The Violent Years
is a 1956 Glurgefest
bringing us the story of one young Paula Parkins. She has it all on the surface... money, things, a lovely house, beauty and youth. However, the movie posits, she lacks the most important thing, true parental attention.
This lack of attention means that Paula must naturally turn to crime to get satisfaction with life. She forms a girl gang with three friends and they end up knocking over gas stations. Eventually they're forced to switch targets, and ultimately Paula seeks greater fare. And boy does she (and her friends) get it.Ed Wood
this film, but he did
For the Mystery Science Theater 3000
version, please go to the episode recap page
The Judge's "The Reason You Suck" Speech
also provides the intro samples
for the Ministry
song "So What".
The Violent Years contains the following tropes:
- Alliterative Name: Paula Parkins
- Author Appeal: Angora sweater? You bet. Crossdressing? Yep, though the less common female crossdressing.
- Badbutt: The girls come off as this during their final crime rampage. See Poke the Poodle, below.
- Black and White Morality: Exemplified by the ridiculously pious judge.
- Bigger Bad: Sheila's dialogue implies that the Soviet Union is paying her, and the girls by extension, to smash up a classroom. It's a seriously stupid example.
- Character Filibuster: The judge's opening monologue morphs into this at the movie's end.
- Double Standard: Rape, Female on Male: Done in such a way to subvert All Men Are Perverts.
- Downer Ending: In a Glurge-fest, nobody wins. Nobody.
- Dull Surprise: The gas station hold up.
- Ed Wood: He wrote this.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Despite claiming to be getting paid by a "foreign power" to wreck a school room, Sheila immediately calls the police when Paula reveals she killed a policeman.
- Felony Misdemeanor: A "foreign power" wants the girls to crash a school room. Not the entire school, just the room. The movie treats this as the real Moral Event Horizon.
- Gainax Ending: "So what?"
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: Ed Wood's dialog always bubbles with subconscious sexuality.
Barney: They're a cute pair.
Paula: They have their points.
- Hollywood Law: So the grandparents of an orphaned child have to specifically petition the courts for custody, and the same judge that just presided over a murder trial can turn them down because he thinks they're neglectful and a state orphanage is a better place for the baby than with an affluent family? In Real Life - even then - the judge would be overturned on appeal at warp speed, likely followed by a rebuke from the state judicial review board.
- The judge then advises that families turn to the church, neglecting the idea that there are religions other than Christianity, much less the separation of church and state.
- The judge also states that the man is an old friend, aka a clear conflict of interest that would never be allowed.
- Jerkass: The judge, and Paula to an extent due to her sullen, spoiled nature.
- Mister Exposition: The family court judge, who also functions as a bookend for the movie.
- Moral Myopia: "[The cops] are shooting back!"note
- Motive Rant: Done by the very smarmy judge at the end.
- Police Are Useless: The police are laughably ineffective at catching the gang. Until the end at least.
- Poke the Poodle: The gang's (for want of a better word) "rampage" through their school consists mostly of... tipping chairs over and erasing chalkboards. Oh, and killing a cop.
- Made worse by the fact that killing the cop was almost entirely unintentional (or at least they didn't plan on doing it).
- Poor Communication Kills: The movie would have the audience believe that it's the parents at fault for not paying enough attention to Paula but, at the same time, also clearly shows that she never makes any attempt on her part to disclose to her parents what she really wants from them.
- Sedgwick Speech: "Hah! Look at 'em jump! Just like rabbits!" BLAM.note
- Spinning Paper: Announces the aforementioned rape.
- Step Three: Profit:
1. Girls trash school classroom.
- Sweater Girl
- Too Dumb to Live: When in a shootout, always take a moment to gloat.
- When you are being confronted by a girl gang, the leader of said group having informed you she's killed a cop, by all means pick up the phone and threaten to call the police.