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Category:    Home > Reviews > Drama > Teens > Crime > Cry Baby Killer – Back-To-Back Jack Edition (1958/Disney)

Cry Baby Killer – Back-To-Back Jack Edition (1958/Disney)


Picture: C     Sound: C     Extras: D     Film: C



With its 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.


The film 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.


The 1.33 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.


Good thing the main film is interesting.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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