Student Teachers, The (1973)

“When I see that kind of perversion in this here high school, you can bet your sweet ass I’m stoppin’ it!”

Student Teachers Poster

Synopsis:
Two sexy young student teachers (Susan Damante and Brooke Mills) cause a stir by offering their high school students radical pedagogical options; meanwhile, a rapist terrorizes their campus, and an African-American senior (Brenda Sutton) plans to swindle a drug dealer (Bob Harris) in order to earn money for her struggling alternative school.

Genres:

Review:
The disjointed, sensationalist script of this New World Pictures exploitation flick is — true to its genre — merely an excuse to flaunt its sexy young female stars and exploit an array of “hot” topics (including drug dealers, rape, and the dysfunctional mandates of public schooling). The lead protagonists are given no backstory whatsoever, and — needless to say — are entirely unconvincing as student teachers; meanwhile, the subplot about a “secret” rapist (his identity is actually fairly obvious) is handled with a disappointing lack of taste, especially given director Jonathan Kaplan’s later, more serious foray into the topic (perhaps he was trying to atone for this earlier mess!). A quick scan of user comments on IMDb reveals that most folks who’ve stumbled upon The Student Teachers (it’s hard to find) enjoy it as an irreverent time capsule, but I was simply bored and offended. Watch for Chuck Norris as a karate instructor.

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:

  • Not much of anything.

Must See?
No; though it’s listed as a Cult Movie in the back of Peary’s book, it’s not must-see viewing for all film fanatics.

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One Response to “Student Teachers, The (1973)”

  1. First viewing. Unh-uh. Just another ‘What was Peary thinking by including this title?’

    “Disjointed” is right! But it’s not so much that the film can be hard to follow at times – it’s just hard to CARE about following. And the ‘fun’ doesn’t stop there: the dialogue is mumbled off-and-on and, as soon as you find yourself straining to understand, you are also asking yourself, ‘Why do I want to know ANY of this?!’

    The fact that the overall look of this low-budgeter is rather flat only adds to the running-on-empty feel.

    No one in the cast (except, perhaps, Sutton – who might have done well with some juicy lines to say) comes off well at all. They seem to be happy to have landed acting jobs but forgot the jobs required acting. Even good ol’ Dick Miller seems a bit embarrassed.

    Director Kaplan does attempt to appear as if he showed up for work a few days: I chuckled at the sex-ed film the students themselves made. And the scene with the ‘nun’ decoy driving the bus, etc., makes the ending perk up…a little.

    But ‘cult film’??? Oh, for cryin’ out loud!

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