Today's Moral MENACE !.. Daring expose of the devil drug traffic in 'Bennies', 'Goofies' and 'Phenos' as it really exists.
August 11, 2011
This is the second film I've seen from director Merle W. Connell. The other one was Test Tube Babies which was a hilariously schlocky movie about artificial insemination. The Devil's Sleep is another 40's exploitation flick along similar lines. This one combines the drugsploitation angle personified by films such as Reefer Madness and Cocaine Fiends with the youth gone wild narrative of the likes of Delinquent Daughters and The Violent Years. Like most exploitation films from the time it's a lot more fun to watch that most boring poverty row flicks. I love these movies pretence at preaching against social evils while blatantly throwing as much sleaze at their audience as they could get away with. Obviously the films of the 40's were very tame but this one like most of its ilk manages to include scenes of semi-nudity. Always very welcome in these old flicks thank you very much. While the drug taking angle is covered by an unscrupulous health club manager pushing bennies onto vulnerable youths and women. The scenes in the health club are cheerfully sexist in that 1940's-political-correctness-hasn't-been-invented-yet-guv kind of a way. Also, the chief drug pusher is played by none other than the legendary anti-actor Timothy Farrell who is always a very welcome presence.
While this isn't as funny as either Reefer Madness or Test Tube Babies, it's still something of an entertaining time-capsule movie. It's entirely ludicrous of course. And its exploitation efforts are commendable – women seem to strip down as much as possible at every given opportunity – while it's heroically bad acting is a delight to see, with some characters clearly reading their lines off bits of paper. All-in-all, a good laugh.
The head of an illegal drug ring uses a women's health spa as a front for his sleeping-pill racket.
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