Bop Girl Goes Calypso (1957) Aka: Bop Girl <http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0050205/ [Converted to DVD from a Mystery Source] Director: Howard W Koch Cast: Judy Tyler, Bobby Troup, Margo Woode, Mary Kaye, The Goofers, Lord Flea, Nino Tempo, Lucien Littlefield, George O'Hanlon, Jered Barclay, Judy Harriet, Jerry Frank, Eddie Kafafian, Gene O'Donnell, George Sawaya, Dick Standish Synopsis: To prove his theory that rock 'n' roll is on its way out, a sociologist tries to convince a 'bop' singer to switch to calypso, much to the ire of her Hollywood nightclub manager. Description: Although it may be less well remembered than the purported causes of the Spanish-American War, for at least a week and a half in 1957, the United States was caught up in a calypso music frenzy. Its sexually charged rhythms seized the tropical passions of a nation fresh into the second term of the Eisenhower administration, forcing them to dress like pasty-skinned tourists, shove aside their coffee tables, and humiliate themselves in front of whatever misfortunates had assembled in their homes. More often than not, a meal of ham garnished with pineapple rings awaited, segueing into a lime papaya Jell-o salad, generously spiked with miniature marshmallows. It isn't by coincidence that this cultural phenomenon dovetailed with the 'exotica' fad, which led to millions of suburban ranch homes having their basements remodeled with wet bars, simulated wood paneling, vinyl flooring, and tiki masks. Today, combing through the sad remnants of this hysteria, the disheveled breed of archaeologists known more commonly as estate sale vultures, snicker with knowing irony at Martin Denny album covers, quarrel with other junk dealers over a leaping gold swami wall hanging, and chance upon an occasional can of tiki torch fuel while rummaging through the workshop. Enter Bobby Troup, a C-grade jazz composer who had scored a huge hit with 'Route 66', and who would eventually marry Jack Webb's ex, Julie London, and star with her for several years in Jack's TV drama 'Emergency!' It's hard to know what provoked Troup to create this astounding cluster-bonk of weirdness; perhaps Robert Mitchum's peculiar success with his 'Calypso Is Like So...' album, or perhaps a looming balloon payment on a mortgage. But whatever the cause, we are forever in his debt. It's rare to find such a compelling train wreck of brain-raping awfulness, stirred together with moments of jaw-dropping brilliance... like diamonds in an eighty gallon drum of livestock excrement. The awfulness comes in the form of the script and the principal characters, such as the 'Bop Girl', belting out a merciless string of Les Baxter penned faux-calypso abominations, many of which offer some contrived hybridization of musical styles for novelty effect. If that were it, this would be just another annoying, thinly-plotted romantic tale serving as glue for a series of musical acts. But trust me, it's much more. First of all, some of the secondary musical acts are fantastic, and this bizarre and rarely seen cinematic flatus provides some of the few surviving video artifacts of their existence. After the opening credits, an underappreciated L A doo wop vocal group called The Titans nail one of their (very) minor hits for Vita Records, 'So Hard to Laugh, So Easy to Cry'. There's some actually good calypso music performed by Lord Flea, and later on, there's a really insane act called The Goofers, featuring a dancing/singing trio who do splits and play stand-up bass and trombone while swinging upside down from ropes. And I'll be dipped in excrement if the drummer's not Buddy Rich. They also do a memorable number called 'I Wanna Rock and Roll Until I Die', with five of them lying in coffins. If they still had acts like this in night clubs, I'd probably get out more. But what puts this one over the top is the premise of the story, which is that a brainy genius from the university (Troup) has invented a device which can predict musical trends with uncanny precision by measuring audience reactions. This device consists of a metal box with a meter on the front, and a jack for plugging in a microphone. Of course using this reasoning, downloads of Keiji Haino and sawmill field recordings should be overloading the servers at iTunes, but the denizens of Bop Girl's night club still take note of Troup's fad detector, to the point that friendships are imperiled when he announces that calypso will soon replace rock 'n' roll as America's preferred musical entertainment. Mind you, this isn't a passing absurdity in just another forgotten bad movie. It's the fundamental premise of the film, just like the searches for Harry Lime or the Maltese Falcon. Layer on top of that the oatmealish sexual tension created when Bobby Troup begins falling for the Bop Girl, threatening his relationship with a university colleague who specializes in eugenics. (Yes, you read that correctly... I said eugenics.) And there's even a department for this at the university, because they have a sign on the door that says so. The conversations between Bobby and his Social Darwinist sweetheart are hysterical, most of them centering around her desire for Bobby to stop fiddling with his musical fad prediction dissertation, and start pumping her full of his high-IQ sperm so she can commence to popping out some first rate ⁿber-kindern, which she can then use to finish her eugenics thesis. Keep in mind this was made only twelve years after the concentration camps were liberated. I strongly recommend this one with the principal reservation being the overabundance of Les Baxter calypso numbers. What is at first a mildly amusing absurdity deteriorates into a full blown irritant about halfway through the film. If you could toss out two or three songs, and throw in some more prolonged pow-wows on the wonders of selective breeding, you'd have a five Waldo film. But it is what it is, and since I don't think it's available on DVD, you might have to download this one to bask in its dubious splendor. "Now suppose you stand-up on your pretty hind-legs and act like a woman for a change!" [Lucien Littlefield] "It's a Rock 'n' Roll Riot!" Trivia: This was to be Judy Tyler's only starring role before her untimely death in 1957. Some of you may remember her as Princess Summerfall Winterspring in 'The Howdy Doody Show' (1947). DVD Format: NTSC DVD5: 3.14 GiB - "Nothing Added and Nothing Taken Away..." [Ecclesiastes 3:14] Color: Black & White Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1 Language: English Subtitle: None Closed Captioned: No Commentary: None Extras: None Audio: AC-3 Monaural Time: 01:19:59 Chapters: 27 - Blind @ 3 Minute Intervals DVD Studio: Isis Presents... Release Date: 2012-05-19 ASIN: n/a UPC: n/a Posting Date: 19 May 2012 Posting Group: alt.binaries.dvd.complete Spatio-Temporal Footprint: 14x14 PAR2: 32 Universal Blocks [2^5] - (Repairs any 32 3918848 Byte Articles) Part Size: 536870912 Bytes [2^30 / 2]; 2% Recovery Volumes [REV] Articles/Part: 137 <http://tiny.cc/New137/ yEnc Lines: 30616 (2^30 / 2) / (2^7 * 137); Maximum yEnc Characters: 8018993 More from Isis: <http://tiny.cc/Isis55423/ <http://tiny.cc/Isis_DVD/ <http://tiny.cc/IsisNZB/ "Fewer than 30 files in 30 minutes or less... or it's FREE!"