Director: Johnny Legend
Legend House/Raunchy Tonk

If there is one thing that musician, actor, director, Johnny Legend likes to talk about its musician, actor, director, Johnny Legend. Influenced by Fred F. Sears’ ROCK AROUND THE CLOCK, Johnny’s directorial debut is a comedic tapestry of horny teenage shenanigans and penetrating sexual encounters. While he appears to favor the rockabilly soundtrack more than the film itself, it’s obvious that TEENAGE CRUISERS is near and dear to Mr. Legend's heart. Breaking out and dusting off his old Raunchy Tonk moniker, Legend House's release of CRUISERS is overflowing with supplemental material that highlights every aspect of the film's history, cast and director. Combining the tunes and enthusiasm of the late 1970s burgeoning rockabilly scene with a trench coat aesthetic, the only thing more untamed than the rebellious youth in TEENAGE CRUISERS is the pubic hair.

The notorious nuthouse nympho, Babsy Beaudine (Christine De Shaffer), having just sprung herself from the local loony bin, is on the prowl for any man who might be able to quench her carnal thirst. Professor Flinch (William Margold), in the wrong place at the right time, finds himself stunned and easily subdued by the busty jailbird, who renders him unconscious with a well timed blow to the head with a black dildo. Having found a reluctant if not willing suitor, Babsy hides from the prying eyes of the law while self medicating her nymphomaniac needs. Coverage of Babsy’s breakout is broadcast up and down Van Nuys boulevard by DJ Mambo Reaves (Johnny Legend), who has the whole town tuned in to KRUZ to satisfy their rock n’ roll fix. The air waves are ablaze as school lets out and the local teens take to the streets, cruisin’ for good times and cheap thrills. One young darling (legendary adult film star Serena) hits the asphalt on a mission for Johnny (John Galt), the one man who can douse Serena’s fiery loins. Two of her male classmates strike out time and again while cruising the strip, eventually finding themselves at a donkey show and later accosted by a ventriloquist doll! All this madness leads up to the night's final festivities where both the tunes and the ladies are played hard and loud.

TEENAGE CRUISERS is a patchwork of original comedic material interwoven with several hardcore loops. While I’m sure this technique allowed for Johnny to garner more bang for his buck, the end product falls short, with any attempts at comedic timing being undercut by sudden edits to grainy XXX footage. There are a few chuckles to be had, but the film never quite finds that perfect blend of comedy and erotica, instead coming across as a Zucker Brothers film that never quite made it off the ground. Most of the jokes are dead on arrival, while others run on way too long, overstaying there welcome by a good 10 to 15 minutes. The donkey show in particular, allegedly filmed at the Spahn Ranch with a number of the Manson family assisting as donkey wranglers, is a set up that doesn’t quite make it to its punch line (although I would imagine that it must have been difficult trying to showcase the lighter side of bestiality).

If the majority of the cast looks familiar, you probably own Synapse Films' release of FANTASM COMES AGAIN. Made the same year as CRUSERS, both films feature the talents of Serena, John Holmes, Rick Cassidy, William Margold and of course Johnny Legend. Holmes appears in a swimming pool side three-way early on in the film and it's one of many hardcore scenes that where borrowed from other films and XXX loops and incorporated into CRUISERS' narrative. Some are integrated rather cleverly, as is the case with a scene in which a bountiful and slightly pregnant Serena masturbates while eavesdropping on a fornicating couple. But others, such as the inclusion of footage from a Nude Bake-off, have little if anything to do with the plot, as tortuous as it may be.

Presented non-anamorphic in a 1.85:1 aspect ratio, TEENAGE CRUISERS is still holding its own if not showing its age. It is easy to distinguish the original material from the XXX footage, as the loops have varying color issues and a noticeable increase in grain and debris. Otherwise, picture quality is doable, if at times a bit soft or flaccid if you will. Considering almost every single line was dubbed in post, dialogue comes across clear and easy to follow. Voices match up well and are easily distinguishable from the rocking soundtrack. TEENAGE CRUISERS' rockabilly score truly is the film's saving grace. There are a number of rebel rousing tracks presented that are appealing and infectious, and one can easily see why Johnny is so fond of this film's musical contributions. Still, the repetitive hook “Cruisin’, Cruisin, Cruisin” heard at least a dozen times throughout the picture's 83-minute running time, becomes very annoying, annoying, annoying.

Legend house has packed TEENAGE CRUISERS tight with extra features, most of which highlight Johnny himself. Legend provides a commentary track in which he reminiscences about every conceivable aspect of the film, and Johnny’s recollection of names and events is truly remarkable. I can’t remember what I had for lunch yesterday, yet somehow Legend can remember the name of the guy who let him borrow a saxophone to use as a prop in scene that last all of 30 seconds. Running just over 30 minutes, “Cruisin' the 70s Scene” is an informative featurette that highlights Johnny’s start in the skin flick industry and the opportunities that lead him to direct his first feature film. Johnny touches on a number of films he contributed to in one fashion or another, including THE GODDAUGHTER, DON’T JUST LAY THERE and SEXUAL SENSORY PERCEPTION. Trailers and highlights for said films are scattered throughout the featurette, most barring the Something Weird watermark. As Johnny strolls up and down the streets of Hollywood, he bumps into William Margold, who also has his own in-depth interview found in the special features. Both recollect about the early pre-DEEP THROAT days in the adult film industry and the many talents that crossed their paths. An interview with underground comic book and poster artist William Stout is a brief but interesting look at how he and Johnny first met and his thought process in designing the beautiful poster art for TEENAGE CRUISERS, wisely used as the DVD’s cover. Johnny’s interview with X guitarist Billy Zoom is outright hilarious, as is it blatantly obvious that being interviewed by Johnny about TEENAGE CRUISERS is the last thing on Earth he wants to be doing. Equally amusing is Johnny’s interview with Rockin’ Ronnie Weiser, who is more concerned with his hair looking good than discussing the film. “Back to Cruise Country” is a 16-minute feature that follows Johnny as his revisits most of the films locations. Although the camera rarely makes it out of the car, with most of the footage shot on a handheld DV cam out of a dirty windshield, it’s interesting to see and hear how one office front was redressed several different times for several different set ups. The original trailer for TEENAGE CRUISERS and a trailer for NYMPHO LIBRE, which looks like a kinky remake of WRESTLING WOMEN VS. THE AZTEC MUMMY, round out the disc’s jam packed extra features. (Jason McElreath)