Wednesday, August 27, 2014


John David Carson is a high school student with a problem: he gets an erection at the drop of a hat, so to speak, and despite himself is still a virgin. One day, when substitute teacher Angie Dickinson gets him hot and bothered, he excuses himself and heads off to the boys' room (with his notebook in front of his crotch) where he finds a dead girl in a stall, a note saying, "So long, honey" taped to her rear end. And soon enough, more dead girls show up around the school. Meanwhile, well-liked football coach and guidance counselor Rock Hudson tries to help Carson with his problem by putting Dickinson on the case—he tells her that Carson is impotent and she should give him confidence—and in a few days, Carson and Dickinson are sleeping together. We soon discover that Hudson is having sex with just about every girl in the school, all of whom are scantily dressed and flirtatious. Who could be killing all these pretty maids?

This is a crazy-ass movie that could only have been made in the crazy-ass 70s. The first half-hour centers on a teenage boy's erection (though we never see it, in or out of pants); every female student looks like a Playboy playmate; teachers have sex with students and there seem to be no problems with that, aside from the post-coital killings. It's not really a spoiler to note that Hudson is the killer, but his character has no consistent psychology—he is married with a young daughter and appears to love his wife, but still bangs schoolgirls a mile a minute. The killings seem to occur when the girls turn cold or want a commitment, but even that isn't clear or consistent. And in the somewhat surprising climax (which I won't spoil), it even appears as if his wife knows about his activities and is OK with them. Carson (pictured with Dickinson) is very cute and handles his unusual role well, and Dickinson is fine. Hudson seems a little at sea, like he couldn't quite commit to a murderous villain role. Also in the cast without much distinction are Telly Savalas as a detective (looking every inch like Kojak, the role he would become famous for a couple of years later), Roddy McDowell as the ineffectual principal, and Keenan Wynn as a police chief. I guess I'd have to say I enjoyed the movie, but I felt kinda gross afterward. [TCM]

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