Mike “McBeardo” McPadden’s writing has long been an influence on my work. His last book, Heavy Metal Movies, is a brick-like tome packed with attitude that I’ve used as a reference since it was released. Now, he’s back with Teen Movie Hell, which I’m declaring the ultimate in any info you’d ever need on movies with half-naked co-eds.
From the genre’s origins in beach movies and American Grafitti to Animal House, Porky’s and beyond, McPadden details it all, along with letting you know exactly how much he loves some films and hates others, particularly John Hughes related endeavors.
Each page is jam-packed full of info and poster art. Yet my favorite moments in the book are when McPadden yields the spotlight at times to those with a dissenting viewpoint. In a time of both nondebate and too much debate, this book makes an effective case for celebrating these movies, which are the next drive-in screen cousins of horror movies in the junky world of pre-internet exploitation.
Your love of this book will probably be directly in proportion to how much you remember these films. For me, someone who had no VCR and would stay up late into the summer night to watch movies like Hamburger the Motion Picture, this is straight furburgerage from heaven! Even if you don’t know any of these movies, I’d give this book my highest recommendation. These movies may seem silly or strange today, but they’re worth celebrating and cataloging with the good humor and smarts that this book employs in spades.
You can order the book now from Bazillion Points.