Girl in Gold Boots (1968)

US / 94 minutes / color / Mikels, Geneni Dir & Pr: Ted V. Mikels Scr: Leighton J. Peatman, Arthur A. Names, John T. Wilson Cine: Bob Maxwell Cast: Jody Daniel, Leslie McRae, Tom Pace, Mark Herron, Bara Byrnes, William Bagdad, Victor Izay, Harry Lovejoy, James Victor, The “Gold Boot” Girl Dancers, Chris Howard & The Third World, Preston Epps.

Michele Casey (McRae), waitress in the remote roadside diner where her drunken father (Izay) is the cook, dreams of becoming a professional go-go dancer in Hollywood. When petty crook Simon “Buz” Nichols (Pace) drops by and tells her of his sister Joannie (Byrnes), a headlining go-go dancer in Hollywood’s Haunted House club who could probably get Michele a job, Michele quickly accepts his offer of a ride to LA. En route they pick up a hitch-hiker, Finlay “Critter” Jones (Daniel), and soon there are tensions between the two men over Michele.

Even so, they make it to the Haunted House, whose owner, Leo McCabe (Herron), is soon persuaded by Michele’s youthful charms to add her to the go-go troupe. Joannie, who seems somewhat past her sell-by date, teaches Michele the dancing ropes, but it’s soon evident that Joannie’s strung out on drugs . . . and that drug-trafficking is the main business of the club, not the nightly performances by the dancers. Buz leaps happily into this milieu, becoming right-hand man to Leo’s right-hand man Marty (Bagdad).

Girl in Gold Boots - Leslie McRae bops

Michele (Leslie McRae) demonstrates her go-go dancing skills, such as they are.

Critter, who eventually admits to being a draft-dodger, soon sees clearly enough what’s going on, and tries to persuade Michele to leave with him, but she believes Leo’s declarations that she’s going places. Critter pleads in vain: “Take a look at Joannie. She’s been places with Leo, and there’s a trashy book written in every line of her face.” But it’s only after Buz has murdered a man, Harry Blatz (Lovejoy), a prison trusty who set up a raid for Leo, and a vigorous punchup when Critter discovers this crime, that Michele recognizes the error of her ways.

Girl in Gold Boots - Getting out of Jail's a cakewalk for Buzz

Getting out of jail’s a cakewalk for Buz (Tom Pace).

This is all good noirish material, and the ingredients could easily have been mixed into a film noir. Instead what we have is an exploitationer that seems singularly lukewarm in the exploitation department. There’s lots of 1960s music, both during the dance routines, when it’s supplied by the club’s backing band (Chris Howard & The Third World), and in a couple of special numbers, when a very manifestly dubbed Critter strums his guitar and sings of his feelings as if offering up a homage to the old Elvis Presley movies. The dance routines, executed by pretty (all white) girls in scanty costumes, are reasonably enough done, although Byrnes is weak as the troupe’s leader and McRae, while extremely pretty (she was a model and winner of a string of beauty titles) and capable of filling very neatly the underwear in which we frequently see her prancing, is embarrassingly incompetent as a go-go dancer.

The Internet Movie Database claims that the movie was originally 108 minutes long. Although I’ve found no corroborative evidence, the omission of fifteen minutes or so might explain some oddities of continuity. There’s a whole subplot set up as two bullying bikers vindictively pursue Michele and Buz along the road to LA, but this just seems to get forgotten. In the approach to LA, Buz and Critter become absolutely at loggerheads over Michele, with Buz brandishing a gun and only reluctantly letting Critter continue with them into the city. Yet, when they get there, one cut and supposedly just some twenty minutes later, they seem on fairly equable terms again. Those seem a long twenty minutes anyway: at the start of the cut it’s broad daylight and after it we’re looking at full nighttime. Most egregiously of all, during the journey to LA there’s a scene in which Michele is driven around in circles over the dunes in a beach buggy by a character who appears from nowhere and, at the end of the fun ride, deposits Michele by the other two and promptly drives off never to be seen again. Who is he? What relevance has this scene to the plot? Perhaps the answers lie on the cutting-room floor.

Girl in Gold Boots - Only in the '60s, the perfect start to the honeymoon

The nauseatingly heartwarming finale. Only in the 1960s could the singing of a bouncy and quite dreadful little song have been hailed as the perfect start to the honeymoon.

Producer/director Mikels has been responsible for a string of schlock movies, of which this is one of the more respectable; among the others are Dr. Sex (1964), Blood Orgy of the She Devils (1972), The Corpse Grinders (1972) and 10 Violent Women (1979), plus The Astro-Zombies (1969) and its much later sequels.

In April 2013 the IMDB polled its users for their opinions of the 100 worst movies of all time. Top of the poll (i.e., worst) came Disaster Movie (2008); Girl in Gold Boots came in triumphantly at #20.

 

On Amazon.com: Girl In Gold Boots

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2 thoughts on “Girl in Gold Boots (1968)

  1. “The nauseatingly heartwarming finale.” Ha!!! Love it John! And yeah I did figure this to be an exploitative quicker from the start of reading your review. I’m definitely in no rush.The review though is a delight to read!

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