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Bud Eagle (Arch Hall jr) is another of those hicks coming to Hollywood
penniless to try and make it big in the music business - but luck it seems
is on his side when he meets young Vickie (Nancy Czar), an aspiring
dancer, at a café, and it is not only love at first sight, she also
somehow gets him an opportunity to sing in a TV-show ... and the kid is a
Soon enough, manager McCauley (Arch Hall sr) realizes Bud has
possibilities, and takes him under his wing ... and to make sure the kid
doesn't step out of line, he makes his henchman Steak (Ray Dennis
Steckler) Bud's personal assistant ... for you know, McCauley is a crooked
one, a manager who tries to make some quick cash from his artists' talents
while leaving them penniless, claiming he has to cover his expenses. And
to make sure Bud does not get any bright ideas, he also cuts all of Bud's
social contacts, most notably to his brother Ted (Al Scott) and to Vickie.
Bud soon becomes a mega-seller, but he also eventually realizes there
is something crooked going on, but for the time being, he decides to trust
McCauley ... until he finally has a chance to meet Vickie again, is almost
seduced by one of McCauley's girls (Virginia Broderick), is visited by Don
Proctor (Robert Crumb), the former McCauley star who is now a penniless
drunk and who tells Bud quite a few things about his boss, and finally he
is kidnapped by a trio of very bad kidnappers (Bill Lloyd, Jonathan Karle,
Mike Treibor) - whom he uses to find out just how much McCauley really
needs him - and when McCauley pays the ransom money but Steak almost
botches it up, Bud decides to make a disappearing act and hide in Marge's
café ... and make up a plan to turn the tables on McCauley with the help
of Vickie, his brother Ted and a tape recorder - and McCauley really falls
for it, and after Bud gives Steak a sound beating, McCauley gives in to
Bud's demands and agrees to manage him at his terms ...
The directorial debut of Ray Dennis Steckler was pretty much a star
vehicle for Arch Hall jr produced by his father Arch Hall sr and proposed
to give junior's singing career a further boost. By and large, Wild
Guitar is one of Steckler's most normal films, a typical music-biz
melodrama in which a young talented lad makes it big against all odds.
However, every now and again, the film just gets way too wacky to qualify
as just a routine genre entry, very often Steckler intercuts particularly
dramatic (and cheesy) scenes with sequences of broad humour, especially
the kidnapping scene is worth a mention. And then there's of course Arch
Hall jr as a very unlikely hero for this kind of film, and above all Ray
Dennis Steckler's own psyched-out performance as psycho henchman Steak
gives this film an almost other-worldly feeling.
Of course, Steckler did make much wackier pictures later on in his
career, but this one's still worth a look - if you're at all into something