Plot: The public seems to have a bad outlook on drag racers, but the Zenith Club is trying to turn that reputation around. While most racers use public streets and are known for starting trouble, these racers stick to an honor code. Or most of them do, as Lois (Jody Fair) sometimes gets goaded into street duels with a girl from a rival club, but she tries to keep her temper under control. Despite the efforts to improve the reputation of racers, the club faces serious financial problems and at a terrible time, as a local reporter is doing an in depth article on the group. The club has already gotten an eviction notice, which means soon they’ll be out on the street. This bad news doesn’t stop them from having a little fun, but of course, the rival club tries to get in the way at times. With time running out and the club facing the prospect of perhaps closing up, will a last minute opportunity save the Zenith Club?
Entertainment Value: Despite the title, Ghost of Dragstrip Hollow is more about the racers than anything, as the ghost element only shows up toward the close. But the movie is still a lot of fun, especially if you appreciate the kind of clean cut juvenile delinquents only the 50s could provide. The movie centers on a race club that tries to be positive and upstanding, but winds up broke. The chance to save the club rests on a haunted house, hence the fun title. The tone is silly and off the wall, with hip dance routines, overprotective parents, a wisecracking parrot, an old lady with a haunted house, and all kinds of 50s cool kid lingo. The pace is brisk and the movie runs just over an hour, so it doesn’t overstay its welcome at all. I also loved the variety of cars in this, some really cool looking vehicles and even a couple fun race sequence. If you’re a fan of light 50s cinema, give this one a look.
No nakedness. No blood. This is a goofy 50s comedy, so of course there’s no sex or violence. The dialogue is filled with 50s lingo and hip jive, to the point a critic at the time said a dictionary might be needed when squares watched this one. I’m not sure about that, but all the cool buzzwords are here and in frequent use, so if you love that hip 50s culture, you’ll be in heaven. The characters here are quite colorful too, from the preppy rebels to the filth covered chef to the hot, but restrained ladies to everyone’s favorite, Lois’ out of touch father. So fun dialogue and colorful characters, two of the prime elements that help make this such a fun picture. On the crazy scale, the movie has a number of small weird touches, but is mostly pretty grounded. I think the chef, the parrot, the haunted house, and the constant lingo boost it up one point, but this one never careens off the deep end.
Overall Insanity: 1/10
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