By Brandon Adamson
“What was the name of that movie we watched where the teenagers go around and do bad things and stuff that baby carriage in the trash can?” an ex girlfriend from years ago called me up to ask. She was talking about “Just For the Hell of It,” the 1968 Herschell Gordon Lewis I made her reluctantly sit through one time. For some reason it stuck out to her, and she wanted to show it to some dude she was hanging out with.
The movie itself is an interesting piece of art, basically it features scene after scene of teenagers terrorizing people just for kicks. There is a plot of course, but I’m not here to talk about the film, really. I just wanted to mention that the intro/theme song is yet another underrated classic among forgotten movies.
It’s Destruction performed by Tary Rebenar, a late 60’s early 70’s folksinger. He apparently later died of AIDS in 1989, which he was said to have contracted from a blood transfusion he received for a prior surgery for skin cancer. In the early 70’s he released an LP called Just a Dream Ago, which is hard to find.
From that photo, he resembles the actor credited as “Steve White,” who appears in several of Lewis’ movies, usually in a musical capacity. I once thought they might be the same person, but after some research I realized Steve White is a different obscure and talented musician from that scene, who saw some success in a band called “Food” which released an album on Capitol Records called Forever is a Dream. It is very difficult to keep a lot of these things straight the way so many of these bands and actors in this era went under multiple aliases. Aside from legends like Ray Sager, most of these types seem to have disappeared without leaving much of a trace of information available.
Brandon Adamson is the author of “Beatnik Fascism“