BADass SINema Unearthed - Blu-ray Review

Girl Gang/Pin-Down Girl (1951, 1954) - Blu-ray Review

Girl Gang/Pin-Down Girl

"I can't help it, Joe! I just gotta have it!"

These girls are nothing but trouble!  Smokin’ weed, sellin’ stolen cars, and knockin’ men over the head until they are unconscious and, you know, mostly left for dead.  And it is all because of the greasy tactics of Joe (Timothy Farell) and his notorious needle.

"go in for the thrills and leave with the chills because, yeah, some of these exploitations are exactly that . . . downright disturbing"


Yep, we are talkin’ about the BIG H and getting these girls addicted to it.  Heroin.  The White Horse.  For these young girls, it begins with pot and then - as prostitution is the ultimate goal - he hooks them with China White.  That’s right, DOPE.

And that is only the beginning of this exploitation cult classic.  Sure, sure, it is all sorts of bad and that’s sort of the point here.  These Z-grade flicks were made to get asses in cinema seats and, when successful, they did just that.  There’s no real lesson here other than cone bras, heroin, and prostitution don’t mix well . . . for too long, that is.

Co-written, edited and directed by Robert C. Dertano, Girl Gang leaps off the screen with a duplicitous nature as an otherwise sunny day in what looks like a peaceful part of LA County  turns nasty real quick-like as Joanne Arnold as June and some of her friends bowl over a “John” and steal his car.  Uh-oh.  Their destination?  Why Joe’s nasty second floor apartment.  It’s where all the dames hang out and, you know, really let it ALL hang out.Girl Gang/Pin-Down Girl

Produced and co-written by George G. Weiss, who openly defied the motion picture’s code of moral decency and all that is good in the world.  His concern was making money any way he could with his independent Z-grade schlockers.  Such is the case with the next film on this set, Pin-Down Girl, which sees Peaches Page caught up in a wrestling world of sleaze and she can’t get out either!

Fun, completely bonkers, and full of some incredibly bad acting, both of these films are fun and - while dopey as hell (pun intended) - provide just the right amount of hilarity in the world of Z-grade theatrics.  Reefer Madness anyone?

Co-starring Harry Keaton and Clara Mortensen, go in for the thrills and leave with the chills because, yeah, some of these exploitations are exactly that . . . downright disturbing.  As cautionary tales, this twofer might be a little on the extra cheesy side, but '50s enthusiasts are going to gobble it up.

Girls gone wild indeed!

4/5 beers

Girl Gang/Pin-Down Girl

Blu-ray Details

Home Video Distributor: Kino Lorber
Available on Blu-ray
- July 20, 2021
Screen Formats: 1.37:1
Subtitles
: See details
Audio:
See details
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; Two-disc set
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

By the late 1940s, exploitation producers such as George Weiss (Test Tube Babies, Glen or Glenda?) drifted away from the pseudo-educational framework of the genre and began producing risqué crime melodramas. No films better represent the “mainstreaming” of exploitation than Girl Gang and Pin-Down Girl, and no actor was more suited to such low-grade potboilers than deadpan baritone Timothy Farrell. In Girl Gang, Farrell is a small-time mob boss who feeds dope to high school girls hungry for kicks. A return to the gymnasium setting of Weiss and Farrell’s The Devil’s Sleep, Pin-Down Girl stars Peaches Page as a woman caught in the vice-riddled world of female wrestling. Girl Gang was mastered in 2K from the original 35mm negative; Pin-Down Girl was mastered in 2K from a 35mm re-release version (The Blonde Pick-Up).

Video:

With a crisp black-and-white transfer, Girl Gang and Pin-Down Girl both land on blu-ray thanks to the crackling efforts of Kino Lorber and Something Weird.  Shadows, while not too terribly detailed, are thick and atmospheric throughout. Presented with an aspect ratio of 1.75:1, the film looks marvelous and easily beats the poor appearance on television and on home video DVDs that have previously dogged these releases. The blacks and grays are handled expertly by the transfer.  Beads of sweat are visible, wet city streets, textures in clothing, and even the dirt in the pavement is all visible with fine textures throughout.

Audio:

Bang! Bang! Bang!  Shots are fired on the DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 track which accompanies this American crime film.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • See Special Features as there are two commentaries.

Special Features:

There aren’t a lot BUT fans of these flicks will be pleased with the fun-filled commentaries.

  • Audio commentary for Girl Gang by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas
  • Audio commentary for Pin-Down Girl by Eric Schaefer, author of Bold! Daring! Shocking! True!: A History of Exploitation Films 1919-1959
  • Theatrical trailers

Blu-ray Rating

  Movie 4/5 stars
  Video  4/5 stars
  Audio 3/5 stars
  Extras 4/5 stars

Composite Blu-ray Grade

4/5 stars

 

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