WHITE SLAVERY: IT COULD HAPPEN TO YOU! BAD GIRLS DO CRY

BAD GIRLS DO CRY

Pros: A few chuckles to be found

Cons: Pathetically bad, slow-moving and full of filler – even at just an hour in length

Made in 1954 but unreleased until a full decade later (by which time a film of this nature would not only seem very tame, but be utterly pointless), Bad Girls Do Cry is a sort of trash movie “cautionary tale” about a small town beauty named Sally Downs who winds up in trouble after traveling to the big city to visit a friend. Though it’s a “good town” with “good industry, good soil, good buildings, good climate, and good people,” wouldn’t you know that Sally falls in with the “bad crowd” after accepting a modeling gig from a shady customer at the greasy spoon she works at. Soon, Sally is hooked on the horse and turning tricks at the local house of ill repute, but she sees a light at the end of the tunnel when one Tommy Cole, good ol’ boy, finds his way into her arms. Though Tommy may be her ticket out of the slum, when you’ve got a drunken floozy named Blanche running the whorehouse while sleazy two-bit hood Nick and a “Mr. Big” character pull the strings from behind the scenes, things aren’t going to work out well for poor Sally…

Misty Ayers as Sally.

Running just 59 minutes in length, Bad Girls Do Cry seems painfully overlong even at that brief duration. There’s a ton of filler material here, most of which revolves around horrifically unfunny “comic relief” moments which serve little purpose other than to completely disrupt the flow of the supposed script. I would assume we’re supposed to be concerned for Sally as she falls into a pit of desperation during the course of this story, but to be honest, her character is often forgotten while the narrative focuses on peripheral characters and completely unnecessary sequences. Towards the end of the film, there’s a (unintentionally hilarious) big showdown between Tommy (who’s trying to rescue Sally from her prison of sin) and Nick (the trigger-happy thug) in which, after the world’s most lethargic car chase, we get a lame fist fight and gun battle. Watch as Tommy scurries for cover from the bullets…by hiding behind a telephone pole. At a certain point, I’ve got to give this film credit for being mind-bogglingly ludicrous; it takes talent to make a film that’s this completely awful and I was inclined on more than one occasion to ask JUST WTF IS GOING ON HERE!

bad taste
Bad taste abounds in this flick, but strangely, doesn’t improve it all that much.

Director Sid Melton (known as a comic supporting actor and as Charley Halper in the TV series Make Room for Daddy) directed this mess which may as well have been produced in the 1930s. The entire picture was filmed without sound – all the dialogue was dubbed in later which results in an extremely awkward editing scheme: the person speaking quite often is not shown onscreen; instead, we watch as other characters listen “intently” to what is being said. This is simply not competent filmmaking, and after watching dozens of dumbfounded characters staring googly-eyed off-camera, a viewer is likely to want to throw something at the screen. Compounding the problem is the fact that there’s often no dialogue at all, making this film play like a silent-era comedy with exaggerated actions from the cast used in place of spoken lines. I believe this film was designed as a showcase of the “assets” and “acting ability” of striptease artist Misty Ayers, who plays the role of Sally, since she’s given a few moments to parade around in her skivvies. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to gauge anyone’s acting prowess when the dialogue doesn’t match with what they’re doing onscreen. Either way, to say that Ayers doesn’t much impress with her pantomime routines is doing the “actress” a favor she doesn’t deserve.

dance routines
Need to pad a film out to feature length? Why not throw in some random dancing!

It’s (surprise!) extremely difficult to match up actors to their roles here since none of the roles are credited (and these actors are beyond unknown), but even if no one turns in an Oscar-winning performance, there’s quite a bit of amusement to be had watching this crew go through the motions of the story. The actress playing Blanche stands out a bit: constantly playing drunk, she gets one of the best/worst monologues I’ve ever heard while communicating with her boss on the phone while she slams booze and strangles herself with the phone cord. The actor portraying Nick makes him out to be the most unlikely playboy type guy imaginable (look for the inexplicably dramatic scene where he struggles to light a cigarette while some hilariously out-of-place stock music blares on the soundtrack), but by far the most enjoyable work in the film is turned in by the actor playing the insurance salesman-turned-pimp. Sporting a fake mustache, this rotund, clownish figure fools around with some very homely looking women throughout the picture and cracked me up whenever he was onscreen. Beware of the numerous scenes where these thoroughly unattractive characters perform random tangos around their couch – this film truly deserves the recognition as being shockingly bad.

that's one way
That’s one way to enjoy this flick: KEEP THE BOOZE COMING!

I honestly have no clue what director Melton was trying to do with this film, but rest assured that he failed miserably. Stumbling through obnoxious and preposterous attempts at humor as it presents a story which may as well be warning women to stay in the kitchen else they become heroin addicted, cat fighting prostitutes, the picture builds to a dud of an ending that’s not the least bit suspenseful or exciting. Filled with stiff, jerky camerawork, even at only an hour long, the film is boring and completely predictable; it’s artificially dramatic soundtrack (made up of obvious library music) only reinforces the notion of how lame this flick really is. In 1954, this may just have been sleazy enough to find a (raincoat crowd) audience, but releasing this film in the 1960s is ridiculous: by 1965, the “nudie cutie” film was very much a thing, and a film with no nudity and generally low levels of sleaze would just be pointless. Really, the only saving grace to this flick is that it’s somewhat worthwhile as a completely awful piece of cinematic garbage – even as such, Bad Girls Do Cry is likely to provide only intermittent entertainment. I’m not going to beat around the bush: viewers would do themselves a favor by steering clear of this P.o.S.; those who like really really bad movies might get a minor kick out of it, but the end reward is simply not worth the effort.

DVD from Something Weird Video is (as is typical of their DVD releases) a celebration of all things trashy, containing two other, complete features (1963’s Girl in Trouble and 1967’s A Good Time With a Bad Girl), as well as a selection of vintage exploitation trailers, a gallery of sleazy magazine covers, and a six-minute striptease short featuring Misty Ayers. Though the quality of the films is scratchy at best (Bad Girls Do Cry is loaded with picture imperfections and is in full frame format), the DVD would be solid gold for those who enjoy truly awful cinema.

2/10 : A couple of fight scenes, assaults on women, and some gun violence; no blood.

2/10 : Some adult content; no profanity.

2/10 : Misty strips down to her skivvies on a few occasions and there are a few implied sexual encounters but sadly,  no nudity.

5/10 : Has some enjoyable elements and it is trashy beyond belief, but this is not one of the best early-era exploitation films .

Drunken monologue of the century: “Lemme tell you something. Just cause you think I’m not a lady don’t mean you can talk to me like I’m not. ‘Cause I’m not. Remmmmmmber that buster. My mother was a lady, my grandmother was a lady, and my grandfather was a lady. Anytime you wanna lose respect for me, you do it in front of me cause I wanna be there too. I’ve never been so disappointed in my life. Wait wait wait a minute…someone’s choking me.”

Catfight! (NSFW-ish!)

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