The Film (2.5/5)
Please note: My enjoyment of this film was absolutely improved by my complete ignorance of the plot as well as the overall tone. This might help you as well so skip the next two paragraphs. For instance, if you think that this -based on the poster art alone- is a goofball sex comedy then by all means, keep thinking that right up until a few minutes into the movie if you want.
Kim (Jill Lansing) is a typical teenager, if “typical” means she’s kind of an asshole. I’m kidding, of course. She’s not “kind of” anything. She’s just a total asshole. Kim gives her mother (Wallace Earl Laven) grief every time she opens her mouth and is flunking out of school spectacularly. What’s up with all the angst? It’s a double whammy; her father committed suicide and her boyfriend Kevin dumped her. Realizing that she’s quite a babe (under favorable lighting conditions), Kim decides to seduce her teachers and then blackmail them into giving her good grades.
Soon Kim decides to enlist the local pimp/drug dealer (Alex Mann) to hook her up with some Johns so she can make some cash. When that scuzzball won’t give her a bigger share of her earnings, Kim hooks up with a high class (Garth Pillsbury) pimp named Lance. He helps get her more money and access to a wealthier clientele. When a John gets violent, Kim kills him. Instead of being angry at this incident, Lance sees Kim’s casual bloodlust as an opportunity for her to become something more than just a teenaged hooker.
One man’s trash is another man’s refuse. Malibu High is easily one of the campiest adult teen dramas I’ve have humping my leg like a dog in heat in a long time. This is a competently made yet poorly written stinker but I had a lot of fun with it. The cars, the fashions, and the décor will have your eyes bugging out of your head and the film’s rose-tinted view of prostitution makes Pretty Woman look like a gritty documentary. As the credits began to roll, my wife looked at me and said, “You’re not going to keep this one, are you?” I didn’t know what to say and I still don’t.
I probably sound like a broken record but Vinegar Syndrome kicks ass pretty much every time. This looks way better than it has any right to. Malibu High is the prettiest turd! Print damage is minimal and this colorful film is quite vivid and sharp. Audio is easy on the ears as well.
You better clear your calendar for this one, kids. This disc is LOADED. The commentary track on Malibu High is a real humdinger. Producer Lawrence Foldes and Tammy Taylor (who played Annette, Kim’s high school rival) reminisce about the making of the film and talk about the hilarious attitude of the film’s star, who never worked in the film industry again if IMDB is correct. There’s a featurette about the life and career of Foldes, another one about Taylor, and another with actor Garth Pillsbury talking about his work in the film industry. All three of these are a lot of fun as these people are energetic, charming, and have interesting stories to tell. There’s also a Q&A with the cast at a screening of the film, theatrical trailer, short films by Foldes, and more!
If you like forgotten 1970s crapola made with an immodest budget and cast entirely with dingbats, then you are going to adore Malibu High. This is a perfect example of irresponsible cringe-tainment that you might enjoy if you’re stoned or crazy. Luckily, this film stayed trashy but not sleazy. If this had gone darker, oh my, that would have been ruinous. I love when the main character of a film is a complete shithead. Perfect. By the way, one of the things that makes this film so special is a huge spoiler and I can’t talk about it here. Let me tell you, it’s profoundly stupid and you’ll be climbing the walls when it happens. Trust me. The lunatics who made Malibu High also gave us Don't Go Near the Park which is just nuts.