Cry Baby Killer – Back-To-Back Jack Edition (1958/Disney)
C Sound: C Extras: D Film: C
hilarious title song and debut performance by Jack Nicholson, Jus Addiss’ Cry Baby Killer (1958) remains an
understandable curio as the wild title character land up kidnapping and holding
three people as he tries to hide from a possible murder rap after opening fire
on opposing gang members.
is formulaic and part of a cycle of Rock-music linked B-movie dramas of the
time about misguided youth. With that
said, it is not a great film, but can be an unintentional howler even without
Nicholson. An early Allied Artists/Roger
Corman production, the film is corny throughout, which just adds to its
appeal. The greatest irony is that while
Rock of this first era would soon die out as Elvis joined the military, The Big
Bopper, Richie Valens and Buddy Holly died in their ugly plane accident, Jerry
Lee Lewis found trouble and Little Richard found Jesus, here was Nicholson, who
would become key to the next Rock and counterculture movement. Cry
Baby Killer is an interesting piece of cultural history worthy of
preserving and getting out on DVD.
X 1 black and white image is unfortunately softer than black and white of the
period should be, but is watchable, while the Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono also shows
the age and low budget of the production.
For Blu-ray, they’ll have to go back and fix this one up, but it would
be worth it. Extras include
introductions for this film and a bonus inclusion of Nicholson in the 1960 Little Shop Of Horrors Corman also
produced. Sadly, there is no trailer for
the either film, but one for Cry Baby
Killer can be found on the Naked
Youth/Teen Mania DVD. Worst of all, Little Shop is only here in an awful colorized version that makes
no sense and looks awful. Turning off
(or down) the color on your set (if you can) will not help, because the ugly
plastering is still there.
thing the main film is interesting.
- Nicholas Sheffo