Friday, May 22, 2015

Movie Review: The Choppers

The Choppers
Starring: Arch Hall Jr., Robert Paget, Burr Middleton, Rex Holman, Chuck Barnes, Tom Brown, Marianne Gaba, William Shaw, Bruno VeSota, Britt Wood, Dee Gee Green, Richard Cowl, Patrick Hawley, Arch Hall Sr., Jim Bradford, Carmella N. Hall, Bill Rolland 
Director: Leigh Jason 
Fairway International Pictures, Rushmore Productions, USA, 1961. 
The Choppers title
This movie can be found in Fuel Injected Films 20 Movie Collection by Mill Creek Entertainment. 

Reporter Jim Bradford (Arch Hall Sr.) tells a disquieting story about youngsters. Jack 'Cruiser' Bryan (Arch Hall Jr.) is a small town delinquent vandalizing and stripping cars. His friends are 'Torch' Lester (Robert Paget), Tony 'Snooper' Cannelli (Burr Middleton), Ben Shore (Chuck Barnes) and 'Flip' Johnson (Rex Holman). All of the boys all have broken homes and neglecting parents. They sell stolen car parts to crooked garage entrepreneur Moose McGill (Bruno VeSota) and his henchman Cowboy Boggs (Britt Wood). 
Arch Hall Jr.
Jack 'Cruiser' Bryan
Robert Paget and Rex Holman
Torch and Flip
Gang chopping a car while Cruiser is watching
The gang causes trouble for Police Lt. Frank Fleming (William Shaw), Officer Jenks (Patrick Hawley) and insurance guy Tom Hart (Tom Brown). Ex-Playboy Playmate Marianne Gaba performs Tom's secretary Liz who never gets to have a dinner. Not even Tom's own car is safe from the Choppers.
William Shaw
Lt. Frank Fleming
Patrick Hawley
Officer Jenks
Marianne Gaba
Cruiser has a wannabe girlfriend Gypsy (Dee Gee Green) who does not about the illegal businesses. When business begins to overheat, Moose wants to end his co-operation with the Choppers. Liz does some detective work. Cruiser's expensive hot-rod arouses suspicion. Ring around the gang tightens before the final violent showdown with the police.
Tom Brown
Insurance inspector Tom Hart
Britt Wood
Cowboy Boggs
Dee Gee Green
This is enjoyable low budget juvenile delinquent carsploitation flick with jazzy soundtrack. The movie's first half has some comedy in it, before the darkening end. Arch Hall Jr. sings some cult rock'n'roll-songs such as "Monkey in My Hatband". Roger Corman's regular supporting character actor Bruno VeSota has now a bigger role than usually. The acting varies from believably hard-boiled youth's to some hilariously wooden performances.
Bruno VeSota
Moose McGill paying the gang
Arch Hall Sr. and Richard Cowl
Jim Bradford interviewing Torch's drunk dad (Richard Cowl)
Side note: this movie stars actor Arch Hall Jr. whose acting career spanned only six films produced and distributed by his father's (Arch Hall Sr.) film company Fairway International Pictures. Later he became an airline pilot and musician, so he's a multi-talented guy. During his short acting career he showed his acting skills in B-movie drama, action, musical, horror, comedy and western films. Although most of them were turkeys, some of them were quite good. Especially his performance in"The Sadist" has been praised. All of his films can be found in various Mill Creek box sets: The Choppers (Fuel Injected Films 20 Movie Collection), Eegah (Sci-Fi Classics 50 Movie Pack), Wild Guitar (Classic Musicals 50 Movie Pack), The Sadist (Tales of Terror 50 Movie Pack), The Nasty Rabbit (Hollywood Comedy Legends 50 Movie Pack), and Deadwood '76 (Mean Guns 20 Movie Pack).

Here's a Arch Hall Jr. singing "Monkey in My Hatband".

Rating: Good

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