Sunday, January 24, 2010

Spooks Run Wild (1941), Phil Rosen.

Spider on a string!  Spider on a string!

My first look at any East Side Kids (/Bowery Boys/ Dead End Kids) vehicle hits the series in the middle.  Dead End, first a play (1935) and then a film (1937), examined the serious social issue of limited life prospects for the young in New York slums.  This story was re-told and recycled, using many of the same younger actors, and eventually  morphed into a comedy franchise.  Yes, within about ten short years, ghetto kids were making jokes about "bein' disadvantaged" and sent to summer camp!  The term "kids" should be taken loosely:  a number of these guys look like they are in their mid-20s, including a nicely built young chap named "Pee Wee" who meanders around in a wifebeater!  (Hey, someone had to say it)!

Spooks Run Wild, which fell into public domain, is a cheapie from Monogram that has the kids running amok in a heavily cob-webbed manor taken over by Bela Lugosi and Little Person actor Angelo Rossitto.  This makes about three B-movies I have seen with Rossitto as Lugosi's henchman.  There's a few strange sequences where Lugosi gently lifts him into vehicles, out of coffins, etc.  Rossitto worked for years on end, and even appeared in one of the Mad Max movies!  Plot predictably holds water like a sieve, and Lugosi appears to be on the verge of busting a gut in many scenes.  Hey, and now I know where to get PANTS in the Lower East Side!

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