The Film (2/5)
The long-running Schoolgirl Report series is an odd mix of softcore porn, teen sex comedy and straightfaced Afterschool Special-style drama. Originally based on a book drawn from interviews with German teens, the series purports to be dramatizing the experiences of real life schoolgirls, at once inviting the audience to leer at the movies’ nubile young stars and providing pat moral lessons for its younger audience members. By the time the last entry in the series, Schoolgirl Report 13: “Don’t Forget Love During Sex,” was released in 1980, its titillating elements were failing to compete with hardcore porn, or even the better European softcore titles; it has its moments, but the series had clearly run out of steam.
The movie’s framing device is a rehearsal for a high school production of Romeo and Juliet, which turns into a philosophical discussion about the importance of sex in relation to love and vice versa (led by an apparently very progressive teacher). The students take turn relating stories they’ve heard, which are acted out in five separate vignettes that alternate between comedy and drama. A common theme is the exploitation of young women by lecherous older men, as in the first story, which ends in bloody revenge. The tonal shifts are pretty jarring - the third story, about a young alcoholic’s downward spiral, is followed by one about teens fooling around in a hayloft that feels like something out of a Porky’s sequel.
By this point in the series, neither the humor nor the sex feels particularly provocative. While a number of attractive young women disrobe, the performances and filmmaking both have a distinct sense of going through the motions. As for the comedic elements, a scene where a guy is forced to climb down the side of a building wearing a woman’s undergarments is about as outrageous as it gets. Probably the most entertaining part of Schoolgirl Report #13 is its time capsule quality - the big hair, loud fashion and bits of weird Europop we hear on the soundtrack. It’s interesting as an artifact from another time, but it’s clear that, by the thirteenth installment, this series had gone limp.
Impulse Pictures presents Schoolgirl Report #13 in an anamorphic transfer that preserves the movie’s 1.66:1 aspect ratio. The transfer is a mixed bag - detail is decent throughout, and print damage is only intermittently visible after the opening titles. However, the colors are faded, contrast is muddy and, at times, this looks like it was transferred from a laserdisc. To be fair, Impulse licensed the title from the German distributor, so it’s possible they weren’t given any source elements to work with. The audio is considerably better - there are occasional instances of hiss, but otherwise the dialogue and funky soundtrack are clear throughout.
No extras are included.
Fans who have collected the rest of the Schoolgirl Report series are going to want to pick this one up, of course, but otherwise, I’d only really recommend it to fans of obscure ‘70s German dance music.