Monday, December 22, 2008

How to Seduce Your Teacher (1979)

AKA La Liceale seduce i professori
Directed by Mariano Laurenti
Starring Gloria Guida, Alvaro Vitale, Lino Banfi, Lorraine De Selle
Rated R

"I'm sorry sir, did I break the enchantment?"
"No, you broke my balls."

While the traditional teen sex comedy is largely the work of American ingenuity, borne of shopping malls, cheerleader squads, milkshakes, and muscle cars, it is by no means a purely American phenomenon. The Israelis have their Lemon Popsicle series, the Brits their Confessions of, the French have their Six Swedes movies, and the Germans...well, I'm not sure they've nailed the comedy part of the equation, but they've got stuff, too. So it stands to reason that the Italians, perhaps the lustiest non-Brazilian country on Earth, would have their own T&A comedy series, as well. In fact, they have several, but today, let us concentrate on this brain-flaying nugget of wonderfulness.

How to Seduce Your Teacher stars Euro softcore queen Gloria Guida. In 1975, she made a film called The Teasers, where she played a sexy schoolgirl who seduces virtually every man she bumps into. Given her obvious charms - a statuesque frame wrapped in porcelain skin and crowned with a beauty-queen face somewhere between Barbara Bach and Tanya Roberts - this was not a far-fetched fantasy.

It proved wildly popular and so, in proper Italo-sploitation tradition, half a dozen more were cranked out, all with the same basic storyline. By 1979, Gloria was clearly in her mid-twenties, so they upgraded her scholarly pursuits to college, but otherwise, the song remains the same.

As the story opens, we are introduced to Pasquale (Lino Banfi), a bald, middle-aged dean of a small, unruly Italian university. Lino likes two things: banging chicks, particularly young ones, and playing the tuba. The latter he does with the school band, although he would desperately like to conduct. Unfortunately, this year that honor has been bestowed on his arch rival Salvatore (Alvaro Vitale), the school janitor. You may scratch your chin and wonder how the janitor would end up as conductor, but I suggest just rolling with it. This film will go down much easier that way.

The students are always playing practical jokes on Pasquale. This running gag seems to pop up every five minutes, but most of the time, the pranks either don't make sense or are just mean-spirited. There's the slam-the-door-in-his-face gag, for example, which is exactly that. They do this to him three or four times in a row, until his bottom lip looks like a sausage, and his nose is oozing blood. And this just makes them laugh harder. There's another scene where they stick balloons in his tuba. I don't get it either. Anyway, that stuff takes up some time.

Eventually, we get to the crux of the story, which is this: Angela (Guida) is Pasquale's niece. She's come to live with him and her two cousins for a semester. And that's it, the entire story. You'd think this economy of plot would make it easy to follow, but you would be mistaken. At any rate, Angela's considerable beauty appears to affect every male she meets, regardless of their relationship to her, as we discover when Uncle Pasquale comes home from work and accidentally walks in on her showering. He bites his hand and leers like a fourteen-year old boy. It's too stupid to be disturbing but still, I mean, is there no end to this madness?

Pasquale also has a young girlfriend, Fedora (Lorraine De Selle, a battle-worn vet of several cannibal, zombie, and women-in-prison flicks). The two of them are constantly dressing up in weird costumes. There's a Tarzan and Jane scene, which ends with Pasquale - dressed like Fred Flintstone - fucking Fedora while he stabs viciously at some invisible enemy with a hunting knife. And they don't just dress up when they're having sex, either. At one point, Pasquale is walking around town with a bushy beard and black hat. Dunno if he's supposed to be Jewish or French. Fedora shows up in his office dressed like an Italian gangster, complete with a greasy mustache. That one goes awry when Sal, the janitor/music teacher, barges into the room just as they were about to kiss. It turns into a face-slapping fest, with Pasquale yelling, "Who's a faggot? You calling me a faggot? There's no faggots around here, pal!"

Afterwards, Sal goes to men's room. He attempts sitting down for a relaxing bowel movement, but those damn students stole the fucking toilet bowl, so he lands on his ass.
And they laugh and laugh.

I should mention that Banfi and Vitale were a long-running comedy team at that point, and had appeared in several films together already. You can tell, even with the idiotic dubbing, that they have great chemistry together. They also spit on each other a lot. I guess spitting is funny to Italians. It's kinda gross, though.

Speaking of dubbing, I'm pretty sure whoever did the English dub job on this was just making shit up as they went along. There's one scene where one of the students is facing some sort of scholastic board to convince them to let him pass a class, and this is part of the exchange:
Teacher: "Tell me everything you know about monkeys."
Student: "Monkeys don't speak French."
Teacher: "I tend to agree with that. Certainly Chinese monkeys don't."

That can't actually be in the original script, can it? I mean, that's fucking crazy. That's like an Aqua Teen Hunger Force bit. Here's another unexplainable exchange, in a seemingly random scene at an outdoor café:

Waiter: "Here you are, Doctor Mazzi. How have you been feeling lately?"
Dr. Mazzi: "Better. Ever since I started taking these tranquilizers I prescribed for myself, I haven't had hallucinations anymore."
Waiter: "Very good, sir. Have a nice day."

So, right. Angela. Angela flirts with her cousin, and gets him to take her to the local disco. Cousin happens to play in a four-guitar, one-organ Italian space disco band, called, interestingly enough, "I Phone". They are way groovier than you'd expect. Angela gets bored and asks if she can sing with them. She belts out a number in Italian. It's pretty bitchin', in an ABBA-on-drugs sorta way. No idea if it was really Guida singing, but why the fuck wouldn't it be?

Angela decides not to fuck her cousin though, and sets her sights on mustachioed professor Carlo (Dario Argento vet Fabrizio Moroni). She gets him to tutor her in whatever it is he teaches. That goes pretty good, so she convinces him to join her at the disco, where she performs another song, this time while dancing with him. And then, as the title suggests, she seduces her teacher. Although I'm not sure about the "How to". The title of this film implies that it's going to teach you how to seduce your teacher, and unless you look like Gloria Guida circa 1979 and can sing Euro-trash pop at druggy polyester discotheques, this way probably won't work for you.

That pretty much covers it, although there is a surprise ending. A lame one, but a surprise, none the less. Oh, and Angela's friend Irma (Donatella Damiani) ends up in Angela's bed at one point. I forget why. They might not even have explained why. Anyway, she's got huge breasts. I mean, Russ Meyer-esque mammaries. For whatever reason, they had her in baggy clothes until the big reveal at the end. Holy fuckin' crud, was it worth it.

A lot of people seem to dismiss these films as moronic slapstick junk, but for garbage-heads in search of hardcore jollies, this one really does the trick. It's like the Italians were living in some alternate universe back in the 70's, one where everybody's sense of propriety is based on the Three Stooges, where dangerous pranks are merely signs of affection, and where cousin-fucking is not only approved of, it's practically mandatory. I liked everything about this movie, and when it was over, I wanted to:
A. Ogle Gloria Guida some more.
B: Ogle Donatella Damiani some more.
C: Break out some Italian space disco 12" singles (oh yes, I have some)
D: Put balloons in some asshole's tuba.

Tits galore, shameless laffs at the expense of clueless adults, bitchin' tunes, and feathered hair-dos. Ladies and gentleman, we have arrived at boner-movie heaven.

Availability: If you live in the UK or Europe, you're in luck, because most of the Guida sex comedies are available on legit Region 2 DVDs. Otherwise, this film in sadly unavailable in the US. I bought a very grainy bootleg DVD-R at a local record shop. Swim around in the gray market soup or hipper torrent trackers, and mebbe you'll strike gold.

Link: Awesome Donatella Damiani gallery

-Ken McIntyre

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.


Related Posts with Thumbnails