|MALIBU HIGH (director: Irvin Berwick; screenwriters: story by John Buckley/Tom Singer; cinematographer: William DeDiego; editor: Dan Perry; cast: Jill Lansing (Kim Bentley), Stuart Taylor (Kevin), Katie Johnson (Lucy), Phyllis Benson (Mrs. Bentley), Tammy Taylor (Annette), Garth Howard (Lance), Al Mannino (Tony), John Grant (Donaldson); Runtime: 92; MPAA Rating: R; producer: Lawrence D. Foldes; Crown Pictures; 1979)|
|"An exploitation film cheaply
made for the sleaze driven drive-in crowd."
by Dennis Schwartz
exploitation film cheaply made for the sleaze driven
drive-in crowd. It's the final directorial
credit for the schlock filmmaker Irvin
Berwick ("The Monster of Piedras
Blancas"/"Hitch Hike to Hell"/"The Seventh
Commandment"). It's based on the tawdry story by John
Buckley. Tom Singer writes the
vacuous screenplay without any effort to find out what
makes its anti-heroine star tick.
film focuses on the calculating failing high school
senior Kim Bentley (Jill Lansing, in her only
movie role), whose father committed
suicide, her overbearing mom (Phyllis
Benson) can't stop nagging her and her
boyfriend (Stuart Taylor) dumped her for the rich snob
Annette (Tammy Taylor). In desperation for money and
self-respect, Kim seduces her history teacher, Mr.
Donaldson (John Grant), and gets an A
after blackmailing him. Kim follows this up by
seducing other faculty members for high grades. Kim
graduates to be working as a hooker for Tony (Al
Mannino, a former porn star), a low-level
pimp and drug dealer. But she soon dumps him for the
silkier mafia-connected gangster Lance (Garth
Howard) and graduates to a more upscale clientele
and a bigger income. Lance promotes Kim
to a contract killer when she uses an ice pick to stab
to death an unruly bondage client.
The ridiculously bad flick tries to make a go of it with unessential disco dancing scenes, robotic acting and a story that's written on the level of an elementary school student. It pulls out a number of shocks to keep its targeted fan base sated with some over-the-top scenes, which might be violent but were meant as comedy.
REVIEWED ON 2/25/2015 GRADE: C+
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
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