Untamed Youthi is the poorly constructed story of some of the tamest, lamest youth conceivable. It's dubious anything this sad ever actually existed in practice, in no small part because similarities to Soviet bloc productions of the period abound, and there's nothing more suspicious than the smooth agreement of idiots. The cvasi-identity of plot elements and literary devices, the parallel run of the story are each individually bad enough ; in concert they're outright horrid. Yet that stakhanovist horror is somehow easily brushed aside, as the reeling mind has enough trouble getting itself out of a rut of "holy shit, just how ineffectual, cowardly, an' horizonless can these overgrown children actually be!" incessantly repeated to notice the broader issues. It's a lot like an Edsel falling off a cliff : the falling itself may hide from the unfortunate passengers just what a shitty car they happen to be falling with.
Mamie van Doren in particular is a fucking offensive piece of shit someone tried (and failed) to press in the approximate shape of a Marilyn Monroe tchotchke. She ain't got the tits, she ain't got the ass, or the hips, or the presence or the absence or the anything, anything whatsoever. She's Cook Champagne (America's #1 sparkling wine), unwelcome at any table. What the fuck were they thinking when they signed her, and what the fuck degenerates must've been doing the "thinking" in the first place are considerations beyond my meagre faculties of comprehension, or representation. My faculties of reprehensibilitation can barely cope, with great effort. I think I sprained something, actually.
Cochran's on occasion channeling an actual actor, here and there in the bog. It ain't enough. Not nearly enough. Untamed Youth may well be the worst movie ever made.———
- 1957, by H. W. Koch, with Mamie Van Doren Wannabe-en & Eddie Cochran. [↩]