Written by: Michael Den Boer on January 31st, 2014
Theatrical Release Dates: USA, 1976 (Hustler Squad), USA, 1979 (Malibu High)
Directors: Cesar Gallardo (Hustler Squad), Irvin Berwick (Malibu High)
Cast: Karen Ericson, Liza Lorena, John Ericson (Hustler Squad), Jill Lansing, Stuart Taylor, Katie Johnson, Phyllis Benson, Alex Mann, Tammy Taylor (Malibu High)
DVD released: January 28th, 2014
Approximate running times: 98 minutes (Hustler Squad), 90 minutes (Malibu High)
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen (Both Films)
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono English (Both Films)
DVD Release: Scorpion Releasing
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $16.95
Hustler Squad: Major Stony Stonewall is given the task of infiltrating a secret Japanese hideout in the Philippines that caters to Japanese officers sexual desires. He devises a full proof plan to get into the complex without being noticed. It involves recruiting women assassins who also are willing to go all the way sexually. He has only a few weeks to train these ladies before sending them on this most deadly mission.
Hustler Squad starts of with a flurry of action as some locales attack a Japanese compound. Then about six minutes into the movie we shift over to a U.S. general who tells us of his plans to attack the same compound. It is right around here where the film starts to go down faster then the Titanic in the Atlantic Ocean. The movie can be broken down into three parts. The women assassins are recruited, the women assassins train and finally the women assassins kill their targets. Sound simple enough and yet getting form point A to point B is like pulling teeth. I wanted to like this film so bad since the premise is ingenuous and should have provided for some quality exploitation fun. Unfortunately everyone involved found a way to screw up what could have been a trashy film.
Malibu High: A jaded high school senior uses her sexuality to get the things she wants and when the situation presents itself she transforms into a cold-blooded assassin.
If ever there was a movie that should not be judge by its cover or in this case it’s advertising, that film would be Malibu High. What sets itself up as a teen melodrama about the highs and lows of high school is something much more sinister and downright entertaining.
The film revolves around a trouble high school girl who recently was dumped by her boyfriend and a few years before that her father committed suicide and she was the one who discovered his corpse. From there she is about to flunk out of school, that is until she concocts a plan to sleep with all of her male teachers for better grades. And then just when you thought she couldn’t sink any lower she teams up with a pimp and sells her body for money. To reveal anymore would give away too much of this film’s delirious finale.
Though many of the situations have been used in other films, it is safe to say that they were never exploited with such effortless precision as they are in Malibu High. One of this film’s greatest assets is its anything goes mentality to the story that is unfolding that keeps the narrative from ever getting to predictable. And though there are many elements in this film’s plot that firmly place the film into the sexploitation genre. This film is anything but your standard T&A film. It is a satisfying mix of the aforementioned sexploitation genre and revenge themed thrillers.
Performance wise there really is only one performance that matters and that would-be Jill Lansing in the role of this film’s protagonist Kim Bentley. So much of the film success relies on her performance and thankfully she is up for the task and then some. With that being said, that rest of the cast are a mixed bag of performances that do just a good enough job to keep things moving along.
From its opening moments to its jaw dropping finale Malibu High is a highly entertaining film that should be in every hardcore exploitation cinema fans collection.
Both films are presented in a 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen. For this release both films have been given brand new HD transfers. The sources used for both transfer is in very good shape as colors look nicely saturated, black and contrast levels look consistently good and details look sharp throughout. Though there are some minor instances of print debris it is never to intrusive.
Each film comes with one audio option, a Dolby Digital mono mix in English. Dialog always comes through clearly and everything sound s balanced. There are no issues with distortion and range wise both tend to sound rather limited.
Extras for this release include trailers for each film, an interview with actress Tammy Taylor (16 minutes 1 second – anamorphic widescreen) and opening & closing trivia segments with Katarina Leigh Waters for Malibu High. Topics discussed in the interview with Tammy Taylor include casting and her audition which required her go topless, the cast and working with producer Lawrence D. Foldes and various other films that she has worked on. Overall Scorpion Releasing launches it Dangerous Beauties line by breathing new life into two similar themed films by giving themed brand new HD transfers and bet of all at a more then affordable price.