Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Former child star Jay North (DENNIS THE MENACE) is all grown up and sporting bad Oompa-Loompa hair in this wacky 1974 soft-core skinflick/stalker film. Filled with John Waters-caliber acting and many topless shots of the beautiful Angel Tompkins - this "grindhouse" melodrama is highly watchable.
It's THE SUMMER OF 42 meets THE FAN (The great Lauren Bacall movie, not the crappy Robert DeNiro one) as sexy high school teacher Diane (Tompkins) seduces her student/neighbor Sean (North) much to the chagrin of a crazed Vietnam vet stalker named Ralph (who looks like the fucked-up love child of Michael Jackson and Tommy Tune).
It all starts off very innocently as a Eydie Gorme soundalike warbles a ridiculous theme song over the opening credits, but things soon get out of hand when Ralph's brother (and Sean's best friend) is accidentally killed while the boys are watching Diane sunbathe on her boat. Ralph blames Sean for the death and decides to make his life miserable - trying to kill him for the next 90 minutes.
Sean's parents steal the movie with their horrible acting, outrageous polyester clothes and garishly decorated San Fernando Valley home. The mother's lady friends and local restaurant customers are also fun to watch.
Jay North is much cuter here than as Dennis (and less annoying), spending much of his time in his undies, short shorts or bathing suits. He somehow manages to stay dressed for all his sex scenes - or hidden behind an umbrella!
THE TEACHER (directed by Howard Avedis) is available on DVD as part of the "Welcome to the Grindhouse Collection". It's packaged with a another bizarre softcore flicked called THE PICKUP, which is essentially a twisted T & A travelogue through the Florida everglades. Watch with caution...it gets pretty disturbing. The added bonus trailers are worth the price of the rental alone. Rating: 8 outta 10 "huhs".