I watched this as part of a Corman box set with no preconceptions or expectations beyond an entertaining bit of Corman schlock. So I was first pleasantly surprised and then completely bowled over by this little (70 min) gem. It's a kind of companion piece to "Little Shop of Horrors" The Little Shop Of Horrors  [DVD
], made a year later, in that both hinge on the Revenge of a Nerd. The plot is well summarised in the previous review, though personally I find it more black than comic (not that it doesn't have laughs - I roared at the death of the cat caused accidentally by clumsy Walter.)
It features a great script, by Charles B Griffith, who also wrote several other Corman classics including "Little Shop". It is I think better that "Little Shop", tighter and more focussed, and also more witty and literate. His "beatnik" dialogue has a knowingness and accuracy which suggest an insider, as well as a huge range of cultural reference; I'm not surprised he submitted one script for Corman written in iambic pentamers. Towards the end of the film, it acquires a noir-ish feel, all sharp angles and shadows, and has a very satisfying ending.
Great credit too to Dick Miller as Walter, who manages to be an endearing klutz of almost subnormal stupidity even when he is at his most murderous. A subtle and most effective performance.
And behind it all there is a potent parable about the craving for recognition which even the most talentless people have, which is still alive and well, as any viewing of "Britain's Got Talent" will show. This craving is fed by the casual cruelty of society towards outsiders, in this case, the shallow self-regard of the beatniks.
Corman has his ups and downs, but this one is up - up - up.