Thursday, May 18, 2017

The Student Teachers (1973)

Roger Corman’s New World Pictures made so many iterations and variations of its sexy-nurses franchise that it’s challenging to keep straight which events occur in which movie, especially with motifs such as Dick Miller playing a sleazy coach appearing in more than one film. Nonetheless, I feel confident classifying The Student Teachers as the most befuddling installment. Amid the familiar tropes of feminist rhetoric, lingering sex scenes, and raunchy comedy, the movie churns through a grody subplot about a serial rapist, then concludes with a bizarre heist sequence featuring one of the leading ladies dressed as a nun—while she drives the unlikely getaway vehicle of a school bus. An early credit for director Jonathan Kaplan, who eventually graduated from drive-in schlock to mainstream pictures, The Student Teachers begins with the usual formula. Three hot women who work at the same place have experiences related to sex, and the experiences eventually interrelate. Tracy (Brooke Mills) moonlights as a nude model and gets involved with a peeping tom. Rachel (Susan Damante) takes a bold approach to teaching sex ed, sanctioning her students to make their own stag film. And Jody (Brenda Sutton) has the oddest adventure, pretending to become a drug dealer in order to help authorities capture a supplier. Naturally, each of these storylines includes an epic-length topless scene—or, in the case of Tracy’s subplot, several epic-length topless scenes. Yet it’s hard to reconcile the disparate elements. The Tracy vignettes are innocuously erotic, scenes of Rachel clashing with Miller’s character are semi-comedic, and the rape sequences—during which the assailant wears a plastic clown mask—are horrific. So by the time the campy finale arrives, the movie has become hopelessly muddled in terms of theme and tone. The unfortunate viewer who soldiers through this flick is left only with a bitter aftertaste and the sure knowledge that 90 minutes have been wasted.

The Student Teachers: LAME

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