The Violent Years - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Violent Years Reviews

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½ February 20, 2009
Four teenage girls, who are well into their twenties, disguise themselves as boys (they wear bandannas) and "run rampage" through the city by pushing their sexual advances on a weaselly boy on Lovers' Lane and hitting a gas station employee with a handgun, not killing him of course, but, as one policeman remarks, "Not for lack of trying."

After enduring a friend of her father's who shows up at their slumber party, trying to hold a conversation with the "teens" as they make out robotically, Paula leads the gang on their most heinous crime of all: breaking into their classroom in order to slightly disrupt the furniture and even erase the blackboard! Fortunately, the cops show up before they can finish the job, and a shoot-out ensues. One of the girls, after being blasted with a shotgun, announces, "It wasn't supposed to be like this," before lying down gently with no visible signs of damage whatsoever. The other three girls high-tail it out of the school but stop directly in front of the cops to chat long enough for another girl to be shot down as well. Day and night lose all meaning as the remaining two girls speed off at a snail's pace past the police.

After another shooting, the girls have a wonderfully ridiculous car crash into a plate glass window, killing one of them. Paula receives some cuts on her face, but manages to live just long enough to give birth to her illegitimate child. A judge refuses to grant Paula's parents custody of the child and further punishes them by reading a speech so long and pointless that even he seems to be dozing off by the end. In short, it's the fault of the parents that Paula turned to a hobby of crime because they didn't give her enough love or force religion upon her. Let this be a lesson to us all.

"The Violent Years" isn't nearly as inept as "Plan 9 From Outer Space" or "Glen or Glenda?" (possibly because Ed Wood only wrote it, didn't direct it) but it's still terribly entertaining.
½ January 10, 2009
I'd assumed that William Morgan was one of Ed Wood's pseudonyms, but, according to IMDB, apparently not. Even so, this has everything you could want from an Ed Wood crime movie: wooden performances (the actor playing the judge doesn't even try to hide that he's reading his lines from a crib sheet), day-for-night shots that look like day-for-day, long, awkwardly worded moralizing speeches that somehow have their own peculiar poetry. The sloppy reel changes on my print were also a nice touch.
December 6, 2008
This is, bar none, the most spectacularly, most hilarious BAD MOVIE in history-- I challenge you to find one worse! "Plot" revolves around out-of-control upper-middle class teenage girl gang in the 50s who "get kicks" by robbing gas stations, gang-raping men in the park, aiding Communist infiltrators for quick cash, having pajama party orgies, getting pregnant and behaving in all kinds of other debauchery and depravity... all the while their parents and city have *no idea*, and there's even a fabulous conclusion where a semi-comotose judge preaches for at least 20 minutes about how "This Is Happening In Your City, and Your Children May be Involved" as a cautionary tale... Damn, the 50s were wild!
November 27, 2008
Not great, bad dialogue, but not bad for an Ed Wood film
½ November 21, 2008
The fact that this is short probably helps the movie. Not too boring, and honestly, quite interesting. This is also a good moral film on how parents should be there for their kids. In that sense, it is still very actual. An actual good Wood film. :)
Super Reviewer
October 24, 2008
Script by Ed Wood. Hm. Think I'll pass.
October 22, 2008
This is a great Ed Wood script,
½ August 11, 2008
i think that all of those parents that believe that movies, music, and video games are the cause of children going out and shooting folks should check this movie out. yeah, it's low budget and contains some bad acting, but the message is clear: if you want your kids to grow up right, you have to be there for them and show them some love and teach them right from wrong. ed wood was a bit ahead of his time in releasing this film...it's a shame it's not more entertaining than it is.
April 21, 2008
The neglected daughter of a socialite and a workaholic newspaper editor forms a gang of other girls who receive everything but attention from their parents. Together, they go on an ever-escalating crime-spree that involves gas station robberies, the rape of young men, and even the desecration of the American flag!

"The Violent Years" is a film written by the infamous Edward Wood, a screenwrite and director whose flims only redeeming qualities were that the passion he had for filmmaking managed to show through the cheap sets, bad acting, and incompetent direction, and the quirky sort of poetic cadence that was present in his dialogue. (Of course, also present were awful lines like, "It's hard for an old friend to sit in judgement of an old friend.") Although one might think that another director at the helm of this movie might elevate above Ed Wood's usual low standards, but it happens that William Morgan is about as skilled a craftsman as Wood.

That said, this film still has has its decent points. First off, it has a message that is equally valid today. Parents need to do more parenting--as in, they need to set aside their own interests and desires for the years when they should be focusing on guiding and nurturing the young lives they've brought into this world--if we're to pull American society out of the tailspin it's been in for the past 50 years. It's delivered in so hamfisted a fashion that it makes "Reefer Madness" seem subtle, but it's a message that I wish would reach reach the appropriate ears and one that I wish would be heeded. It also features a nice reversal of the oft-featured gang-rape scene in these sorts of youth crime films, and perhaps one of the most creative executions of a car crash in a film where the budget didn't allow for a car crash. Oh... and just about every female character who you might want to see in tight clothes is indeed wearing tight clothes. If only real life had so many firm bosoms in tight sweaters!

On the downside, we've got some pretty horrible acting that's matched only by the film's horrible casting. The teenage wild things, who are around 15 or 16 years old according to the film's story, are played by actresses who are obviously in their late 20s or early 30s, something which lends an air of rediculousnesses to the story. Further, we once again are treated to some of the cheapest looking homes of rich people that have ever been put on film. (Ed Wood kept writing about fancy homes, but the sets in his movies never rose to even being close to believable on that count.)

Of course, there's also plenty of "so bad they're good" moments in the film, such as the pajama party, the shoot-out, and the aforementioned rape scene which is on one hand as creepy and disturbing as it needs to be, but undermined by an illogical simultaneous escape scene.

Like Ed Wood's other message picture, "Glen or Glenda?", "The Violent Years" delivers a point that is worth taking to heart--while the previous film asked for tolerance of those who are different, this film calls for parents to live up to their responsibilities and presents us with an over-the-top example of the consequences of parental neglect. This film isn't quite as strange as "Glen or Glenda?", nor as poetic, but it's still a decent story. It's also a film that will brighten the line-up of any Bad Movie Night while delivering its message wrapped in tight sweaters.


The Violent Years (aka "Female", "Girl Gang Terrorists" and "Teenage Girl Gang")
Starring: Jean Moorhead, Barbara Weeks, Joanne Cangi, Gloria Farr, Therea Hancock, Timothy Farrell, Arthur Millan, I. Stanford Jolley, and Lee Constant
Director: William Morgan
½ April 15, 2008
Written by Ed Wood . . . that's the first thing that comes to mind when watching this 50's exploit film. That said, the results are hilarious, from the "rape scene" all the way down to the judge giving his long winded talk about morals and how the solution to delinquency lies with the Catholic Church (Mike Huckabee would love this film!). Like all of Ed Wood's other films, a must see for all the wrong reasons.
cosmo313
Super Reviewer
March 27, 2008
The best thing about this movie is the fact that it was written by Edward D. Wood, Jr. His absurd and (unintentionally) funny script really drives this ludicrous tale about a female gang.
February 17, 2008
I love that this movie is so bad but it's supposed to be so CRAZY cause they're GIRLS OMG! haha Good times.
January 31, 2008
GET READY TO LAUGH YOUR TAIL OFF
½ January 9, 2008
only written by Ed Wood so the filmmaking is post-kindergarten & professional. Its just good to see these feminine juvenile deliquents mess up a classroom for the Commies and then get caught in a deadly shootout! "So WHAT!"

FYI: the industrial band Ministry heavily sampled the dialogue for a song called So What on theit "A Mind Is A Terrible Thing To Taste" album-its terrific
½ December 2, 2007
Written by Ed Wood, but directed by William Morgan - who might as well be Wood, given the great badness of the film. A gang of females rape men, terrorize others and have a ball, until they're caught. Typical '50s moralizing bookends a raunchy classic of bad films.
Fans of Ministry keep an ear out for sampled dialogue.
½ December 2, 2007
Written by Ed Wood, but directed by William Morgan - who might as well be Wood, given the great badness of the film. A gang of females rape men, terrorize others and have a ball, until they're caught. Typical '50s moralizing bookends a raunchy classic of bad films.
Fans of Ministry keep an ear out for sampled dialogue.
October 4, 2006
Not as bad as most of Ed Wood's films, but that sure isn't saying much. It is still a dreadfully bad film, with some of the worst acting ever. But Ed Wood's films are always worth tuning into, because they are so so bad.
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