Friday, November 7, 2014
The Teacher (1974)
This is a bit of a departure from the first five movies I've featured. Those first five were all pretty much horror movies in some way, shape, or form. You know, because October and shit. This time I wanted to do something a little different. This movie stars Jay North of Dennis the Menace fame. Yeah. That little shit grew up to screw his teacher (played by Angel Thompkins).
Now, I've seen this movie and it's not just a bang-fest that the poster might lead you to believe. There's an undercurrent here as well courtesy of Anthony James playing a real creeper. So, yeah, we get some sex, we get some stalking, we get it all.
This movie comes to me thanks to the 32-movie Drive-In Cult Classics set. I guess I should point out that any kid who lived near enough to a drive-in to be able to see Angel Thompkins' tits would have been happy, but they probably shouldn't go into where any cars are parked because they would have seen all sorts of unsightly things in the vans that were-a rockin'. Anyway, here's the synopsis from the back of the box: "An 18 year old high school graduate finds his summer after school filled with more lessons when he takes up a romantic relationship with his married, 28 year old teacher."
Let's get this lesson started!
We kick things off at an abandoned warehouse on a dock with creepy ass Anthony James looking inside a casket. He drives off in a hearse and into a neighborhood where checks out our titular teacher leaving her school. Over this stalking, we're treated to an awful loungey song about how every boy needs a teacher to show him the way. It's not really something that would get anyone into the mood for being taught anything if you catch my drift, but I digress. Ol' Tony James follows Angel to her home where he continues to "admire" her from afar. Every time he sees her, he gets this really big smile like he's some kind of cute, smitten guy, but let's not fool ourselves. He's creeping her. Plain and simple.
Now we get some Angel Thompkins action as she's driving her Corvette and listening to some really generic piano jazz. She realizes that she's being followed, so she does what any sensible, and sexy, woman would do - pull over and confront the stalker. He just drives past her and smiles like he's done something really cool. Again, like any sensible chick, she decides to follow him. We're now full circle with the paragraph above as he leaders her to the abandoned warehouse where he's got that one thing that all ladies find attractive in a man - a casket. In side his casket, he's got all his stalkin' equipment and pictures of Diane hanging up on the dingy walls. Instead of following him, she gets in her boat and takes to the seas to do some topless sunbathing while her admirer keeps peering at her through binoculars. Boom tits! Perhaps she should have gotten a little further out than the harbor to do this, but what do I know?
That's when our hero, Jay North, shows up with his buddy. They just want to check out the abandoned warehouse and shit. Maybe be a, I dunno... A menace... or something. Shit, I'm already tired of Dennis the Menace jokes. They happen to make their way directly tot he creeper's hangout. They find Angel sunbathing and, naturally, they want their peeks. Now would be a good time to say I wish I had a teacher like Angel Thompkins when I was a teenager. Anyway... The creeper comes out with his machete, because of course he does, Jay North's buddy plummets to his death which just so happens to be the creeper's brother. The creeper decides in his creepy mind that Jay North is at fault for this and his little bro's death was the plan all along. Jay hightails it the fuck right out of there.
Jay runs all the way home which takes the rest of the daylight. At home, his parents are getting ready to have dinner We learn his mother is a bit doting and his dad kinda thinks of him as a lazy kid. We get a classic 70s dad line in "I don't care of if you're hungry or not, sit down and eat!" It's like something out of The Wonder Years. So Jay North decides he just wants to go to bed. Sensing something is off, he looks outside to see the creeper's face and is issued the warning - the Sheriff is coming and if Jay says anything, creeper's gonna cut his tongue out. Needless to say, Jay does the right thing here and lies his asshole off.
The next morning, Jay stops by Angel's place and catches a glimpse of her rinsing off her legs - which he really likes - and she asks him to come inside for a minute. When he's not so sure about this (probably because he's got a rager in his pants), she says there's nothing to worry about because she's not going to rape him. I shit you not, she says she isn't going to rape him. To which I need to say: WHERE THE HELL WAS A TEACHER LIKE ANGEL THOMPKINS WHEN I WAS IN HIGH SCHOOL?!? Jay gets home where he's working on a bitchin' van and where a couple more sexy broads show up for lunch with his mother. It's not long before Angel arrives, scantily clad, naturally.
So out back with the girls, we learn that Angel's husband is often not around. Like exposition robots we get all sorts of info including a rousing line from Angel about not interfering in her personal business. We also learn that even Jay's mom finds him attractive. Why not? It's the 70s - dudes were banging all sorts of trim including their own mothers. I should point that this is supposedly lunch. However "lunch" is donuts. Fucking donuts for lunch. That's awesome. More robotic exposition about the creeper being kept in a VA hospital and should have kept there and stuff. Also, apparently this real nice suburb is NOT a place for ladies to live alone. You see, Angel's gotten all kinds of advances from studs who don't think she can cut it alone. It would seem Angel's estranged husband's not coming home anytime soon. Yo, Jay, pick up the signals, man. Seriously, she had to tell him to kiss her to prove he likes her. Bro, she's wants your North in her Thompkins, yo. After he leaves, she just goes into her bedroom and takes off her top. So, he may not want her right now, but at least we get to see some titties. (She also just showers with the shower curtain open just in case you needed to know.)
So, she finally puts the move on Jay. He tries to resist, but c'mon... Like that's going to last. Of course, she gets her way. Unfortunately for them, the crazy creeper sees them through the window and gets pretty bummed out about it all. So begins the dating of the 28 year old teacher and the 18 year old student. All the while, creeper keeps close track of the couple. This includes him putting on a wet suit and snorkling out to her boat to watch them and getting caught nearly spearing one of the couple. That's real professional creeping there. That said, there's not really much concern about what's happening which is kinda odd. Also, they start going out in public and no one bats an eye at a high schooler and his teacher canoodling. Well, almost no one... There are a couple old fuddy duddies who make them the topic of their entire meal discussion.
Creeper tries killing Jay yet again and finally someone decides maybe it's a good idea to call the cops or something. However, Jay stops his dad from calling the sheriff and tells his parents the truth about what happened. Foreshadowing words were spoken as Jay's mom convinces his dad to wait one more day to talk to the sheriff the next day because one more day isn't going to matter. The next day his parents head out to talk to the police and they don't take Jay with them. All of this is starting to line up a bit in favor of the creeper?
Jay takes Angel home in his maiden voyage of that bitchin' van of his, while they are at her place, her husband calls home to say he'll be home in a few days. Jay decides he should get out of there and not be a third wheel. However, he's not aware that she's telling her husband she wants a divorce. As if this day couldn't get any worse, the creeper is hidden in the back of Jay's bitchin' van. At knife point, creeper tells Jay to go to the warehouse. After seeing the hearse, Angel realizes what must have happened and follows.
At the warehouse, a struggle ensues and Jay gets the rifle out of creeper's casket. When Jay fires, he realizes the shells in the rifle are blanks. Creeper chokes Jay to death. Straight up kills his ass. Creeper, seeing that Angel has arrived, lures him to his creepy hideout. Creeper basically tells Angel that he killed Jay so they can be together. She pulls the good old fashioned "falling for the bad guy" trick, but actually let's it all the way to full penetration so she can reach down to get his own weapon and kill him with it. The movie ends with Angel cradling Jay's lifeless body.
So what this movie comes down to is our main dude happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time where he sees his best friend die and gets blamed for it by a stalker who likes to watch a particular woman sunbathe topless. The main dude then falls in love with the topless sunbather and, if it wasn't enough already that the stalker is trying to silence the truth about the buddy's death, he now has a secondary reason to call all sorts of problems by stalking the topless sunbather and the main dude.
Ultimately, this movie is a bit dull when it's all said and done. It's nearly 100 minutes that could have been compacted down to half that length. There's a pretty thin plot here that's kind of generic. However, really what we're dealing with is a movie all about passion. The passion between Jay and Angel. The passion creeper has for Angel. Crazed passion to drive a man to murder. There's not much you can do with that in a movie, honestly. However, this film does succeed in delivering some sexy Angel Thompkins and really builds her relationship with Jay North really well. You actually kind of feel these two people are falling in love. It's not manufactured in the least. As the movie progresses, so does the relationship. It's pretty sweet all in all.
Unfortunately, I kinda can't tell anyone to watch it like I could with a couple of these other movies I've watched in the past. It's just too dull even for the overall sweetness of the relationship between Angel and Jay. If you just want to see Angel's tits multiple times through the movie, you'll be pleased. If you're looking for a gritty suspense movie that delivers on chills and thrills for every minute of runtime, then this isn't it.