Written by: Michael Den Boer on May 19th, 2017
Theatrical Release Date: USA, 1979
Director: Irvin Berwick
Writers: John Buckley, Thomas Singer
Cast: Jill Lansing, Stuart Taylor, Katie Johnson, Phyllis Benson, Alex Mann, Tammy Taylor, Garth Pillsbury
BluRay released: May 30th, 2017
Approximate running time: 90 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Sound: DTS-HD Mono English
Subtitles: English SDH
BluRay Release: Vinegar Syndrome
Region Coding: Region Free
Retail Price: $32.98
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.
Malibu High comes on a 50 GB dual layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive widescreen. The source for this releases transfer was scanned and restored in 2k from the film’s 35mm original camera negative. And the result is by far and away this film has ever looked on home video.
This release comes with one audio option, a DTS-HD mono mix in English and included with this release are removable English SDH subtitles. The audio sounds, clean, clear and balanced throughout. The more ambient aspects of the soundtrack are well represented and this audio mix sounds robust when it needs too.
Extras for this release include, reversible cover art, a production still gallery, a trailer for the film (2 minutes 16 seconds), two short film’s directed by producer Lawrence Foldes, Struggle for Israel (19 minutes 57 seconds) and Grandpa & Marika (11 minutes 7 seconds), a Q&A from a screening at the New Beverly Cinema with Lawrence Foldes, actress Tammy Taylor and actor Alex Mann (27 minutes 2 seconds), three interviews – the first interview is with Lawrence Foldes titled Making Malibu High (26 minutes 40 seconds), the second interview is with Tammy Taylor titled Playing Annette (12 minutes 42 seconds) and the third interview is with actor Garth Pillsbury titled Playing the Boss (14 minutes 51 seconds) and an informative audio commentary track with Lawrence Foldes and Tammy Taylor.
Topics discussed in the Q&A include, how the film was shot for $56,000, various titles that were not used and why they ended up with the title Malibu High, the film’s provocative poster, the stock music that appears in the film, location’s / set’s that were constructed for the film, Jill Lansing, her casting / performance, Crown International’s advertisement campaign for the film and a proposed remake / updated take on the film.
Topics discussed in the interview with Lawrence Foldes include, how his interest in cinema began at a very early age and watching films with his grandfather, film school, the origins of Malibu High, director Irvin Berwick, background information about the cast, editor Dan Perry, the score / music that appeared in the film, Crown International, the film’s poster and why the lead actress is not on it and how the film was a very successful at the box office.
Topics discussed in the interview with Tammy Taylor include, her origins as an actress, her audition for Malibu High, onset memories, the cast, her family’s reaction to the film and her thoughts about the film.
Topics discussed in the interview with actor Garth Pillsbury include, his origins as an actor, Russ Meyer’s Vixen, Malibu High and his thoughts about the film and onset memories, Mistress of the Apes and what he has been doing since Malibu High.
The audio commentary is a good mix of new information and information that is covered in the other extras.
Also, included with this release is a DVD that has the same content included on the Blu-Ray included as part of this combo.
Overall Malibu High gets a definitive release from Vinegar Syndrome, highly recommended.