Part of the appeal of exploitation cinema, particularly that of sex-driven variety, is its honesty: it knows what its audience wants and dishes it up in a straightforward manner free of pretense. When the people making these kinds of films do their job with style and energy, the results can be refreshing, even joyful.
And that brings us to the Schoolgirl Report films. This long-running German sexploitation series was the brainchild of producer Wolf Hartwig, who took a real non-fiction sex study and spun it into a string of profitable sexploitation anthology films that worked their way through one youth-oriented fantasy after. Hartwig managed to get over a dozen films out of this formula, not to mention spin-off series, throughout the 1970’s. His success also led to countless knockoffs.
Schoolgirl Report Vol. 8 comes from 1974, right around the middle of the series’ run. The storyline is loose but moves with drive and purpose as it goes through its bump-and-grind paces. The framing device for the film is provided by a girls’ school taking a trip to a boarding house in the country. Along the way, the girls – all of whom seem to be experienced seductresses despite their tender ages – swap stories of sexual adventures that cover the gamut from soap opera to slapstick hijinks.
Comic highlights include the story of a girl who seduces a gardener who wants to remain chaste, and another young lady who talks about how she and her cousin were stalked by a horny fisherman while skinny-dipping before a pair of naturist-minded young men come to their rescue. The latter bit includes some wacky chases with pratfalls and music right out of a Benny Hill episode.
The “serious” side of the film produces some bits that are almost as funny. One young coed finds true love with a young soldier who gets her pregnant and another girl allows herself to be seduced by her father’s boss to save their family’s livelihood, thus kicking off a May-December romance in the swinging ’70s tradition. Even though these are more dramatically inclined than the comedic subplots, they have the same amount of nudity and softcore sex. The May-December romance subplot even works in a cleverly filmed coupling atop a pool table that makes eye-catching use of 360-degree camera pans.
If those storylines didn’t offer enough carnal fun, the wraparound storyline also includes a nypmhet trying to seduce a new male teacher and a group-shower scene. Despite the jailbait angle of the storyline, the proceedings never feel creepy as the film’s plot exists in a fantasy land where every teenage girl is a jaded carnal predator (even the nice girls bare all on the first date) and all the supposed teenage girls are all clearly actresses in their 20’s.
The fun, light tone of the proceedings is aided by slick direction from series regular Ernst Hofbauer, a journeyman director who places his focus on color, snappy editing and mobile camerawork to give the film an energetic tone. The lounge-pop score by Gert Wilden also plays an important role in the old-school fun of the proceedings. The resulting film captures the joy of the sexual revolution era – and more specifically, the joy that exploitation producers had cashing in on the relaxed social mores of the era.
In short, Schoolgirl Report Vol. 8 is a solid pick for any schlock scholar who enjoys the lighthearted side of 1970’s softcore filmmaking. If you fit that description, this Bavarian romp will put a little oompah in your step.
(DVD Notes: this title was recently released by Impulse Pictures in a nice-looking DVD edition that offers a remastered, anamorphic presentation of the uncut German version of this film. It retains the German language audio track and is presented with optional English subtitles. Aside from a bit of grain on the titles due to their opticals-heavy nature, the majority of the film looks crisp and retains its distinctive ’70s color palette. There are no extras but fans of softcore filmmaking will be glad to get a nice-looking uncut version of this film.)