The Lemon Grove Kids Meet the Monsters

1965 children's entertainment insanity

Rating: 5/20

Plot: The titular gang races against a rival gang, fights a guy in a gorilla suit, cleans a starlet's home, and battles sinister aliens in a trio of adventures.

Look out! It's Ray Dennis Steckler, the creator of gems Rat Pfink a Boo Boo and The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies!!? This time, he takes a stab at kiddie entertainment, a trilogy of short films that are like The Little Rascals on mescaline. And with random monsters. In the first, they have a foot race against an antagonistic gang from another grove. They also encounter the same gorilla Rat Pfink and Boo Boo had to battle in that movie. I guess Steckler owned the suit. Or, more likely, the guy who plays Kogar the gorilla owns the suit. His name is Bob Burns, and during his sixty year career as an actor in almost 24 films, he's played Kogar the Gorilla, Gorilla Monster, or Tracey the Gorilla in eight of them. Not that he isn't versatile because he's also a mummy in one of these Lemon Grove things. And he's a "NY Stander" in Peter Jackson's King Kong movie. And he worked on special effects in the Lord of the Rings movies. This whole first adventure--crazy music, bad dubbing, cartoonish sound effects--makes for a maddening experience although it's both completely harmless and energetic enough to be watchable. There's even a Rat Pfink cameo. Oh, and Frankenstein is involved somehow. I should have probably typed "Spoiler Alert" before that though. Things pick up with a little sci-fi craziness with a sexy vampiresss and a grasshopper alien. When the latter talks, it's a beautiful thing. The former is also a beautiful thing, but I would never type that as to not invite accusations of objectification. I was totally objectifying her though. Steckler's in this himself as Gopher, the goofiest of the Lemon Grove Kids. He operates under his cool-guy moniker Cash Flagg here, and his finest moment is when he does a bunch of animal impressions. But his bad acting is overshadowed by his own daughter Laura as Tickles. Her acting almost makes it seem like she had decided at the age of five that she hated her daddy and wanted to ruin his career. Of course, she must have been a dumb five year old to not realize that her daddy didn't make very good movies in the first place. The sheer zaniness, a catchy musical number that probably took two minutes to write, and a bunch of cheap-looking monsters keeps this fun even when it's nowhere near good.

No comments: