The Prime Time
Herschell Gordon Lewis, Irwin Joseph (executive) for Mid-Continent Films, Essanjay Films
directed by Gordon Weisenborn
starring Jo Ann LeCompte, Frank Roche, James Brooks, Ray Gronwold, Maria Pavelle, Robert Major, Betty Senter, Karen Black, Penny Cunard, Joe Greco, Barry Hopkins, Paul Lamaraux, Andy Lindhoff, Ron Siden
written by Robert Abel, music by Buddy Frye, Herschell Gordon Lewis, Martin Rubinstein
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Young Tony (James Brooks) is in love with 17-year-old Jean (Jo Ann
LeCompte) - but she's only using him as a front, while secretly dating cop
McKeen (Frank Roche), much to Tony's dismay of course. Being made a fool
by Jean a few times too often, it's no wonder that Tony eventually falls
in love with sympathetic Gloria (Maria Pavelle), and he plans to ditch
Jean. Jean however has by that time disappeared.
The point is, Jean has
been stood up by McKeen, and somehow wound up with artist Beard (Ray
Gronwold), whose appartment the lovers were using for sex, and he has
stripped and raped her and then tied her up. And Tony wouldn't even care
too much if she had disappeared, but she has borrowed his car.
out it's not too much of a problem finding Jean's car, but there's
something fishy about Jean's disappearance, so Tony and Gloria and their
friends start to investigate - much to the dismay of McKeen, who tries to
throw a spanner in the works because if they found Jean, it would come out
that he had sexual relationships with an underaged girl. Beard in the
meantime forges letters in Jean's handwriting saying that she has taken
off for New York, then turns on the gas to kill Jean and packs his bags to
make a getaway to Florida - but somehow, Tony and friends manage to track
him down just in time, and while Beard accidently blows himself up in his
own kitchen, the youngsters manage to save Jean ... but once Tony has got
her in his arms, he knows nothing to do with her but to hand her over to
McKeen and take off with Gloria - and while McKeen immediately wants to
ditch Jean, she blackmails him into marrying her.
Gordon Lewis' first feature film (which he only produced and didn't direct
like most sources claim) is a typical cheaply made teenage melodrama
1950's drive-in style - with a bit of nudity thrown in to attract a
broader audience. In all, the film is no better or worse (or different,
for that matter) than other similar films of its time, it's pretty much a
film that you might have forgotten the day after seeing it - but if you
are into teenage drive-in schlock (like I am) you might like it anyways.