The Schoolgirl Report sexploitation series offers a strange fascination that goes beyond the expected nudity and bump-and-grind antics. Its source lies in the anything-goes nature of their vignette-driven storylines: one story might offer goofball comedy along the lines of a smutty Benny Hill gag while the next might offer bleak, morbidly hopeless melodrama that hits like a splash of cold water to the face. This vertigo-inducing tug of war between silliness and existential despair makes the Schoolgirl Report series unique in the world of ’70s sexploitation.
Schoolgirl Report Vol. 12 arrives late in this long-running series but its schizoid blend of comedy and tragedy is as strong as any other entry. The direction from series regular Walter Boos is brisk and colorful and the usual Gert Wilden lounge soundtrack cues are supplemented by some funky, synth-tinged cues that reflect its late-’70s vintage. The framing device is simple this time, depicting a student-run newspaper reading letters to each other as they prepare the letters column for the next edition. This sets up a series of five vignettes that illustrate stories from the lives of five female readers – and in true Schoolgirl Report potluck style, you never know what’s going to happen next.
On the comedic side of the film, there are stories about a lucky plumber who gets to play doctor with a nubile lass when he is mistaken for a physician and a girl determined to seduce the athletics-obsessed exchange student staying with her parents. The funniest of the bunch is a charmingly juvenile story where teen couples stumble over each other (literally) while sneaking off from a class trip to enjoy some forbidden sex. It’s thoroughly silly in the most slapstick way possible but packs in the nudity and sex with abandon.
However, it’s the tragedy-fueled segments in Schoolgirl Report Vol. 12 that will stick in the sexploitation fan’s mind. The first involves a girl whose sexual fixation on her older brother drives her to desperate actions. It boasts a pretty amazing sequence where she fantasizes about seeing her brother’s bitchy ex having sex and an E.C. Comics-worthy twist ending. The other tragic tale is a student’s first-person account of her descent into drugs and prostitution. It plays like a sexploitation version of Christiane F, packed with family tragedy and joyless yet frenetic sex, and the narration offers a parting shot that is genuinely chilling.
In short, Schoolgirl Report Vol. 12 delivers all the sex and quirky tonal shifts that sexploitation fans would expect from this series. If you’re into the unusual blend of moods inherent to these films, you won’t be disappointed.
DVD Notes: this film has received a new DVD release from Impulse Pictures as part of its ongoing Schoolgirl Report series. It is presented in anamorphic format and features its original German language mix (with new English subtitles). There’s a little element damage around reel changes but the overall image is crisp and colorful.