Pleasant li'l B-Movie
Laughing Gravy | Sacramento, CA United States | 11/14/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"A pre-war South Sea Island is policed by a legion of ex-servicemen who were stationed there and returned to live after their stints were up. The girls are beautiful, the weather is gorgeous (or vice versa) and the only trouble is from a local gangster. Well, and some of the ex-GIs raise a little hell themselves from time to time.
Enter our heroes, "Slats" (Dick Purcell) and "Horseshoe" (Larry Blake). Ex-pilots and once fast friends, they've become rivals for the hand of the same woman (Mamo Clark of MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY). They take turns playing horrific pranks and getting each other busted down from Sergeant to Private. When the General's girlfriend (Minerva Urecal at her most annoying) shows up, much to the General's dismay, they take turns foisting her on each other to babysit. Oh, and the aforementioned gangster (see previous paragraph) has some ideas of his own for our brave men in khaki.
A tidy little B-movie from Universal, AIR DEVILS was directed by John Rawlins. Rawlins, who like many B-level directors worked his way up from the editing room, had a long but not especially distinguished career, unless you consider Dead End Kids serials and DICK TRACY MEETS GRUESOME to be distinguished.
This movie isn't very distinguished either, except for one scene that's a gem and worth watching the whole movie to see: Slats and Horseshoe step into an alley behind a dance hall to "settle this once and for all," but before a punch can be thrown, the MPs descend on `em. Well, there's a strict new rule against fighting, and so our boys quickly tell the MPs that they were just practicing a new dance from the states, called "the Big Apple". The MPs demand to see the new dance, and so Mr. Purcell and Mr. Blake are reluctantly forced to jitterbug together to the grand amusement of the constabulary. The scene is hilarious, and worth the five bucks or so you'll pay for the Alpha DVD.
Speaking of Alpha, when you review their product, everybody wants to know how bad the quality is. Well, in this case, it's actually quite good.
AIR DEVILS is not a film I'll watch very much over the years, but I sure got a kick out of watching the dance scene, and I'm recommending it for that.