Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Exploitation Movies: Devil's Harvest (1942)

Now that we've exhausted (in more ways than one -- see Maniac from two weeks ago) the 1930s, it's time to move on to the 1940s.

This week's feature is Devil's Harvest from 1942:

Full movie:

This is probably the very worst anti-marijuana movie in the genre. It's not even close to Ed-Wood-so-bad-it's-good bad, it's just bad bad. Even so, there's some unintentionally funny stuff, such as Oliver the elderly hot-dog vender with a cart right across from the high school, who serves "stacks" of weed with his hot dogs, and pudgy Sam, the head gangster's right-hand man.

There's also a party with your typical long-in-the-tooth "teenagers" where marijuana is smoked and, as you know always happens at marijuana parties, a riot breaks out. "Good girl" Kay O'Farrell ends up going undercover for the cops to bust the local drug lord, Larry McGuire -- who of course has a pencil-thin mustache!

It's an undercover operation that lasts for months -- you can literally see the days falling off the calendar -- and ends abruptly with the cops arriving late to the party, after Larry has been shot by another gangster who has just gotten out of prison and wants to take over the business.

There's surprisingly little pot smoking in this movie -- just at the wild party near the start of the film.

The money shot: A bit of skivvy dancing at the early "loco weed" party, and good girl dancer Kay shows a bit of thigh a couple of times. There may be a bit of nudity in a distant shot of another female dancer at the club but it's hard to tell.

Lessons learned: "Whoever named that stuff 'loco weed' sure knew what they were talking about." (actual quote from the "kindly" police lieutenant)

Directed by: Ray Test (his only film).

Taglines:  A Vicious Racket With It's [sic] Arms Around Your Children! A fifth column sowing destruction in the youth of America, A good girl until she lights a "reefer", The truth about MARIJUANA the smoke of Hell!

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