Dait Bait
Drag Strip Girl
Drag Strip Riot
The Giant Gila Monster
Girls Town
High School Caesar
Hot Cars
Hot Car Girl
Hot Rod Gang
Hot Rod Hullabaloo
Hot Rods To Hell
Road Racers
Speed Crazy
Speed Lovers
Teenage Crime Wave
Teenage Doll
The Wild Ride
Wild Youth



It's a difficult task to profile an entire genre. We've honed and whittled and weeded and humbly present the list of titles that best represents an era. So rev it up and read on

Rebel Without A Cause

Hardly a B film by anyone's standards, director Nicholas Ray's delinquent classic jump-started the genre and catapulted James Dean to stardom. The cliff side chicken race alone qualifies it for re-examination, as does its impeccable cast. The way Dean died and the fact that he'd filmed a safe driving promo just prior to his passing demand the film's inclusion.

High School Confidential (1958)
Russ Tamblyn goes undercover to smash a high school dope ring helmed by kingpin Jackie Coogan. Hot cars and the pumping piano of Jerry Lee Lewis are more than enough to recommend this one. In addition, super-stacked Mamie Van Doren, in the role that forever defined her screen presence, steams up the screen as Tamblyn's 'aunt!'

The Choppers (1961)
Making one more bid for teen stardom, Arch Hall Jr. leads a band of roving car thieves who supply fresh steel to the local chop shop. Arch croons a few lovably banal tunes but in truth, the film belongs to rotund character actor Bruno Ve Sota who'd honed slovenly habits into an art form.

Motorcycle Gang (1957)
Another Ed Cahn-directed opus that simply transplants the typical hot rod shenanigans onto the backs of Harleys. Anne Neyland is top-billed as Steve Terrell's chick, while John Ashley does an unusual turn as the bad guy. Carl 'Alfalfa' Switzer is interestingly cast as one of the hog-riding thugs in Ashley's pack.

Teenage Thunder (1957)
Charles Courtney stars as a motherless youth yearning to prove his manhood. Robert Fuller stays in his face, taunting him into a knuckle-whitening chicken race. All the elements are present for a top-notch speed flick but are sadly undone by a lack of ambience and an incongruously perky score. Ten years later, Courtney starred in Billy the Kid Meets Dracula.

High School Hellcats (1958)
These crazy chicks are tough as nails, as the new girl, luscious Yvonne Lime learns the hard way. The hot-rod element is hardly prevalent, but the spirit of the genre enhances this unusually taught tale of switchblade-toting sorority sisters. Busty Jana Lund leads the pack through a script possessed of some decidedly ambiguous psycho-sexual shadowing.

T-Bird Gang (1959)
Ed Nelson learned the filmic ropes as a prominent member of Roger Corman's stock company. In an early leading role, he rousts his teen thug minions into action with a perpetual sneer plastered on his kisser. The proceedings are without doubt dominated by Ed's gleaming, white T-bird convertible, one of the coolest American cars ever produced.

Hot Rod Girl (1957)
Lovely Lori Nelson is the speed-craving ingenue and Chuck Connors pops up as the understanding cop who tries vainly to keep the kids in his charge on the straight and narrow. Director Leslie Martinson sets the tone with an eye-popping high-speed opening. Nelson's professionalism lends a note of legitimacy to a cliched script otherwise dominated by nifty racing footage.

Thunder Road (1957)
Robert Mitchum produced, wrote and stars in this offbeat backwoods saga of family booze-makers cargoing hooch into Memphis via Mitchum's souped-up '50 Ford. Directed by quirky Arthur Ripley, the nighttime scenes of Mitchum cruising the Tennessee mountains at full-throttle are some of the most exciting chase pieces ever filmed. The jabbing horns and stinging rockabilly guitar make the ambience unbeatable. Mitchum also wrote and sang the film's hit theme song.

So, what is the number one, all-time best hot rod flick?

"Piston-hard drama, rock and roll love!"
Hot Rod Rumble

"The whole, ripped-bare story of the beach babes of the Caribbean!"
Island Women

"Teen-age ... tough ... and tempted by easy money!"
Running Wild

 All contents copyright The Astounding B Monster®