Plot: What’s it about?
The Black Widows are a tough as nails female street gang, who no one wants to mess with, as they can kick ass and take names with the best of them. A member of their own gang has been found dead and evidence leads them to Barbara (June Kenny), a girl from the good side of town, who is sometimes with a rival gang’s leader. Since she is associated with the rival gang and there seems to be sufficient evidence, The Black Widows decide to take her down and avenge their sister’s death. So as The Black Widows make their arrangements, it is agreed that a massive rumble must take place against the rivals, The Vandals. But as time passes before the brawl, all sorts of details are revealed about the gang members and their lives, which paint a picture about how they ended up here. But can all of these people be that bad and in truth, is upper class Barbara any better off then them?
If you’re a fan of these girl gang movies, then Teenage Doll is one you can’t afford to miss. I’m partial to a couple of the Herschell Gordon Lewis ones, but I found this to be a good one also, lots of cool dialogue and moments. At the wheel of Teenage Doll was Roger Corman, legend in the realm of film and of course, master of low budget filmmaking. So you know this was shot on the quick and cheap, but as Corman has proved so many times, that doesn’t mean the flick won’t be a good one. If you’re hung up on impressive set pieces and expensive special effects then you won’t like this movie, but genre fans will find a lot to like here, from the street slang to the street fights. Not much here is new by any means, but Corman and his workers deliver a fun film nonetheless, which is what counts in pictures like this one. I recommend this movie to anyone interested, especially Corman lovers and fans of the teen crime genre.
Although he still isn’t always given the credit he deserves, Roger Corman has started many massive careers and made some terrific flicks, all on low budgets and short schedules. I admit some were better than others, but on the whole, Corman can work wonders with little resources, which is a testament to his skills. I know some were cheese laden horror and science-fiction tales, but come on, some of them are a lot of fun to watch, which makes the difference in my book. He directed over fifty films, but he is best known for his work as producer, which he served as on hundreds and hundreds of films. Some of the films he produced include Death Race 2000, Piranha, Boxcar Bertha, Caged Heat, Cockfighter, East My Dust, Humanoids From The Deep, Battle Beyond The Stars, and Carnosaur. The cast here includes June Kenny (Sorority Girl, Attack of the Puppet People), Sandy Smith, Colette Jackson (House of Women, Seven Days In May), Fay Spain (Thunder Island, The Godfather: Part II), and Barbara Wilson (The Flesh Eaters, Blood of Dracula).
Video: How does it look?
Teenage Doll is presented in a full frame transfer, which seems to be an acceptable aspect ratio. This is much better than I expected, but the source print shows some flaws, even if less than anticipated. The flaws include some small pops and larger debris, but never seem extreme and don’t distract much, so no serious complaints. The black & white image seems sharp and well defined here, as the contrast is stark and well balanced, which allows the image to surface in fine form. This has some rough spots, but on the whole, this is a terrific presentation.
Audio: How does it sound?
The included mono track offers a solid experience, but of course, lacks in terms of dynamic presence. I like the music used in this film a lot and while it seems a little dated, it sounds terrific in this mix, so I am very pleased. There’s not much to discuss in the realm of sound effects, but the slaps, glass breaks, and other elements seem in fine enough form here. No complaints with the dialogue either, which comes across as clean and crisp at all times. Not the most memorable audio effort, but it more than does the material justice, which is what counts.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This disc includes the film’s theatrical trailer.