Cheap quick one-set Corman classics presents:
And thus is rock defined:
A doo-wop quintent (there's another fellow crooning in the cutaway scene.) The hep-teen audience may have been disappointed the movie didn't start with a spit-curl fat guy rocking around the clock; they have accepted this as "youth music" and hence "rock" or they may have not cared at all, since they were late to the theater because Joanie took so gosh-darn long with her hair like anyone was going to see her in a dark theater and it's not like she had a date or anything.
Anyway: in the swank club - racially mixed, by the way - there's a short guy named Shorty having a tall beer at the bar. I picked him out instantly in the background, but oddly enough when I went for a frame-grab on his medium shots, he's less . . . himself:
He's one of those guys you see in a hundred movies, never making it big, never getting his name on the marquee. Dick Miller! And why is Dick on the floor? Because he's been thrown out of the joint for fighting, which means we leave the club where the first 15 minutes took place, never to see it again, because nothing that happened mattered. It was just padding. The action shifts to a crummy bar down the street, where a hep-cat impresario is talking to the band before they play the lousy bar. Meet Colonel Sanders alter ego, SIR BOP!
The band he represents is both solid and gone, as indicated by the effect it has on young women:
Here's those teen-throb idols:
The movie staggers along for another 30 minutes, with musical scenes interspersed with scenes best described as "scenes in which there is no music," until finally two crazed and desperate killers enter the bar and hold everyone hostage. Now sit right back and I'll tell a tale, a tale of a crook what's hip:
Yes, it's Russell Johnson, the Professor - except here he's Jigger, a twitchy criminal on the lam! With time running out! To keep his nerves calm, he asks the songbird fronting the rock combo sing, and therein lies a problem: she's horrible. She's intentionally horrible, though; she's nervous and doesn't really want to be a singer. While that makes for a tiny portion of pathos, it also makes for some gruesome musical numbers in a movie that's supposedly a "rockin'" movie. Her last song is somewhat better, perhaps because she's not onstage under the glare of the lights and the eyes of six customers:
Say, what's that behind her?
Roger Corman: the man who'd decorate a rock-and-roll nightclub set with "Dogs Playing Poker.