Ann-Margret never actually touches a whip in this seedy jailbait drama of juvenile delinquents and square-john fall guys, but her slithery moves and schizophrenic mood swings are still enough to give anyone whiplash. The teen temptress makes her entrance skittering through an industrial park in nothing more than a baby-doll nightie as bongos pound away on the soundtrack. Taking refuge in the seemingly deserted house of political hopeful John Forsythe, she begins her torment of the man who would be her savior with her gang of beatnik buddies. "Now cool it and co-exist!" exclaims nominal leader Peter Brown. Fat chance.
Ann-Margret yo-yos from little girl lost to feral femme fatale with sharp claws and a taste for blood. She becomes a hellcat who turns on everyone in her nocturnal flight to Tijuana. She even growls with glee while gunning a jeep over a running buddy tangled in barbed wire! Stiff Forsythe is uncomfortably out of place next to the slinky sex kitten, like a sitcom dad who walked onto the wrong set, and the dated portrait of nihilistic, pseudo-philosophical teens makes the film unintentionally campy. But give it credit for energy: Ann-Margret almost single-handedly powers this offbeat drama with pure sass. If the music sounds familiar in the south-of-the-border scenes, that's because it borrows liberally from Henri Mancini's Latin-flavored Touch of Evil score. --Sean Axmaker
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