A rotten thriller about a busload of schoolgirls being terrorized by psychotic motorcyclists, Trip With the Teacher is entirely predicated on the females in the story being helpless and stupid. In other words, feminist propaganda this is not. For the first half the picture, four young ladies—along with their female teacher and male bus driver—are intimidated and manipulated by two jerks who never even brandish weapons. Then, later, once weapons actually are presented, the same group of victims (minus the driver) does nothing while the two men commit numerous verbal, sexual, and psychological assaults. Trip With the Teacher is so profoundly insulting to women that it’s a wonder Gloria Steinem never firebombed theaters showing this piece of junk. But then again, there’s a reason Trip With the Teacher wouldn’t have come to the attention of anyone prominent, because the movie is such a negligible endeavor that it’s barely worth discussing. Written and directed by Earl Barton, this shlocky flick boasts uniformly bad performances in the service of consistently uninteresting scenes. Even the would-be “exciting” sequences, featuring chases and violence, fail to engage much interest because the characters are so vapid that it’s impossible to care what fates befall them. By far the worst offender, acting-wise, is star Zalman King, who started out as a featured player on TV, then expanded his repertoire to include low-budget features. (Once his acting career stalled, King became a leading producer of softcore porn, with his “classiest” project being the glossy 1986 smutfest Nine 1/2 Weeks.) King demonstrates every cliché of self-indulgent, Method-style acting in Trip With the Teacher, whether laughing at inappropriate moments or writhing on the ground while simulating migraine headaches. He’s absurd, and certainly not formidable enough to validate the terror his character supposedly invokes in everyone around him. Easily one of the dullest movies ever made about the lurid topics of abduction, murder, and rape, Trip With the Teacher is the definition of disposable.
Trip With the Teacher: LAME