129 of 131 people found the following review helpful
on July 1, 2009
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
These films for the most part are neither cult movies nor are they classic. However, the drive-in moniker is dead on, and if you enjoy 70's b-films that are slow-medium paced, with a lot of swimming pools, sunsets, joint smoking, feathered hair, tight white pants, vans, motor homes, motorcycles, bummer endings, gratuitous T & A (in most of them), and occasionally hilarious moments of really bad dialogue and acting, then this is a good set, especially for the price. My only gripes are 1) the sound is often a bit muffled, gets better if you have it through a stereo and can thin it out with more treble/less bass; 2) no subtitles. these films are perfect to set it and forget it, kill the sound and put on a record, but it'd be nice to still be able to follow the story with subtitles. 3) the provided summaries are sometimes misleading. But these are minor complaints considering the overall pleasure-to-dollar ratio available here. Drive-in movies were a genre all their own, and shrugged off the burden of plot like it was just some unnecessary hassle.
Worth the price of admission alone. This is the one that really shines out of this bunch. Much stronger language than all of the others, classic dialogue ("Maybe if you weren't so concerned about dirt, and dust, and greasy buildup, then Daddy wouldn't have left, and wouldn't have had to kill himself because he couldn't get it up anymore!"), plenty of salaciousness, and great low budget jaw-dropppers like a high school dance that takes place in a Mexican restaurant, not to mention wicked 70s wall-rugs and phrases like "Check you later!" Malibu High RULES. If only they could all be this good.
CINDY & DONNA
The second best film in this set, and a classic theme song. Donna is the slutty older sister that ultimately lures the uptight Cindy into a trampy lifestyle. Tame by today's standards but otherwise not for the prudish. One of many with an astonishingly abrupt ending.
Pretty entertaining by virtue of its lameness. The by-line on the package is totally misleading, however - she does not 'corrupt the morality of an entire school,' not by a long shot. This one features a lovely, Cheryl Ladd-ish teacher figure - it's summer vacation so other than one shot outside the school during the opening credits, there is no school-related activity whatsoever. This has very TV-style acting, shooting, everything, then the obligatory T & A every 20 mins or so. It's like watching The Brady Bunch with partial nudity plus some light crime. The goofy villain, Ralph, is a hilarious scene-stealing goon. What's unfathomable is why the Teacher would be interested in a dork like Sean who greatly prefers working on his van to having sex. Seriously, count the number of times he references working on his van, it's insane. This one also has a classic theme song that plays through 75% of the movie.
Weird flick. Goofus and Gallant take a motor home on a multi-state trip as one last fling to celebrate Goofus getting out of the Army and Gallant getting married. But Goofus just can't face the end of the footloose good times with his buddy, so he sets about to destroy the impending marriage. Ann Noland really shines in this movie as Jo Ella - she's got a great spontaneity and charm. But questions linger: where the hell did Goofus put his motorcycle when he was riding in the motor home? And why didn't Gallant just waste him? Pretty classic drunken strip scene in an Indian bar.
THE SISTER IN LAW
This is actually a fairly serious movie about two bearded brothers from a well-to-do family. The elder brother, Edward, was a briefly successful writer who has since fallen into wearing white turtlenecks and performing deliveries for organized crime types who have a flair for dramatically handing envelopes to one another. His marriage to a gorgeous though small-nippled woman is dissolving when the younger brother, Robert, our protagonist, returns to the swank family house from his idealistic exploration of America. Swimming in the pool, wearing tennis clothes, and banging Edward's older soon-to-be ex-wife suddenly loses interest when Edward shows up with his mistress, another lovely woman just about Robert's age. Eventually Edward has a movie opportunity in L.A. right about the time he's scheduled to do a particularly risky package pickup in Canada, and he gets Robert to do it for him by letting him bring the mistress along. Plays out like a pretty good auteur type of film of the period if you're down with the laid-back 70s pacing.
This one looks & feels like an extended episode of Barnaby Jones or Police Woman. The only thing remotely 'cult classic'-ish about it is 1) there's a scene where the elite group of friends are dancing during the daytime at the beach house to flute music...and one of the dudes is revealed to actually be playing a flute, and 2) a scene where the cops bring in 'Sanchez' or 'Lopez' or whoever and the guy lays out a very 70s racist caricature of the hot-blooded Latino. Otherwise you'll swear you're watching TV at 12:30 at night in 1972.
TRIP WITH THE TEACHER
No relation to The Teacher. This one is pretty dark. Two creepy bikers trap 4 or 5 teenage girls and their teacher in an abandoned shack and proceed to torment and rape them while they cry. If you like relentlessly hopeless situations like in Cape Fear, then have at it, but this is not for me.
Why this one is presented first I can't imagine - it is easily the most boring one in the bunch. Two lovely young women catch a ride with a 70s dude who is driving a motor home through Florida. Ultimately it becomes soft porn in a swamp, with some psychedelic scenes of ambiguous mysticism, interspersed with hostile phone calls from the fat sweaty man expecting the motor home to be delivered to its destination in a timely fashion. Oh, and some flashbacks about being molested in a church. Don't expect a happy ending, or a payoff for all the shots of sunsets, roadside landscapes, blah blah blah.
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
When a collection of eight movies costs less than five dollars especially when the packaging refers to them as "Cult Classics" it is definitely buyer (and viewer) beware. In this case caution is definitely advisable as depending on your appreciation of 1970's exploitation movies you may find these insufferable or morbidly entertaining. In rating them I am trying to be unbiased, but I have to admit that most of this set did very little for me. I am reluctantly settling on a three star rating as the best compromise available. Most of the films deserve one star reviews, but bearing in mind that most people purchasing this package will fully realize the sleaze they are buying and must therefore appreciate it, I decided that as a value proposition the package gives a lot of 70's B-movie running time for the price. If you are looking for actual good movies, you are definitely in the wrong place: this is nothing but a collection of insipid and implausible cheese.
"The Pick-Up" is a plodding piece of garbage about three losers cavorting in the Everglades after their giant bus gets stuck in the mud. If it were only that simple, it would probably have been a middling picture, but no, they had to go and mix in lots of astral visions, psychobabble, and witchery to pad out the plot. While the movie does manage to prove that baby raccoons are very cute (don't even ask), most of the film is padding. There are lots of slow scenes of birds flying, walking through mud, all told at a snail's pace with terrible synthesizer background music at every turn. The three people on the bus are a young and irresponsible couple and a creepy witch-girl who likes to take us psychically back to subplots about disgusting priests, ancient rituals, caricatured politicians, and a very creepy clown.
The film suffers from many flaws, perhaps the worst of which is sound quality. It is frequently impossible to hear dialogue over background sounds and the musical score. Do not be too upset; this actually improves the quality of the viewing experience. The film also features the most awkward kissing lesson in screen history followed by highly improbable arboreal hijinks, and continuity issues galore, all leading up to the most unnatural performance featuring a stuffed animal in cinema history. The film is as boring as it is pointless, and is the worst film of the bunch, but it does have one redeeming quality: it's short.
"The Sister In Law" dares you to suffer through it. Transparent and caricatured characters do and say predictable things in this tedious would-be potboiler. The entire production is laced with leaden dialogue like "Every beast ought to lick his own wounds", this intimate exchange between two brothers: "What's the matter?"..."I itch."..."You gotta' disease?", and, of course, this turgid chestnut: "I've had your wife and your mistress, and I threw your heroin into a mountain stream!" In other words, this was supposed a cool, swinging flick, but like so many other movies from the 70's, is merely painful and trying.
All the characters here are absolutely repulsive, so it's difficult to sympathize with any of them, though we're supposed to be aligned with Bobby, the younger brother (John Savage). Older brother Edward is a mobbed-up irresponsible lout with a hussy for a wife. Here's a tip to the wise: don't mess with your insane cold-blooded mobster brother's wife. Or girlfriend. No good can come of it. In an unintentionally humorous subplot we learn that Edward is really just a confused writer who needs understanding and one good deal to get out of his heroin smuggling ways. You will not be convinced of this, or really anything else, for that matter for two primary reasons: first, the acting is generally awful (especially from Will MacMillan as Edward, who needs to take subtlety lessons from William Shatner); and second, the soundtrack makes watching a challenge as dialogue, music, and effects go from nearly inaudible even with the volume cranked to maximum, to ear-splittingly loud, all within seconds.
The movie has little to recommend it: insipid plot, terrible acting, bad audio, and one of the worst musical scores in film history. The theme song over the lengthy opening credits was so bad I finally had to break down and mute it, and the incidental music is even worse, especially the lengthy "smuggling in Canada, with subsequent inappropriate aquatic disposal of heroin" montage set to banjo music. For a film set in very exclusive parts of New York, the banjo montage was jarring at best, grating at worst. On the positive side, the clothes are hilarious, especially the denim leisure suit worn by mob boss "Benjo", who, it turns out, has the stupidest goons in organized crime.
Despite press materials (and the title itself) blaming the whole tawdry mess on a brazen woman, everything that goes wrong is really entirely Edward's fault; unfortunately no good deed goes unpunished, which you will discover (without any surprise) at the end of the film. I recommend that you don't watch this piece of garbage if you want to avoid punishment yourself. Ugh.
"The Stepmother" is definitely the best movie of the eight, and is a decent potboiler about lust, betrayal, and murder from producer Hikmet Avedis (which is normally a warning sign). The film is carried by a great performance from Alejandro Rey as haunted architect Frank Delgado, who becomes embroiled in two separate murders. The film opens with terrible music and the murder of Delgado's wife's lover at the hands of an enraged Rey. While he seems to have put a lid on that successfully, Rey and Larry Linville (a prototype pre-MASH Frank Burns), his business partner, have both romantic and monetary issues to overcome, and Rey is a hothead with little self-control. I won't reveal what happens with Linville, but I will say that although contrived, it's interesting. The crimes are being investigated by a wannabe Columbo (Peter Falk has nothing to worry about) who, while none too bright, is extremely grating. Along with that distraction there are other negatives to the film, not the least of which is watching a bunch of fully dressed fifty-somethings frolic on a beach: I never need to see that. There are unexpected B-movie joys here, though, my favorite of which is without question the jazz-funk flute dance.
Although the film starts and ends with implausible coincidences and features completely moronic police work, the acting really does make the film highly watchable. The technical aspects of the film are middling at best and are very dated, especially the endlessly repeated freeze frame effect used for plot transitions. The subplot about the hot young stepmother, Margo, getting high and making a pass at her stepson is both repulsive and laughable. (This pass is extraordinarily clumsy, somewhat akin to the pass Torgo makes at Margaret in "Manos: The Hands of Fate".) Despite the obvious flaws, though, the film is very watchable and manages to overcome its history as an example of exploitation cinema, largely through the performance of Alejandro Rey.
"The Teacher" is a piece of 1970's trash featuring a bizarre coming of age plot superimposed with an insane lunatic stalker plot. I give auteur Hikmet Avedis credit for trying to blend disparate plots, but the entire thing comes across as one contrivance after another. The plot concerns creepy stalking Vietnam veteran (of course) Ralph, who drives a hearse and lives in a grain silo overlooking the marina where public school teacher Diane keeps her yacht moored. He keeps his belonging in a casket, which I would have thought the police would have noticed during their investigation after his brother Lou falls to death from the top. Peeping Ralph blames Lou's friend Sean (Jay "Dennis the Menace" North!) for the death, which sets the full psychotic stalker plot in gear. Despite numerous sightings and threats to Diane and Sean, nobody ever once thinks to call the police. That was one logically challenged area of the film, but the other bit of incredulity revolves around the fact that a public high school teacher drives a Corvette, has a giant pool, and her own yacht. How much do teachers make in California, anyhow?
In the least credible part of the plot, teacher Diane and student Sean are on a first name basis with each other, and quickly move to other pastimes together, all while Ralph watches (and gets ever more jealous) and, most insanely, with the explicit encouragement of Sean's mother. The mother was definitely the creepiest element of the film for me. Along the way there are many ridiculous and embarrassing scenes: Diane washes her car in a full length dress, a gossipy restaurant scene provides the most inept flirtation ever, and last but not least, Diane's bedroom provides the backdrop for the most ludicrous use of an umbrella in filmmaking history (and yes, I have seen "The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies.") The film has intentions to be creepy, and the ending is a bit out of the norm, although equally implausible and predictable.
"Trip With The Teacher" is a typical schoolgirls-in-peril-from-bikers film. A couple of mean bikers and one nice biker meet up with the girls on their geology field trip (yeah, right) first at a gas station, and later when their bus breaks down in the middle of nowhere. The most evil biker, Al, who looks like Bono in Liz Taylor sunglasses, is a murderous thug with unwholesome intentions. As soon as the bus breaks down a catfight immediately erupts, halted only by the arrival of the dangerous bikers. The bikers tow the bus full of willing victims to a deserted cabin, where they quickly dispatch the bus driver, and quickly raise a question: did anyone even consider killing the bikers when their clothes were off and they didn't have access to their weapons? The good biker decides to become a hero and get help (who bothers to carefully don and adjust their helmet when running for their life in a bike chase?) While the boys are out dueling in the desert there are long, painful passages of staring at each other, which does nothing to further the plot, but pads the running time immensely. Then one of the most annoying actresses in screen history is dispatched to run and get help, but whines and snivels about how she is scared for what seems like hours: I was actually pulling for the biker in this instance. The ending requires quite a suspension of disbelief and concludes with smiles all around, except on the audience's face.
"Best Friends" features future "Battleship Galactica" heartthrob Richard Hatch in another bit of motorhome mayhem, this one even more farfetched than "The Pick-Up": it may be the single stupidest road movie ever. Every single character in this film is insufferable, and nobody behaves similarly to reality. In essence the story is that two Army buddies get out of the service and take their girlfriends home with them in a giant camper. What's impossible to grasp is why the four would stay together for the entire trip such are the factions involved. The crux of the matter is that one guy wants to get married (Jessie; Richard Hatch) and the other guy (Pat; Doug Chapin) spends the entire film trying to break up Jessie's relationship so the two guys can have a life on the road. Especially after Pat resorts to manipulation and physical violence, there is no rationale for staying together, and that's why the whole movie seems utterly contrived. There's a big Pat-wants-Jessie's-girl-and-vice-versa subtext here (that is utterly implausible), and the conclusion to be reached is that these characters are only capable of doing whatever is stupidest in any given situation. When Jessie and Pat have a feud over Kathy, why don't they leave in the camper, after all Pat bought a motorcycle for some reason. When threatened, leave.
There is some of the stupidest gunplay in history in this film (Let's get drunk and shoot lizards with a pistol!), culminating in a painful scene proving that Jessie is a poor shot with tragic results (no extra points for guessing) leading unsurprisingly to a pointless, unresolved ending. This film is an absolute chore to watch and should have ended the careers of everyone involved; Richard Hatch should consider himself very lucky.
"Cindy and Donna" is the only movie of the eight besides "The Stepmother" featuring girls who are actually pretty. The plot is a tawdry coming-of-age piece featuring the worst parents of the 70's (which is certainly saying something) and their two saucy and irresponsible children. There are occasionally amusing diversions like when the prostitute uses a Dremel tool on Dad's chest hair, and inner struggles about how far is too far to go on a date (I call this section of the film "Torrid Chastity".) The soundtrack is very grating, and the banjo-intensive driving music is almost too much to endure (as is a curious trend in this DVD set). The cast and characters are unrelentingly awful, and they whole thing is a voyeuristic and uneasy exploration of pubescent possibilities. Despite the pretty girls, I really loathed this movie. The ending is particularly ludicrous, but at least it's over.
"Malibu High" features Kim, a lazy, homely, stoner, drunk high school senior working her way through her teachers to get A's to enable her to graduate. The skank is trying to forget her high school sweetheart, Kevin, who is now dating a rich brat. I will particularly warn you about the high school disco scene, which requires a very high pain threshold to get through, and which does not go the way Kim intends. After the disco she gets the idea to use her wily feminine charms to seduce her male teachers to enable her to graduate. I will tell you that if you are expecting this to be erotic in the slightest, you will be gravely disappointed. Through her serial seductions, she turns pro, and then becomes an assassin for hire as well. This is perhaps one of the least plausible life-of-crime conversions in film history, and you will be especially entertained by the way she bumps her principal off. Eventually she is assigned on orders "from Chicago" to kill the father of Kevin's new girlfriend (how's that for justice?), and is assured by her handler "There's absolutely nothing that can go wrong!" Needless to say, he's horribly incorrect, and the hit turns into a disaster, although there is some fortunate elimination of annoying characters. The film concludes with a run down a beach and is very reminiscent of the conclusion in "The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living And Became Mixed-Up Zombies", although without the deft directorial or acting skills of the Ray Dennis Steckler classic.