After his kid brother is killed in a street race, a champion drag-racer quits racing. However, a new kid comes to town determined to force him back into racing so he can take his title--and he's already taken his girlfriend.
Hot Rod Girl is a 1956 action film directed by Leslie H. Martinson and released by American International Pictures as a double feature with Girls in Prison. It stars Lori Nelson and Chuck Connors.
Lisa (Lori Nelson) is worried about her fiancé Jeff (John Smith) after the death of his brother in illegal street racing. Flat Top (Frank Gorshin) and the other hot rodders, who hang out at Yo-Yo’s (Fred Essler) burger joint, only went to the police sponsored dragstrip, because of Jeff urging them, but now he does not want anything to do with it. It is only a matter of time, before Police Detective Ben Merrill (Chuck Connors) has another accident, to clean up, when Bronc Talbot (Mark Andrews) rolls into town and goads them into playing chicken.
Youth on the loose!
Believing that a drag strip will keep kids from racing their hot rods on the street "Detective Ben Merrill" (Chuck Connors) takes an active interest and encourages them to drive responsibly. Unfortunately, when a certain group's leader by the name of "Jeff Northrup" (John Smith) has his younger brother killed in a racing accident he decides to avoid the drag strip altogether. This results in the rest of the group also losing interest in the drag strip and instead doing the exact thing that Detective Bill Merrill feared the most. Soon the residents of the city become extremely upset with the way the kids are driving recklessly through town and the police are forced to begin taking action against those who own hot rods. Matters become even worse when a troublemaker by the name of "Bronc Talbott" (Mark Andrews) arrives in town and decides to make a play for Jeff's sexy girlfriend, "Lisa Vernon" (Lori Nelson). Now, rather than reveal any more of the film I will just say that this was an okay grade-B picture which managed to pass the time more or less. Although it's not a great film by any means I didn't think it was that bad either and so I have given it a rating of about average. If nothing else it manages to capture the 1950's time-period pretty well and that might be of interest to some viewers.
Kind of an off the wall affair that sends a mixed message but is certainly a hoot to check out. A young Chuck Connors plays a local cop who is trying to end illegal drag racing by getting the kids to participate in a sort of legalized form of racing at a drag strip he put together and supervises with some of the local youth. Things seem to be working fine, though Connors is constantly getting heat from his Captain who wants hot rodding banned altogether, until the local "hero" Jeff loses his brother in an illegal street race. Jeff goes brooding and decides he wants no part of Connors program anymore just as a typical 1950's hood comes driving into town for the first time trying to shake things up. I found the film to be oddly entertaining but I wasn't sure if the message was that kids shouldn't be drag racing or that it's ok, as long as it's done in a certain place. Anyway, a fun movie featuring pretty good performances by Connors, John Smith and a very young Frank Gorshin as "Flat Top". Also in the cast is the extremely attractive Lori Nelson who has the title role. It seems a little odd that the film carries the title HOT ROD GIRL as Nelson is clearly a supporting player and the only time she "hot rods" is very briefly in the beginning during the opening credits. Still, her 1955 T-Bird is a blast to look at as are some of the other cars featured in the film. Catchy 1950's music score also helps capture a nice feel. If you like these kinds of films, as I do, I think you'll find this one rather enjoyable.
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