Filmmaker Ray Dennis Steckler (THE INCREDIBLY STRANGE CREATURES WHO STOPPED LIVING AND BECAME MIXED-UP ZOMBIES, 1964) spent a whopping $5,000 on this Batman parody that was made before the popular TV show debuted in 1966. Like all of Steckler's films, it's essentially a glorified home
movie, but one made by a highly talented amateur.
When he's not busy recording or performing, Hollywood rock star Lonnie Lord (Vin Saxon) spends his time with his girlfriend Cee Bee Beaumont (Carolyn Brandt). Cee Bee's name is picked at random from the phone book by a trio of thugs looking for a victim to terrorize. They make threatening phone
calls, follow her to the grocery store, and at night bang on her bedroom window. When they call her during a pool party at Lonnie's house, she becomes upset and drives home. The thugs are waiting and kidnap her, despite the efforts of gardener Titus Twimbly (Titus Moede) to protect her. Lonnie and
Titus wait for the kidnappers to call; they do, demanding a $50,000 ransom that evening. Unable to raise so much money so quickly, Lonnie and Titus decide to handle it in their identities as costumed crimefighters Rat Pfink and Boo Boo. They leave a suitcase in the designated spot and, when one of
the hoods retrieves it, follows him back to their lair. A fist fight puts one of the villains out of commission; the other two escape in their pickup truck with Cee Bee, with our heroes in pursuit The chase ends with another fight in the woods. Cee Bee is briefly snatched by Kogar, an escaped
gorilla, before being rescued by Rat Pfink, whom she is delighted to learn is her boyfriend Lonnie.
Steckler wanted this film to be called RAT PFINK AND BOO BOO, but the title maker screwed up; rather than pay him another $20 to fix it, Steckler decided to send the movie out as is. Good move--only by accident could anyone come up with a title as wonderful as RAT PFINK A BOO BOO. Nor is that the
only happy accident about the film. Steckler originally planned for it to be a gritty crime thriller, and shot half of it as such. But he felt it wasn't going very well, got bored, and thought, What if we just have these two guys go into a closet and come out as superheroes? And so he did,
whipping together a pair of costumes out of long underwear, tights, and a few blinking lights. Not even Woody Allen or Stanley Kubrick can change a film that much midway through production.
RAT PFINK A BOO BOO isn't the kind of movie you'd want to watch from beginning to end very often--the last half-hour consists almost entirely of a few endless chase/fight scenes. But the rockabilly songs by star Vin Saxon are surprisingly enjoyable, and the film's goofy, improvisational good humor
makes a lot of it fun to watch. For instance, the film ends with Rat Pfink, Boo Boo, and Cee Bee (played by Steckler's wife, Carolyn Brandt) waving to the crowds at a parade, as the crowds cheer them on. As Steckler clearly couldn't have afforded to stage a parade, he probably just found one, got
his actors into the middle of it, filmed them for a few minutes before the cops came, and then later dubbed in appropriate dialogue. For such a low-budget film, the photography is surprisingly good, crisp black and white with tinted scenes to add contrast. (Violence.)
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- Rating: NR
- Review: Filmmaker Ray Dennis Steckler (THE INCREDIBLY STRANGE CREATURES WHO STOPPED LIVING AND BECAME MIXED-UP ZOMBIES, 1964) spent a whopping $5,000 on this Batman parody that was made before the popular TV show debuted in 1966. Like all of Steckler's films, it's… (more)