Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Delinquent School Girls (1975)

AKA Carnal Madness
AKA Bad Girls
Directed by Greg Corarito
Starring Colleen Brennan, Buck Flower, Michael Pataki
Rated R

"I've never made it with a chick in a trance before."

One of the more bizarre drive-in also-rans of the 70's - and that's saying a mouthful - Delinquent School Girls is a weird and grimy bit of rough-stuff, padded with enough absurd humor and campy performances to squeak by as a black comedy, if you're drunk or jaundiced enough to shrug off multiple rape sequences. If not, well, you're in for a queasy ride.

Director Corarito was no stranger to softcore scuzz. His previous credits include the eyeball-scorching Wanda, the Sadistic Hypnotist (1969) and the 'dirty western' Hard on the Trail (1971). Odds are, he shot more than a few hardcore loops on the side, as well. Certainly that dank, just-get-'em-out 70's porno vibe permeates School Girls through and through, from the dead-eyed performances of the little lost girls to the he-man, always-on gusto of stuntman-turned-thespian Bob Minor as the resident bone-daddy. It's all there, the violence, the lust, the drugs, the bad wigs, the kung fu girls and the mincing queen, a toxic cocktail of vice and tender flesh served up as good ol' balls-out American Bad Fun. But, much like Satan's Cheerleaders, Delinquent School Girls is actually two films at once. Its first half-hour is standard teensploitation, the tawdry tale of bad girls on a bum trip, complete with tits-out jumping jacks and behind-the-bleachers dope smoking. And then the mental patients show up, and it turns into a different sort of movie altogether.

So, the story. The film opens with a jarring electro-shock scene, clearly influenced by Cuckoo's Nest, right down to the faking-it aftermath. And then, somehow or another, three dangerous felons from the Hospital for the Criminally Insane bust out of their confines in the dead of night, heading for god-knows-what.

Cut to: The Oxford Corrective School for Young Women. It's the last day of classes before a vacation break, and all the girls are due to catch a bus ride out of town. All, that is, except for a handful of incorrigibles, bad-to-the-bone girls forced to stay on campus and think about what horrible things they've done. This motley crew includes, but is not limited to:

Stoner chick Madeline (Betty Johnson)

Feisty Carla (Big Tit model Roberta Pedon, RIP)

Penny, the always-horny one (Brenda Miller)

Feminist fist-fighter Greta ( porn starlet Colleen Brennan)

Innocent, wide-eyed Betsy (Jane Steele)

Sandy, the studious one (Kay Lange)

Alice, the stoner chick with the broken leg (Valerie Anderson)

And various other girls, including one gorgeous teacher's assistant, Miss Crowley (Zoe Grant).

If this seems like an awful lot of characters to keep up with, well, it is, especially when the film randomly adds and subtracts girls as it rolls along. Anyway, after a laborious lecture from the absurdly uptight headmaster Dr. Baxter ( prolific X actor John Alderman, one of Gary Graver's main-men), the girls in question are let loose. Greta, clearly the leader of the gang, wants to teach that mean old Baxter a lesson, so she instructs all the girls not to wear bras to gym class.

"We'll show that chauvinist pig!" she says.
And then there's a braless jumping jacks scene.
So that was pretty good.
Later on, the girls lounge around in their dorm. Penny sniffs glue in her underwear and talks about sex-with-boys, saying stuff like, "A little stretching never hurt a girl." I like the cut of her jib.

Cut to: Ramshackle farm house. Ellie (Julie Gant) is booze-chugging harlot married to hard-working farmer Earl (Buck Flower). Playing completely against type (and against his own life-gulping personality), Buck's Earl is a sober man with intimacy issues: he is terrified of fucking his insatiably horny young wife. She berates him and then heads off to the bedroom, where she pulls out a vibrator and gets to work. Defeated and demoralized, Earl falls into fitful sleep in his rocking chair.

Cut to: Classroom. Betsy has an odd infatuation with the stuffy, 50-year old science teacher Mr. Miller (Ralph Campbell). "He reminds me of my uncle," she tells the other girls. After class, Mr. Miller asks her to help him bring some books home. She happily obliges, but once he gets her there, he doses her iced tea and hypnotizes her with a stuffed eagle.

"It's terribly warm in here, Betsy," he says, once she falls into a trance.
"Why don't we remove some of those clothes?"
He starts stripping her down, telling her how she will not remember a thing when she wakes.
"You must remember," he intones, "to forget."

Meanwhile, there's an all points bulletin out for three escaped mental patients:
Carl Clooney (Michael Pataki), the ringleader of the gang, a failed "mimic and impersonator" turned felon, Richard "Big Dick" Peters (Bob Minor), a serial rapist, and Bruce Wilson (Stephen Stucker) a "known homosexual". With the cops hot on their trail, the loony trio bust into Earl's house while he snoozes. Earl attempts to brawl with the villainous trio, but is quickly subdued. Dick, naturally, has his way with Ellie ("This is positively indecent!" she squeals, half-protesting), while Carl and Bruce swill bourbon and play the piano.

They force Earl to drink too, so he eventually gets too drunk to care about rape and home invasion, and just settles in on the couch with Carl, lamenting how fucked up the world has gotten. Earl asks the fellas if they'll lock him in a closet, so he can at least look like he struggled a bit. They grant him his wish. Then they steal his truck, and take off into the night.

Meanwhile, back at Girl School, everyone has left for the vacation break except for our resident bad-girls, who sit around doing sexy stuff: a little lesbian petting here, some topless push-ups, some suggestive Popsicle sucking. Just your average hot-bad girl's night in, really. That is, until the unholy three run out of gas just outside of the school. Hungry and exhausted (although I'm not sure why; they just left Earl's house ten minutes ago), they sneak into the school's back door.

The fellas find themselves in the school's kitchen, so they gorge on watermelon and baloney sandwiches. Fearing that the joint may actually be some sort of prison, they decide to bail as soon as they're done eating, but a couple of the girls walk in on them and start beating their brains in with rolling pins. The tables quickly turn, however, and the girls get raped. The actresses actually look freaked out by the scene. It sorta sucks all the fun out of the room. Miraculously though, once the forced sexin' is over, they all sit down to sip wine and goof around together. So, they're charming rapists, I guess. Wine tasting party over, Carl shoves the girls into a freezer for safe keeping.

Across campus, Betsy is visiting Mr. Miller again. She's dropped by to see his new collection of snakes. Non-poisonous snakes that look deceptively like rattlers. Betsy still doesn't suspect that she's become an unwilling sex slave. Before you know it, she's staring at that fuckin' eagle again, and crazy ol' Miller has her stripped down. Worse still, he's letting the snakes loose in her panties. What the fuck?

The marauders break in. Initially they plan on the usual rape and robbery, but the snakes freak them out, so they bail, while Miller has a heart attack on the floor. Betsy, however, is still oblivious to it all. Next, the boys bust into the gymnasium, where Alice and Madeline are getting stoned by the pool. The girls offer to smoke the strangers up, and the next thing you know, they're giggling and making out. But then Carl sticks the edge of a knife under Alice's chin. Naturally she freaks out, and kicks his ass into the pool. Dick jumps into save him and the girls attempt to escape, but get nabbed by Bruce. Then they disappear. Continuity is not this film's strong suit.

At some point later, two of the girls (Who knows which ones? At this point, it all becomes a blur of big tits and karate chops) run into Dick, who they attempt to kill by kicking him to death. Carl and Bruce intervene and make them wrestle in the dirt. It starts to become clear that Delinquent School Girls is less a narrative exploitation film than it is a series of sequences geared towards specific fetishes. Like girls in schoolgirl outfits? We got 'em. Big tits? Check. Rape fantasies, lesbians, girl-on-girl wrestling, even bestiality? Step right in, we have room for every fucking weirdo in here.

The guys find a car with the keys still in it, but before they can get the hell out of there, Dick manages to peep into yet another window to find all the girls not locked in freezers or left half-naked in the mud in the gym, practicing Karate. For whatever reason (because they are all crazy, I suppose), Carl decides they ought to bust in on them and, I swear, make them dance in a chorus line. Bottomless, no less.
"I'm not taking my panties off for you or any man," growls Greta, which is sort of ironic, seeing that Brennan was a porn star.

Meanwhile Carla, bloodied and muddied, finally makes it to the highway, where she flags down a car. Two hippies pick her up, but instead of offering help, they try to ply her with booze and squeeze her enormous tits.
"Oh, we'll help you," says the driver, "but first, let's clean off some of that mud and see what we've got to work with."

Mr. Baxter is still sitting in his office, reading bondage comics (!), oblivious to the horrors going on in the gym. A knock-down, drag-out fight between the feminist Kung Fu girls and the already beaten-to-shit bad guys ensue. You can probably figure out the rest.

Given its lurid title, Delinquent School Girls would've scored in mid 70's drive-ins and grindhouses regardless of its actual contents. I couldn't help myself either. The actual film is largely indefensible, though. It really is just a series of R-rated fetish loops lashed together with a bunch of standard exploitation tropes to flesh it out. Pataki, Minor, and Stucker literally attack their roles, to various levels of effectiveness. Minor's Big Dick is a half-retarded sex beast, a bizarre, muscle-bound cross between a blaxploitation superdude and a horny werewolf. Stucker does a full-on Paul Lynde, and Pataki laces his jokey exposition with lame-duck impressions (Nixon, Clark Gable, Cagney). Too cartoon-y to be authentically menacing, they instead come off as just really, really annoying. The girls are much more interesting to watch, with performances that range from convincingly bad ass (Brennan) to immaculately stoned (Anderson). Had Corarito made an entire film about the girls, this could have been a teen-trash classic, ala Trip with the Teacher or The Cheerleaders, but the shoe-horned fetish elements and these braying jackass mental patients often turn the otherwise dead-on 70's T&A-fest into a tedious and embarrassing mess.

Your call, really.

Graduation day?
School Girls was Corarito's last official directing gig, but he stuck around the z-movie world for many years, eventually working for none other than Canucksploitation god Rafal Zielinksi. Pataki had a sweet gig for awhile as the voice of George Liquor on Ren & Stimpy. Bob Minor, now in his mid-sixties, is still acting and doing stunt work. Stucker died of AIDs in 1986. Colleen Brennan became one of the biggest porn stars of the 80's, and also acted (as Sharon Kelly) in Chuck Vincent's 1988 women-in-prison howler Slammer Girls. Buck Flower lived until he died, in 2004. Most of the other girls were one-time actors, including, unfortunately, the striking Zoe Grant. Her, I'd watch in anything. Well, not this again, but anything else.

Availability: Delinquent School Girls is available on DVD.

Clip: Delinquent School Girls trailer

- Ken McIntyre


  1. Anyone know anything about the girl shown here as: Stoner chick Madeline (Betty Johnson)? I kinda dig her vacant stoner looks.IMDB has her (Betty Johnson)listed as a girl who would have been in her 40's at the time "Delinquent Schoolgirls" was filmed. Clearly not the same chick pictured here.

  2. This was one of those films that had a minor cult following on video in Britain, even though it was released in a cut-down version. Even at the age of ten or eleven (I know, I shouldn't have been watching such depraved filth, but I had the classic 'mis-spent youth') I thought there was something horribly creepy, misogynistic and grubby about the whole thing...and having watched it again recently, it now seems so morally skewed it looks like it came from another planet entirely. It's also sad knowing how Roberta Pedon's life ended prematurely - and, by all accounts, pretty miserably.


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