If Roger Corman were still in the business of giving a presentable spin to pulp-exploitation concepts, he might have leapt for this story of 14-year-old orphan twins — sister Lolitas — who walk away from the car crash that killed their parents, head for Kentucky, and end up on a dilapidated Army base full of big-bad-wolf recruits. (At last, a coming-of-age tale everyone can relate to!) The girls have made a lifelong pact — no boys — that is doomed to failure, but it takes a while for the erotic pressure cooker to come to a boil. The hostile, tomboyish Rosie (Daisy Eagan) sublimates her sexual energy through gunplay, hooking up with a stern officer who takes her out for target practice. But the precocious, nubile-beautiful Violet (Monica Keena) can’t resist the lure of nature, flirting with — and finally falling into bed with — the base’s hunky groundskeeper (Gordon Currie). Writer-director Mo Ogrodnik films her two stars with a mixture of voyeurism and solemn art-minded curiosity. Her dawdling pretensions have the dual effect of highlighting and, at the same time, undercutting the drive-in-movie sleaziness of her material. With discreet yet teasing nudity, Ripe flaunts its ”dangerous” exploration of underage sexuality. The trouble is, the more lurid the film grows, the more preposterous as well. The violent catharsis feels made of tin. C

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