Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Brilliant Early Work of Mimsy Farmer, Vol. 2

The second installment in our ongoing tribute to '60s ingénue Mimsy Farmer takes a lingering look at her role in 1967's Devil's Angels, directed by Daniel Haller, and co-starring John Cassavetes, Beverly Adams, and Buck Kartalian (whom you may recall from the film Please Don't Eat My Mother) as "Funky."

The movie, written by the great Charles Griffith (Little Shop of Horrors, A Bucket of Blood) concerns the wacky misadventures of the Skulls motorcycle gang, and their world-weary leader, Cody (Cassavetes). The Skulls like to blow off steam by getting loaded, pouring beer over one another's heads, and outraging the local citizenry. After accidentally running down an unlucky square, the gang splits the scene for greener pastures.

Farmer doesn't appear until midway into the film's 84 minute running time, but when she does, she's mesmerizing. As Marianne, a fresh-faced runner-up in a local beauty pageant, Mimsy is not given a lot of dialog, but she does wonders with her facial expressions. After the beauty contest, Marianne catches a ride on the back of one of the Skulls' hogs and ends up at a biker beach party where she smokes weed and gets pawed by various filthy bikers.

When she runs scared to the Sheriff's office, one of the city fathers inflates her minor hassle into a statch rape beef, and has Cassavetes thrown in jail. The Sheriff releases him after Mimsy admits that there was no rape, but the Skulls decide to address the injustice by staging a mock trial, then thoroughly trashing the town.

Cassavetes leaves the gang and his girl (the gorgeous Beverly Adams, "Animal" in the Beach Party movies) behind and rides off alone, the paycheck for Devil's Angels tucked into his pocket to help finance one of his own projects (Faces, I believe). Meanwhile, a phalanx of county cops descend on the town to bring the pain to the Skulls.

Mimsy is beautiful as ever, a mix of innocence and curiosity, and inevitably, the object of biker brutality.


Lars Nilsen said...

Fuck fucking yeah!

Have you seen ROAD TO SALINA?

JM Dobies said...

I saw that movie when I was 15 and it was a deeply moving religious experience.

Lars Nilsen said...

I saw it when I was 28 and it was a deeply moving religious experience. I think it's time to watch it again. By the way, if a film print of that ever pops up I will sell a kidney to buy it.