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Something Weird Video presents
The Shame of Patty Smith / You've Ruined Me Eddie (1959/1962)

"Mmmm. Kansas was never like this."
- Patty Smith (Dani Lynn)

Review By: Rich Rosell   
Published: December 17, 2004

Stars: Dani Lynn, Merry Anders, Jeanne Rainer, Ted Marshall
Other Stars: J. Edward McKinley, Charles Martin, Sue Ellis, Carleton Crane
Director: Leo A. Handel, R. John Hugh

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (nothing objectionable)
Run Time: 02h:46m:09s
Release Date: July 06, 2004
UPC: 014381217629
Genre: cult


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
B- B-BB B

DVD Review

With this double-feature release from Something Weird, the theme is teenage pregnancy and illegal abortion, with a light dusting of gang rape thrown in for good measure. As with horny housewives, crazy beatniks or juvenile delinquents, the sub genre extolling the untold perils of teenage marriage was a big market back in the early 1960s for exploitation filmmakers, and the message on these two films is pounded out loud and clear, all with a strange mix of all-knowing elders and having to deal with an unwanted bun in the oven.

The Shame of Patty Smith (aka Patty)
1962
01h:32m:42s
Directed by Leo A. Handel

Patty Smith (Dani Lynn) a is naïve young Kansas transplant desperately trying to make her way in the scary world known as Los Angeles, spending time with furrowed-brow boyfriend Alan (Carleton Crane). A chance encounter with a trio of young hoodlums, who all spout sexual double entendres to no end, winds up with sweet Patty being gang raped and ending up pregnant in the process. The grim-voiced narrator, who pops in periodically to remind us of all the women who die at the hands of doctors performing illegal abortions, promises that this film will follow Patty on the "station to station of her Calvary."

The message here is pretty clear and not exactly subtle, and will likely make the "Choose Life" crowd a bit angry, but that's the breaks, I guess. Poor Patty's life goes from bad to worse, as she ends up losing her job, seeking help through a seedy bar owner with "connections", and eventually visiting an abortion doctor who looks likes he stepped off the set of that Twilight Zone episode with the really ugly pig-faced doctors. This is actually a fairly decent film, especially for a Something Weird release, and manages to peddle its message with a properly downbeat conclusion.

You've Ruined Me Eddie (aka Touch of Flesh)
1959
01h:13m:27s
Directed by R. John Hugh

With the semi-seriousness of The Shame of Patty Smith out of the way, the path is clear for the hammy histrionics of Jeanne Rainer as über-rich-bitch teen Joan Denton, resident of Dentonville, who beds down with wrong-side-of-the-tracks, white-tshirt-wearing Eddie Mercer (Ted Marshall). Their summer lovin' ends up with Joan in a family way, and she's hellbent on a abortion, much to the chagrin of nice guy Eddie, who wants to do the right thing and marry the girl. The problem is that Joan wants no part of him.

Things start off smartly with Joan dancing all crazy like in front of her mirror, decked out in a tiny nightie, and we get to see her really go off the rails. There's no preaching here, instead its campy fun as Joan goes off the deep end, as does her rich daddy's crazy lawyer, both of whom end up in a swamp where the bullets start flying in all directions. You have to like a movie where the roles are flip-flopped, and where the guy is the one who wants to sincerely get married. Eddie is genuinely stunned by the crazy antics of Joan, but thankfully the tight-sweatered Vicki (Sue Ellis) moves to Dentonville just in time to cradle a dead guy in her lap. Lots of weird stuff here, including the Denton's black maid who I swear is named "Mammy."

Well, I'm glad to see we've moved toward more liberal times since 1960. Oh wait, I guess that was just a dream.

Rating for Style: B-
Rating for Substance: B-

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Rationo
Anamorphicno


Image Transfer Review: I'm sure neither of these films had large print runs or were given particularly good care over the past 40+ years until unearthed by Something Weird, so I'm willing to forgive any minor transfer beefs. Actually, both films are in rather decent shape, aside from the usual sprocket holes and the occasional scratch, but that's to be expected. Each film is presented in 1.33:1 full frame.

Image Transfer Grade: B

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
MonoEnglishno


Audio Transfer Review: Audio is provided in Dolby Digital mono for both films, as is typical for Something Weird titles. Presentation is well above respectable for low—rung B—movies like this, and the lack of hiss is a plus.

No complaints.

Audio Transfer Grade: B

 

Disc Extras

Animated menu with music
Scene Access with 28 cues and remote access
8 Other Trailer(s) featuring Damaged Goods, Eighteen and Anxious, The Embracers, Girl In Trouble, Married Too Young, Street Corner, Unmarried Mothers
1 Documentaries
2 Featurette(s)
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extras Review: There's a couple of decent shorts tacked onto this double bill, starting with the 1950s educational film How Much Affection? (19m:40s), which follows the exploits of sexually frustrated young Mary and her boyfriend. It seems Mary is confused about that strange stirring in her loins, and consults with her mother, who tells her simply to "slow down." Good advice, mom.

The second short is as bizarre as it is entertaining, and is entitled Book Pitch for Teenage Marriage Manual (11m:01s). It was designed to play during intermission at a theater showing a double bill similar to what's on this disc, and features an unintentionally nerdy character with horn-rimmed glasses trying to scare the pants ONTO every kid in the audience. He relates the possibility of having to do "mending and scrubbing for ten to twelve hours per day" if you're a teenage mom, which to me seems like an awful lot of mending. The crazy, roving eyes on the host of this piece are the real fun part, as he was either reading the world's widest cue cards or maybe just has some serious eye contact issues. Fun stuff!

Wrapping things up is one of Something Weird's usual Gallery of Trash-O-Rama Exploitation Poster art, and a handful of like-minded trailers.

Each film is cut into 14 chapters, with no subtitle options available.

Extras Grade: B

 

Final Comments

I really don't like it when a Something Weird disc gets all serious on me, as it did with The Shame of Patty Smith, but thankfully You've Ruined Me Eddie came through with the campy when I needed it. The subject is teenage pregnancy and/or abortions, depending on the film, and while there is plenty of goofy weirdness here, the mood was a little too grim on one of the two features.

Keep it in your pants, kiddo.

 


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