VIDEO ARCHIVES WEEK: Teenager (1974)

VIDEO ARCHIVES NOTES: This movie was discussed on the August 23, 2022 episode of the Video Archives podcast and can be found on their site here.

Director Billy Hazelrod (Joe Warfield) wants to make a biker movie in a small town where all of the interactions are real. He wants people to live and breathe their roles, but seeing as how the town already distrusts not just bikers but these Hollywood types, he’s basically setting up a horrible tragedy. Or maybe that’s what he intended all along. Why else would he set a sexual assault scene in a church, surrounded by real worshippers? And why is anyone surprised when they stop kneeling and start attacking the bikers — who they think are real — as the cameras keep rolling?

Sue Bernard (Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!) is the lead actress who starts taking her role too seriously. Andrea Cagan (The Hot Box) is the local girl who gets seduced by the dream factory that has taken over her small town. And John Holmes plays a cop!

The idea of this movie is way more interesting than the film itself. If I write and tell you that an accidental killing in this film becomes part of the movie that is being made within the movie and it’s about art and life intersecting, it comes off that this film is able to turn that storyline into something meaningful. It gets close through it’s very fly on the wall way of being shot. Yet it’s so talky that it feels like it will take a long time to get there. If made by a better filmmaker, it may have.

Speaking of those filmmakers, this was directed and co-written (with Earl Jay) by Gerald Sindell, who also made H.O.T.S., a movie that was on cable seemingly non-stop in the middle of the masturbatory night in my teenage years.

You can watch this on YouTube.

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