The Go-Go Girls Who Go Too Far!
Teenage Gang Debs (1966)
Tuesday, January 3rd
Film starts at 9pm
Otto’s Shrunken Head
538 East 14st (between Ave A & B)
As always, free popcorn and $2 Vehicular Bingo for prizes!
What’re ya, some kind of goon? You give me the creeps. The creeps!
Always on the lookout for new vehicular titles to add to the Cine Meccanica files, I stumbled upon this little known 50’s ‘B’ sleaze flick when it was released a while back on a juvenile delinquent compilation DVD along with Teen-Age Strangler, put out by Something Weird Video…with not more than a mention that bikes were involved, I couldn’t resist.
But oh, my surprise when I finally got around to watching it. Expecting an unbearably cheap transfer of a sloppy, low budget trash reel, it is in fact an action packed, all out Manhattan vs Brooklyn motorcycle gang romp, filmed in gritty, handheld black & white. Featuring a fantastically hip, bohemian bongo drum and raunchy be-bop soundtrack, and rockin’ tough dance party numbers set to the likes of ‘Black belt’ and ‘Don’t Get Me Mad’.
So, I’m thrilled to screen this 50’s delinquent biker treasure, and equally pleased to file it away on the shelf after, with some other rough and tumble, NY-centric cult classics, including a vhs copy of Dead End (1932) starring Humphrey Bogart, a tattered copy of Last Exit to Brooklyn (1964) written by Hubert Selby, and a stack of Bowery Boy flicks, among other treasures.
And with that, I give you Teenage Gang Debs!
The film opens with Rosie and some members of the Brooklyn based motorcycle hooligan gang, The Rebels partying. They don’t fool around and Rosie might have gotten in over her head, and ends up roughed up for not knowing the score. We don’t see Rosie again, but the scene sets the tone for the reputation of The Rebels.
Terry: I dig.
Terry, a Manhattan girl with teased hair, tight pants, leather boots and go-go eyes, used to run with the Falcons, a Manhattan gang, until the night before when some trouble went down and she was forced to flee the island quick. She turns up on the Brooklyn waterfront (I have no idea where, perhaps Fulton Ferry or Bklyn Heights) sauntering fearlessly into a dive that doubles as The Rebels’ club house. She’s been around the block (and across the river) and isn’t scared of the tough talking hooligans.
The Rebel debs don’t like the idea of a new broad hanging around at all. Not at all. But Terry needs a new gang and doesn’t plan on being stopped just cause they ‘aint looking for new debs. She picks a catfight with Johnny, the leaders gal and mayhem quickly ensues. Terry easily wins the fight and that, Terry’s in.
Johnny takes Terry on as his old lady but with one requirement. He’s set on branding her with his initials. She puts him off saying she needs a few days to think about it ‘don’t bug me man’ but secretly, she has no intention of being marked.
Without skipping a beat, she starts hitting on the gang’s #2, Nino. He’s loyal to Johnny and the gang code of ethics, and does put up a bit of good fight, but in the end she gets her way with him. With a new old man, and the fear of branding behind her, she could leave well enough alone and settle in, but that’s not Terry’s style.
She quickly chides Nino into standing up to Johnny and taking the Rebel’s for himself (and her), and the coup d’etat plays out with an adorable knife fight at the club house. Johnny’s killed. They toss him in the river, clean up the house and with that Nino’s The Prez, Top Man, The Real Daddy-o. One of the girls, Annie protests the hostile take over but she gets sent to the back room, and is turned out as a ‘crud’, a mamma and then tossed out for good.
As a local news report plays. Terry dolls up, seeming quite pleased with her self. She’s got this gang wrapped around her little finger and she likes it.
Strolling the streets of Brooklyn like she owns ‘em, Terry ends up saving a broad from a street fight. The chick turns out to be the leader of The Rat Pack’s old lady. The Rebels and The Rats form an unholy, temporary union to organize a rumble against The Eagles, yet another Brooklyn motorcycle gang.
The plan comes together nicely that night with several bloody brawls. The next day, with four guys killed, and more busted, the heat is on. Nino wants to lay low, but Terry wants more. She wants to take on everyone, the Warriors, The Eagles, even The Rat Pack, and make The Rebels the toughest gang in the city.
Things have changed since Terry took over. Despite hosting some kickin’ dance parties, the gang just isn’t any fun anymore. No one can leave the gang now. If you wanna quit, you gotta fight, but if you do, you just might bite it. Piggy just wanted to turn 17, quit school, get a job and marry his gal, but Terry worked it out so he ate it bad. This is the last straw. The girls are finally fed up with Terry and the fact that the boys won’t stand up to her. Deciding to take matters into their own hands, they beat her to within an inch of her life and leave her down by the docks of Brooklyn under the Manhattan skyline. Maybe she should have stayed on the island…