Dragstrip Girl (1957)

Genre: Hot-Rodding Teenage Delinquents

Buxom blonde Louise Blake (Fay Spain) is new in town with her '28 Model “A” Roadster hot-rod. She has no qualms about drag-strip racing through the centre of town against the neighbourhood boys, rich kid Fred Armstrong (John Ashley), whose father owns “half the town” and his school rival, the son of a builder, Jim Donaldson (Steven Terrell). Be prepared for lots of bad rear projection.

Always one step ahead of the law, when not racing their hot-rods they hang-out with their gang at an Italian restaurant where they obnoxiously retort the visiting cops or break into impromptu dancing as soon as a record is played.
Fred and Jim soon fall for the charms of Louise as she flirts between the two. This leads to friction between the two rivals. Fred is adamant that he’ll destroy Jim to win over Louise’s heart and he’ll do this by winning the USA Regional Sweepstakes Race. Jim had his sights set on winning this so that he could get a scholarship to go to college.

To win the race, Fred borrows Rick’s (Tommy Ivo) hot-rod which is a chopped and channelled Model “A” Roadster.

In the meantime, Louise is the perfect 1950’s daughter to her loving parents, who’s only unusual quirk is her father’s interest in hot-rods. Unlike the usual doubting parents found in these types of movies, they actually encourage her with her hot-rodding.

The parents hope that Louise will choose Fred as her boyfriend because of his parent’s money and social standing, but unbeknownst to them, Jim is the sensible one of the two. After a near miss when a hot-rod nearly hits a baby’s pram, it is Jim who decides to follow the cop’s advice and form a regulated hot-rod club.

Fred and Jim’s rivalry comes to boiling point when Fred dares Jim to a “chickie run”. Jim loses and everything now rests on the USA Regional Sweepstakes Race, but not before Fred and Rick steal Jim’s hot-rod to find out how fast his car can go. This leads to a hit-and-run accident leaving the victim dead in the road.

The police discover some clues to the accident and are hot on the trail of the car’s owner, Jim. Arriving at the racetrack, the police find the gang there with Fred and Jim about to take part in the big race.

This American International Picture is great fun and especially for the hot-rods used. As well as being an actor, Tommy Ivo is also real-life drag racer and he supplied his own hot-rod for John Ashley’s character to drive in this film.

As is typical of these movies from the 50’s, all the cast are in reality much older than the characters they play.

Fay Spain is pleasing on the eye, but the character is lost slightly in the story when at the beginning she is a carefree and reckless bad-girl, especially after narrowly avoiding the babies pram, but later in the movie is completely the opposite.

John Ashley is great with a very cool 50’s look.

Other members of the hot-rod gang are Frank Gorshin and Marilyn Monroe look-a-like Judy Bamber, both in a '27 Model “T” Roadster.

Directed by Edward L. Cahn, who also directed such great 50’s sci-fi movies as The She-Creature (1956), Invasion of the Saucer Men (1957), and It! The Terror from Beyond Space (1958).

If you like vintage hot-rods, buxom 50’s blondes and a cheesy script, you’ll love this film.

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