Cuban Rebel Girls

Errol Flynn’s final film was this notorious embarrassment made to show off his 17-year-old girlfriend, the stunningly untalented Beverly Aadland. After their relationship ended with Flynn’s 1959 fatal heart attack, Aadland remained in the tabloids with two marriages and divorces; the death of another boyfriend, who was shot in the head in her apartment (she claimed the gun went off accidentally while they were roughhousing); and reports in the Los Angeles Times that she was a $100-a-night call girl. She eventually settled down with husband #3 and stayed with him until her 2010 death at the age of 67.

Undoubtedly, a movie about Aadland’s life would be more interesting than ASSAULT OF THE REBEL GIRLS, which has the novelty of being filmed on location in Cuba, but nothing else. (2013’s THE LAST OF ROBIN HOOD dramatizes her last days with Flynn with Kevin Kline playing the former swashbuckler and Dakota Fanning as Aadland.) Flynn only appears sporadically, playing Errol Flynn, a Hearst journalist on assignment in Havana to interview guerilla Fidel Castro, who is leading the revolution to overthrow the Batista government. With so little dialogue — Flynn and producer Barry Mahon being too cheap to shoot with sync sound — it’s up to Flynn to narrate the main story, which follows young Americans Beverly (Aadland) and Jackie (Jackie Jackler), who follow Jackie’s brother Johnny (John MacKay) to Cuba to join the revolution.

Originally released theatrically as CUBAN REBEL GIRLS, the film played after Flynn’s death with clunkers like UNTAMED WOMEN and VIOLENT WOMEN, which was also directed by Mahon, who later churned out sex films in New York. The acting is shoddy by everyone, including Flynn, who addresses the audience directly in his last scene. He takes the writing credit, and not one line sounds convincing in the mouths of the amateurish cast (“I guess there’s more to this war stuff than I thought.”). Action and suspense are practically non-existent, and Mahon’s direction is strictly point-and-shoot.