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September 2, 2013 / Henning

those beatnicks


beatni(c)ks are my most recent obsession and when i write obsession it does not exactly refer to the reality of the beatnik lifestyle. i find them quite silly, to be honest. the popular image of beatniks seems far more interesting to me, first and foremost in a number of b-movies. it all started with this comedy: a bucket of blood (and yes, i agree, “a bucket of blood” is a rather odd name for a comedy).

according to countless locals in newquay, cornwall, all what these beatniks needed was a bucket of water and maybe a piece of soap.

it seems as if they used the word beatnik as an umbrella term for all kinds of evil. the heyday of beatnik hate can be set in a short radius around 1960 – before rockers, mods and hippies took over as main antagonists of normative culture (in the united kingdom). beatniks allegedly not only did not wash, they also wore long hair or overall different hairstyles, showed little interest in gainful employment or in the holy bond of matrimony and talked in an obscure manner, adults could not understand completely. most of these aspects can be found in basically every other counter culture that followed. did i mention that most of them were violent, raw and dangerous? at least that’s what this 1960 film suggests.

“you are a punk!” well, not yet, but almost. more like the forefather of punk. i did not watch “the beatniks” yet. hence i cannot judge it, but i have to admit that i am a little scared of it, given the 1.9 rating at imdb. believe me, i watch a lot of trash; i am not easily scared by low opinions. still, an imdb rating of 1.9 rating is pretty low, even for trash. if someone out there wants to develop a beatnik obsession like mine, i suggest the fantastic “rebel set”, which got a stunning 2.2 rating. further it was honoured by an appearance in mst3k.

if you know other good bad beatnik b-movies, please let me know. i bet they made several others in the late fifties and early sixties.


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