blast off

Blast-Off Girls

Blast-Off Girls is a 1967 film by Herschell Gordon Lewis.

Plot

In Herschell Gordon Lewis's take on A Hard Day's Night meets Wild Guitar, a ruthless and greedy talent manager named Boojie Baker (Dan Conway) "discovers" then exploits unknown rock bands. The film opens with one of Boojie Baker's protégé acts, who have clearly been put through the grind already, griping about the royalties they've been fleeced out of, then walking out on him.

Undaunted, Boojie and his loyal, but dim-witted assistant Gordy (Ray Sager) walk into a local bar and they discover a new band performing, played by real-life Chicago garage band The Faded Blue. Promising them a recording contract and ensuing fame, Boojie renames the group 'The Big Blast,' outfits them in designer suits, and sets about to prime them for stardom. This is done by utilizing a bevy of attractive and loose women to seduce a recording engineer, photographing him in the heat of the moment, then blackmailing him into letting the Big Blast cut a single. The group cuts their big hit, and Boojie presumably uses similar tactics to promote the record and garner airplay. However, it doesn't take long before the band begins to wonder why they aren't receiving any money for their labors.

A hard line negotiator, Boojie refuses to budge in that respect, and welcomes the boys to seek fame in fortune in other avenues. To show there are no hard feelings, he even invites them to a party at his apartment.

Turns out this party, replete with liquor, women, and marijuana, is a setup, and a "police detective" shows up to raid it. Coincidentally, this is before Boojie arrives, and when he does, it seems that he also has some pull in the "police department". As it happens, he is able to bail the boys out of this serious legal jam... if they agree to sign new contracts. One by one, each of the five members concedes to Boojie's demands. Incidentally, after they leave, the "detective" hits up Boojie for some of the grass. Back in the studio, the group begins to unravel, internal bickering starts to swell, and they just can't seem to cut their follow-up hit. In the climax, the group decides instead to bring down Boojie at the expense of their own fame and fortune by sabotaging a television appearance Boojie has lined up by showing up drunk and singing a thinly-disguised musical flipping-of-the-bird to him. "Oh well, that's show business," Boojie says. The group then rips up Boojie's contract to them, in which he and his assistant, Gordy, storm out of the studio, presumably to go look for another rock and roll band to manage and manipulate. The film ends with a zany MOS montage of the band which was clearly inspired by the comic stylings of Richard Lester, even if the end result falls a bit short.

Trivia

  • Most notable in Blast-Off Girls is a cameo appearance from real-life KFC founder Colonel Harlan Sanders. Lewis was able to enlist Sanders for the film through his connections in his advertising firm.

Other

  • Just For The Hell of It/Blast-Off Girls Special Edition DVD, audio commentary by Herschell Gordon Lewis
  • Herschell Gordon Lewis and His World of Exploitation Art by Daniel Krogh and John McCarthy

References

External links

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