THE LEMON GROVE KIDS (1965)
Article #856 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 7-19-2003
Posting Date: 12-16-2003
Directed by Ray Dennis Steckler
Featuring Cash Flagg (Steckler), Carolyn Brandt, Coleman Francis
There are several adventures involving a group of teenagers and kids known as the Lemon Grove Kids.
Title check: Since they’re called the Lemon Grove Kids (they live on Lemon Grove Street), no problem here.
Ray Dennis Steckler bore an uncanny resemblance to Huntz Hall of the Bowery Boys, and this is one of the most blatant uses of someone’s similarity to another celebrity since Sammy Petrillo appeared as a Jerry Lewis character in BELA LUGOSI MEETS A BROOKLYN GORILLA. The movie is actually three shorts. Imagine, if you will, a Bowery Boys movie in color during the swinging sixties with Three Stooges style antics (though not their timing) at breakneck speed in which the Bowery Boys have been stripped of all dignity (and if you didn’t think the Bowery Boys had dignity, you will after seeing this). In some ways, it’s pretty audacious, but Steckler’s editing tends to give me a slight headache, and except for a scene in which Steckler’s character (named Gopher) does battle with a mummy who fights by trying to do the old Three Stooges poke in the eyes gag, I was more stupefied than amused. Both the first and the third shorts have fantastic elements; the first features an insect creature from outer space and his vampire-like assistant, and the third features the mummy and a gorilla, not to mention a cameo from Rat Pfink from another Steckler movie.