Rock All Night (1957)

This quickie from AIP is basically two films rolled into one but fans of Corman and his cast of characters will probably find themselves entertained. The first half of the movie is a “rock and roll” picture as we countless musical acts including The Platters doing “I’m Sorry,” and “He’s Mine” as well as The Blockbusters doing “Rock All Night,” “I Wanna Rock Now,” and “Rock ‘n’ Roll Guitar” but the fun doesn’t stop there as we get two more numbers. Then, the “other” part of the film takes place as a small group of characters are in a bar when a couple killers break in and hold them hostage while they think of a way to escape the police. It’s amazing but this 65-minute flick is mainly just musical acts or filler if you will. The first thirty-five minutes feature non-stop music and between the tracks we’re introduced to the characters that will take center stage in the second half. I must admit that I thought the film had a terrific flow to it and it turned out to be much better than I was expecting. For starters, the music itself is very good and it was fun seeing The Platters doing their numbers. I think the low-budget nature of the film hurt especially during the lip-syncing stuff because a lot of times the music isn’t matching up with the lips. When the “crime” portion of the film started I think the main joy is seeing Corman regular Dick Miller getting to play the lead and not just the lead but a tough punk. Seeing Miller getting to play a tough guy not scared to fight anyone was very fun simply because you don’t get to see that from him very often. I thought Miller handled the part quite well and it was just an all around kick seeing him play the tough guy. Robin Morse is also fun as the owner of the club and Mel Welles plays a “hipster” who is trying to promote a new singer played by Abby Dalton. Fan favorite Jonathan Haze is also on hand. You have to tip your hat to Corman who when bad could be really bad but when he got something right it was usually a lot of fun and he did it for very little money. ROCK ALL NIGHT isn’t a masterpiece but it’s fun to see the director try to mix two genres together and do it in such little time. The movie flies by without any slow moments so if you enjoy this type of film then it’s certainly worth watching.