Bad Movies We Love: Kitten with a Whip

Long before Ann-Margret proved she could act, she proved that she couldn't, especially in the little-known gem Kitten with a Whip (1964), a "dangerous youth" movie warning you to beware of befriending pouty teen temptresses (who only exist in low-budget Hollywood movies like this one), lest you wind up being held prisoner in your own suburban home. (Imagine the headlines--would they cry out, "I WAS HELD CAPTIVE BY A KITTEN WITH A WHIP"?)

This is exactly the fearful fate that befalls trusting married man John Forsythe when he's nice to sometimes-schizo runaway Ann-Margret, a bad girl who wants to be good (but just can't help herself). A-M bumps and grinds and growls out camp classic dialogue like, "Why do you think you're such a smoky something when you're just nothing painted blue?"

But the results are, happily, more feverish starlet than reform school girl. This go-go-girl-gone-wrong routine (she has more costume changes than facial expressions), the fake-hipster chit-chat (written and directed by one Douglas Heyes), and the steamy hothouse atmosphere will keep you laughing out loud. It all ends, as movies like this must, with tragedy in Tijuana.

Now here's a movie begging to be remade; Madonna, take note.