I'm not a Mondo film fan, while some of them are fascinating, it is the making of them that really interests me. The Report films play a bit like a Mondo, but instead of weird cultural rites and animal sacrifice we have simulated sex, naughty dialog and even a bit of pseudo science for your pleasure. Right off the bat I was taken in by Volume 1. Leading off with the groovy sounds of Gert Wilden--it's a whole world of sensual sleaze that will keep your toes tapping...so let's dance!
The initial entry into the series makes great pains to let us know that there was plenty of research to back up the stories we were about to witness. Gunther Hunold's book Schulmädchen-Report (you can see it at Google Books right here) must have caught producer Wolf C. Hartwig's imagination with a fierceness, because he took the survey idea and ran with it to unleash a torrent of teen trauma upon the world! Tagging up with director Ernst Hofbauer, the duo hit sexploitation gold! However, I'm not just fascinated by the skin on show. The attitude of these films is as fluid, and baffling to me, as any Mondo film. The first film seems to be a call to parents to be more understanding of their kids and the nature of their sexuality. Bouncing between "candid" interviews on the street where young people have a big microphone shoved in their face and asked about their masturbatory habits and the place of love in sex and scenarios of danger and discovery, you won't know who to "cheer" for! Parents-your daughter is a sexually aware person, understand them! Parents-your daughter is in dire danger! Mothers-Your husbands must be watched! Mothers-Your sons are potentially very bad!! Fathers-Avoid jail...do not fall for the seductions!!
My favorite part of watching the first film was the straight faced questioning of Friedrich von Thun...he can just stand there and ask the most ridiculous questions without batting an eyelash at his subjects. These sections are also disarming, because the answers rarely seem to match up with the behavior in the various vignettes, many being downright polite!
That first scene of a schoolgirl getting busy with a bus driver, and the panic it causes, sure did reverberate around German cinema however, and not only would this series roll on for a decade, but dozens of knock offs-some as bizarre as Girls At The Gynecologist!-would sit waiting to be unearthed by fans of strange cinema.
As the series progresses, the viewpoints swing wilder than the the dalliances of a bored schoolgirl as these images show. Lustful, wanton, repentant, disease struck...raped, violated and liberated. THAT is what the creators of the films are putting across. But it certainly brings up the question of titallation and just what the point was.
As time passes the movies become less and less interested in the interview process, and more and more lurid. Sexploitation, for me, is at it's best when it pushes the boundaries of taste and each installment definitely goes a bit further. Schulmädchen-Report 2 starts to add more attractive actresses to fill in the roles of the sensual schoolgirls, and the skin quotient starts climbing.
Schoolgirl Report 3 is an interesting one, because it takes the first step in to outright slapstick humor as a young couple seeks refuge from an intruding mother only to find the girls father and his mistress (I love how dowdy the pair are) ALSO hiding from them. That's right...your parents like sex too, and get up to the same scandalous mayhem you kids do as well. At first I thought it was a distraction, but oddly enough, the funny bits have become among my favorite parts! You can't do it all the time, but when you are balancing tales of dangerous sex and horrible trauma with goofy "ass through the cabinet" jokes it creates a really weird environment.
And this installment is the first one to feature Carmen Jackel...woo. Yep, these are still sexploitation films!
Number 4 is probably the one I was most intrigued by, seeing as it features Christina Lindberg (hey, check out more than fifty CHISTINA LINDBERG POSTS by clicking). She gets a pretty unique episode, one that definitely pushes the edges of taste as her character is sexually awakened by living in the same room as her brother (dammit Parents...careful!!) and watching him with an older woman. Not only does she pursue him, but gets the most psychedelic sequence in the series (so far) as she dreams of her father "punishing" her and nuns stripping bare to be executed by a firing squad. Check out more in this SUPER TRIPPY CHRISTINA post.
Wild...and the film doesn't get any less crazy!
So, things are really getting weird, aggressively so. But as far as they slithered to the strange, this entry also introduces Rinaldo Talamonti as a goofy Italian guy that appears in the rest of the Impulse released discs! From his goofy Soda Shop guy handing out "free" ice creams to eager schoolgirls to the preening "Hercules" that gets teased right on to the excellent "Short Italian Sausage Slinger On A Box To Get Traction" role-I love this guy. No matter how weird, how offensive to the sensibilities and hysterically caution provoking the surroundings, each of these made me laugh and provide a welcome breather.
And hey, this volume includes Ulrike Butz (see a lot more of here at this excellent blog IN SEARCH OF ULRIKE BUTZ), Carmen Jackel, Christina Lindberg, Puppa Armbruster AND Ingrid Steeger all show up.
Folks, welcome to German Sexploitation.
Number 5 features a great bit about a judo throwing Priest that ends up Frugging in slow motion with a naked temptress. It has a a great funny bit and...lots of warnings for you parents. Given that it follows four, the tone is mostly lighter, but the switches in "who is this film for" perspectives is mostly gone. Viewers know what to expect-and Hartwig and Hofbauer deliver the goods. Butz and Armbruster appear again as well. Now, there is one particularly surprising entry that features a Grandfather(!) seduced and his fate is one of the most absorbing of the entire series. My jaw was on the floor at points, and the acting in this scenario is probably the best I've seen. A worthy view just for this long vignette. If there is one Anti-Youth piece that stands out, this i definitely the one!
So, what have I learned? Well, I've learned that this genre isn't even started to be released with English options. I've got a stack of Housewife Reports, Apprentice Reports, Lifeguard Reports and many many more to look at, and look I shall! I am learning about life in the 70s through the lens of shock cinema, these are a better look at the very basis of Sexploitation film making than they are anything that happens in reality. What is titillating? What is shocking? And certainly, where were some of the sexiest starlets of the softcore sex industry going when in Germany to appear in films? I'm in...I'm going to find out!
Try one, you may like it... for the fans of sex in cinema, you'll find a mix of what you want, things you might not and certainly something unique and different!