Saturday, 20 October 2007

Date Bait (1960)

Date Bait is a 1960 juvenile delinquent movie that has all the ingredients you could hope for – teenage dope fiends, hot rods, violence, parents that just don’t understand, and young lovers in trouble. Susan is in love with Danny, but her dad (who is a bit of a square) thinks he isn’t good enough for her. Brad is in love with Susan, but Susan is Danny’s girl. And Brad has a brother who is a dope dealer, and Brad has started to sample the merchandise. When Danny gets beaten up, and then Susan’s dad tells her she can’t see him again, what else can Danny and Susan do but elope to Las Vegas? But now Danny is in even bigger trouble – he could go to gaol for corrupting a minor! Even though they’re really really in love. Will young love triumph in the end?

The acting is as gloriously inept as you could wish for. Dick Gering as Brad is hilarious as he battles the temptation of those little packets of white powder – he’s shaking like he’s about to explode. Danny and Susan are most amusing as they eye the double bed in their motel room, and the realisation hits them that they’re actually going to Do It. But it’s OK, because they’re married. They’re basically Good Kids. If only Susan’s parents could realise that! Susan’s parents are the sorts of people who made the 50s the decade it was. Date Bait also boasts some of the most embarrassing songs you’ll ever hear. The title tune is particularly memorable. You won’t want to remember it, but you will. This one is a treat for all fans of JD movies.

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