartless bullies, to nubile sweeties, hopeless crushes, and yes, even kidnapping. Even so, do these three deliver where it counts, in terms of entertainment? This trio is loaded with cheese, but in truth, I had a blast as I watched all three in marathon fashion. I sat down with some friends to watch High School Big Shot, but we ended up running through the entire disc. These are bad movies, but the lame dialogue and ham handed performances are simply hilarious. High School Caesar is the best of the bunch, with more punch and kick than the others. Date Bait could have been better, as there is more focus on talk than action, if you can believe that. High School Big Shot is as downbeat as a movie can be, but you still can’t take it seriously. When you factor in that all three are included for one low price, you just can’t go wrong with this release. So if you like troubled teens cinema, be sure to spin this triple feature from Something Weird.
Video: How does it look?
All three films are presented in full frame. I never know what I’ll see in terms of transfers on these Something Weird discs, since in most cases, the elements are rare and have never been in good condition to start with. You can tell these movies were shot on low end stock, as part of low end productions, which means the visuals were limited out of the gate. The prints look decent for the circumstances involved, but grain, debris, and even damage can be seen in all three films. These defects are not always serious, but some major print flaws are evident, though little could be done in these cases. I mean, who is going to spend a ton of cash to restore the prints, given the low profile of all three pictures? I found contrast to be passable, but inconsistent through, while softness is an issue with all three treatments. These flicks don’t look so hot, but the material is to blame, not these new transfers.
Audio: How does it sound?
The audio on this triple dip of movies is mono and basic, no real problems to report, but no real praise to be given either. The tracks have held up decently well over the years and have little in terms of age related issues, which is great news. I did hear some slight distortion at times, but nothing serious and given the nature of these movies, that’s expected. The music and sound effects are as good as mono from this time period allows, while dialogue is clean and never hard to understand. You won’t want to use these tracks to showcase your surround sound, but this is about as good as we can hope for, due to the age and nature of these pictures.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This disc includes a selection of teens-run-wild exploitation artwork, as well as High School Big Shot’s theatrical trailer.