review for Blast-Off Girls on AllMovie

Blast-Off Girls (1967)
by Fred Beldin review

Blast Off Girls is another example of Herschell Gordon Lewis' attempts to jump on whatever exploitation bandwagon might draw boffo bucks at the box office. Unfortunately, the man who was so influential to the horror film genre with gore-driven epics like Blood Feast and 2000 Maniacs proves himself completely clueless when it comes to the world of rock & roll. Blast Off Girls is a lame outsider's look at how rock groups are created and marketed, and the then 40-year-old Lewis exposes his old-fogey status on a regular basis; the first band introduced as the movie opens regales their audience with a clumsy rock version of the old chestnut "Goodnight Ladies." Various characters throughout the film reiterate the view that "all groups sound the same," and it's clearly Lewis' feeling as well. The group that portrays the Big Blast is awful -- a weak garage band that attempts painfully overreached harmonies and slouches through their material with negligible energy (though the hideously overdriven organ playing might sound good to some Velvet Underground fans). Extraneous scenes of the boys cavorting at amusement parks and riding around in a convertible are obviously meant to recall A Hard Day's Night, but not only is Lewis three years late on the youth culture calendar, his subjects are utterly devoid of personality. Fans of Lewis' trashy canon won't find much excitement here, as the trim running time moves at a snail's pace and offers few thrills, and those who seek a nostalgic dose of garage rock are likely to be put off by the shrill musical soundtrack. All other viewers will be amazed by the rock-bottom production values, as this is one of the cheapest looking films of Lewis' low-budget career.