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From the Desk of the Unimonster...

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05 September, 2009

Junkyardfilms.com's Moldy Oldie Movie of the Month: RAT PHINK A-BOO-BOO

The Unimonster’s Crypt—Junkyardfilms.com’s Moldy Oldie Movie of the Month!



Title: RAT PHINK A-BOO-BOO

Year of Release—Film: 1966




It's dark of night. (So dark in fact it's hard to figure out what the heck is going on!) A young woman is being chased and terrorized by three young thugs. She tries to hide but is found, severely beaten and her purse is stolen. The young thugs run off, laughing.

A well-dressed young man is seen standing on the sidewalk in LA, signing autographs, while a narrator tells us that he is Lonny Lord (Ron Haydock), a famous rock-n-roll singer who never goes anywhere without his guitar because he likes to sing for his fans. Sure enough, he bursts into a lame 60's R&R song on the corner of Hollywood and Vine even though no one asked him to sing.

Later, he meets up with his girlfriend, Cee Bee Beaumont (Carolyn Brandt, director Ray Dennis Steckler's real-life wife at the time). To prove they are deeply in love, we see scenes of them cavorting on beaches, riding a carousel, playing a spastic game of football and holding hands. Meanwhile, back at the thug's apartment, the gang leader Linc (George Caldwell) and his partner Hammer (Mike Kannon) lounge around while toady Benjie (James Bowie) restlessly paces, wanting some action. This is established by his repeating, "We gotta do something. We can't just sit around. We haven't done nothing since last night. Let's go do something fun" over and over for at least five minutes. Lonnie's seen taking Cee Bee back to her apartment while the thugs leaf through the phone book, searching for their next victim.

Cee Bee is taking a bubble bath when the phone rings. A threatening voice asks if she's Cee Bee Beaumont. When she answers in the affirmative, the voice repeats the question. Frustrated, she hangs up. Again the phone rings and the voice repeats the same menacing question. Seems the thugs have found their next victim! But, unconcerned, Cee Bee gets ready for the pool party at Lonnie's house. Lonnie sings another forgettable 60's rock-n-roll song while bikini-clad girls wiggle their fannies at the camera and Cee Bee does a spirited twist. Suddenly, she's informed she has a phone call. When she answers the phone, the menacing voice repeats the same question "I want Cee Bee Beaumont" over and over. Frightened, she runs out of the house and drives home. As she runs past the gardener into her apartment, she grabbed by the three thugs who kidnap her. The gardener Titus Twimbly (Titus Moede) tries to rescue her but is knocked unconscious.

****By now you are probably thinking "Whoa! I thought this was comic book hero month! What is this gritty little B&W crime drama movie doing here!?! Where's the super-heroes!?!” Well, hold on. Their on their way!*****

Learning of his girlfriend's kidnapping and having been instructed by the kidnappers to bring $50,000 by that evening, Lonnie sings a lover-done-me-wrong ballad while Titus tends to his wounded head. Titus asks what they are going to do and, with that, Lonnie springs to his feet and exclaims "This is a job for you-know and who-know!". And both race into a closet! After some audible banging and clanging and much door-knob twisting, out spring...Rat Phink and Boo-Boo! Two colorful caped-crusaders ready to do battle for truth, justice and Carolyn Brandt!
Benjie goes to the ransom money drop site and performs some comic relief by accidentally getting locked in a dumpster and needing the help of a passing cowboy as Rat Phink and Boo-Boo look on. Benjie takes the briefcase back to the thug’s lair, little knowing that Rat Phink and Boo-Boo are hard on his tail. A fight ensues as our super-heroes fight the thugs for possession of Cee Bee (who is basically useless as she just stands there looking horrified and not even running away or screaming!). Linc grabs the passive Cee Bee and flees in his pick-up truck as Boo-Boo gives chase on their motorcycle with Rat Phink standing in the sidecar. Linc drives through the hills surrounding LA until his tire becomes stuck in some loose dirt. Rat Phink and Boo-Boo arrive and begin the fight anew. Just then, a passing stranger asks Cee Bee if she'd seen Kogar. Confused, she shakes her head "No' but her confusion soon ends as Kogar, a giant ape, enters the scene. Kogar grabs Cee Bee and runs away into the hills, his trainer (Keith A. Wester) hot on his heels. Link is finally knocked out cold and Rat Phink and Boo-Boo go chasing after the fleeing ape. Just as Rat Phink is preparing to duke it out with the diminutive King Kong, the trainer arrives and takes his now passive ape away. [Ed. Note: From the author, “Steckler said the reason the ape was in this movie is an actor friend had been hired to play an ape on another shoot and still had a few hours before the suit had to be returned to the costume shop. So, Steckler, always looking for a cheap way to pad his films, wrote the ape fight scene in right on the spot!”] Pulling off his super-hero ski mask, Cee Bee learns that Rat Phink is Lonnie and they kiss.

Now, that should be the happy ending of Steckler's opus but the film was running short so he had to come up with a super-hero ending that fit. The city of LA was holding a parade that day so, without permission, Steckler had Rat Phink and Boo-Boo, along with Cee Bee, drive their motorcycle into the parade line-up so it looks as if the parade was being held in their honor! Cut to another beach scene where Lonnie sings yet another silly 60's R&R song as young girls wiggle their fannies at the camera and Cee Bee dances. The End.

In Feb 2004 I ran into Ray Dennis Steckler at his video store in Las Vegas. A very nice man, he discussed his career and his movies with me and I asked about the vertigo-inducing plot switch in Rat Phink A Boo-Boo. He explained that after shooting about 40 minutes of a crime drama, he got bored and decided to switch to a comedy about super-heroes. He explained that even the title was a mistake. The true title was supposed to be Rat Phink AND Boo-Boo but the title card designer forgot the 'n' and 'd' and Steckler didn't have enough money to have it corrected so there it stayed! And, so brings us to the end of this thrilling movie and this review! Until next month...enjoy! Or not!

MSTJunkie

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