Monday, November 12, 2007

Trip with the Teacher (1975)

One of many drive-in epics cast in the mold of Last House on the Left, Earl Barton's tale of madness, molestation and motorcycles turns out about as tame as you'd expect from a guy who choreographed a bunch of late-'50s rock musicals. Despite its veneer of sleaze, this comes from a fundamentally innocent-eyed mindset, and as such it never feels as wretched as it should. A little trimming and this could be an Afterschool Special. However, what this lacks in slime is occasionally compensated for by goofy setpieces. Of particular note is a long motorcycle chase that ends on a curlicue so abrupt that it merited a guffaw and a rewind. Zalman King, in the David Hess role, sneers and twitches as though Barton's only direction to him was to look 10% sweatier from shot to shot; meanwhile, Marvin the bus driver is the smartest, most interesting character, and as such he's the first one to be offed. Pity.

Grade: C


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