Mambo Madness

From the mid-fifties to the mid-sixties, if there was a dance craze or a musical trend, producer Sam Katzman was there to exploit it in low-budget B-features targeted for teenagers in saturation bookings at drive-ins and movie houses. Many of these were directed by Fred F. Sears and the plotlines were minimalistic and interchangeable from film to film but the musical acts featured were usually first rate and today serve as wonderful time capsules of their era. Rock Around the Clock (1955), showcasing rock ‘n roll pioneer Bill Haley and His Comets, was Katzman’s first major hit in this new “youth market” genre and he followed it up with Cha-Cha-Cha Boom! (1956) in order to capitalize on the current popularity of the Cuban and Latin music sweeping the nation.   Continue reading