Who says small town life is dull? A beautiful and seductive small-town high school teacher (Angel Tompkins) seduces her star pupil (Jay North). Deranged desire leads to murder and mayhem when their careless, uncontrolled ... more »passion provokes the raging jealo« less
Big Mike | Bradford, West Yorkshire United Kingdom | 09/25/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"PLEASE NOTE: THIS IS NOT A DVD-R as another "reviewer" has said!! I first saw "The Teacher" at a drive-in theatre in Georgia in the summer of 1981. It is a drive-in classic and one of my favorite films. I longed for a video release, which finally happened several years later. Then, upon moving to England in 1999, I unfortunately had to leave my treasured video copy behind. Just recently, I was thrilled to discover it is available on DVD. I have recently purchased a multiregion player, so I ordered the film on DVD and had it shipped to me in England. I can truthfully say that I didn't think I would ever see this wonderful film again. The DVD contains a sparkling copy of the film, but unfortunately, offers few extras, not even the original trailer. But, I'm just happy to be able to watch the film again!! Lovely Angel Tompkins shines brightly as the teacher and really carries the film and the casting of child star Jay North of the 1950's t.v. classic "Dennis The Menace" fame, as her student with whom she becomes both romantically and sexually involved was a real surprise, if not ironic. Some of his awkward early scenes alone with Angel Tompkins are somewhat reminiscent of "The Graduate". However, he does look a little bit too old to be a teenager!! It's the type of film Roger Corman might have made. The film is very watchable, especially when stunning Angel Tompkins is on screen. It is often breezy and perfectly captures the early-to-mid 1970s California summer. I can watch it endlessly, never tiring of the film. The only flaws in the film as far as I'm concerned are the out-of-place and unnecessary subplot concerning a disturbed Vietnam veteran, (well-played by Anthony James) and his fixation on and obsession with and murderous jealousy of the teacher, who stalks and spies on her throughout the film and the disappointing and surprisingly downbeat finale. In my opinion, these things detract somewhat from the normally light, smooth and easy breeziness of the rest of the film. Overall, I find it to be a pleasurable and exhilarating 98 minutes of viewing. Don't miss the hilarious scene in a restaurant where the teacher and her student are the subject of gossip for two onlookers, played by the mother's of John Cassavetes and Gena Rowlands, respectively!! Most and best of all, this film reminds me of youthful, warm summers, hopes and dreams and fantasies. Every boy should have a teacher like Angel Tompkins!! I can highly and heartily recommend this film to be enjoyed on the level for which it is intended. For every man who ever admired an older woman. I guess you could say it's one of my guilty pleasures and a great pleasure it is to watch!! Don't miss it!! Remade in 1984 by same director as "They're Playing With Fire" with Sybil Danning and Eric ("Private Lessons") Brown. But, in my opinion it is not anywhere near as good or realistic."
Fortunately Angel Tompkins Takes Off Her Top Early and Often
Only-A-Child | 08/08/2005
(1 out of 5 stars)
"One of those movies that gives 1970s film-making a bad name. It also gives us a topless Angel Tompkins, the return of Anthony James (the "Fowl Owl" on-the-prowl diner counterman from "In the Heat of the Night"), and the strangulation murder of Jay North (the fulfillment of every long-suffering "Dennis the Menace" viewer's fantasy).
From a budget and production value perspective this thing is about as rough as they get; even "Billy Jack" looks stylish and slick in comparison.. It looks like they shot it over a long three-day weekend. The score is so bad that it is actually amusing. When you figure 1974 was the heyday of groups like Deep Purple" and "The Allman Brothers" you wonder where they found someone still composing lounge music.
Given the recent activities of several young female teachers the main story is fairly credible although it was probably inconceivable and exploitative back in 1974. And teacher salaries must have been different back then because this young woman lives in a house with a large swimming pool, owns a nice boat, and drives a new corvette.
Unfortunately the movie has one story too many, with a obsessive psycho subplot that just doesn't fit with the teacher-student seduction stuff. The psycho (Mr.Fowl Owl himself) lives in an abandoned grain elevator across from the marina and spends his time spying on the teacher. He watches her through a pair of binoculars that black out everything but two circles (ever notice that this is not what you see with real binoculars?). In case that isn't enough to convince you that he is nuts, he drives a white hearse and stores all his possessions in a candy apple red glitter coffin.
Then again, what do I know? I'm only a child."
Worth the $.99 used price
David F. Manzi | chatham ny | 04/08/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"not only is angel tompkins worth the price of admission, but marlene schmidt, who plays jay north's mom is a major milf, especially when she runs around in her bikini and seems to be attracted to her son as well. i unexpectedly enjoyed this movie, typical of a mid seventies drive in movie. i remember the newspaper ads for this at the time and they were quite racy to the 13 year old that i was."
Awful! Awesome! Awful and Awesome!
Muzzlehatch | the walls of Gormenghast | 01/15/2010
(3 out of 5 stars)
"*PLEASE NOTE THERE ARE SERIOUS SPOILERS AT THE END OF THIS REVIEW*
This teacher-student seduction/psycho stalker tale starts out well enough that I actually thought it was going to be a genuinely good movie (as opposed to good sleaze) but is fairly quickly derailed by almost uniformly horrendous acting and some fairly idiotic plot developments. Still, the opening is memorable: a quick pan from a boat in a harbor with the name "Diane" to a dilapidated 3 or 4 story industrial building facing the docks, and a close-up on the crazy face of Ralph (Anthony James), closing up a red coffin that he keeps in a half-open room on the top floor. Ralph races downstairs to his white, circa 1960 hearse (the coffin/hearse thing are never explained) and off to stop outside of a school. There he witnesses Diane (Angel Tompkins) say goodbye to 2 boys, but Ralph only has eyes for the beautiful young teacher, as the title comes up and the terribly cheesy theme song "The Teacher", sung by Jackie Ward, makes the first of many appearances. Ralph waits for Diane to leave and follows her blue Corvette (Diane's got quite the lifestyle for a high school teacher) home, waiting outside her suburban house while she changes and then following her again. She notices at one point and stops, trying to confront him but he speeds past, soon arriving back at the industrial complex and heading to the top floor where he will spy on Diane in her eponymously-named boat sunbathing topless. Yes, Angel Tompkins' rack is the major draw here, and a fine one it is. But Ralph is interrupted in his salacious activity by the appearance of the two young men we saw a few minutes earlier, who hop off a motorcycle and make their way to his secret spot while he hides. Turns out one of them is Ralph's brother Lou (Rudy Herrera) and the other his best friend Sean (Jay North, not getting the best work since his halcyon TV "Dennis the Menace" days and looking very much like a smaller-framed John Schneider here); Lou has found the hiding place and the two proceed to spy on Diane until surprised by Ralph, at which point a shocked Lou falls to his death! Ralph blames Sean for Lou's death, and proceeds to chase him with a bayonet, but Sean gets away.
The rest of the film essentially alternates between Diane's seduction of Sean - who has graduated, so I guess that makes it a little more OK - and Ralph's attempts both the revenge himself on Sean and to get a little special time with Diane. Sean has a fairly stereotypical family life, with a father who wants him to be working all the time and an indulgent mother (both very, very bady acted) but somehow seems to have time to do the nasty with Diane as often as possible (more gratuitous nudity, please). There's one particularly fascinating scene where the two lovers go to a bar - Sean is obviously underaged but the bartender serves Diane multiple bottles of wine which she shares with him - and they are spied on by a couple of old ladies who are horrified at the "over 40" Diane (she's actually 28) seducing the kid. The two old ladies are played by the Katherine Cassavetes and Lady Rowlands, mothers of John and Gena, very bizarre, and the bar is just exactly the perfect 70s suburban bar. Both Sean and Diane are completely sloshed but manage to make it home in Diane's corvette with no acknowledgment that drunk driving is dangerous - this would never happen in PC 2010.
The ending is pretty cool too, though not very well shot or choreographed, as Ralph kidnaps Sean and takes him to his hideout, choking him to death, but is followed by Diane who allows herself to be raped on top of the coffin but in the middle of it grabs Ralph's bayonet and stabs him to death! I thought for sure that Sean would turn out to still be alive, but he's not and the film ends with Diane weeping - again, kind of atypical - or maybe drive-in audiences were more tolerant 35 years ago than the mainstream video audiences today?
All in all, lots of fun with very bad easy listening/lounge/muzak instrumental score and the stupid theme song popping up several times, good SoCal suburban and industrial locations - my guess is that they just used real locations in the area near the production offices for budgetary reasons, but watched now that works in the film's favor as it gives it a "reality" often absent in bigger studio productions - and an interesting if not terribly talented cast making for a pretty bizzaro slice-of-exploitation-life circa 35 years ago."
Does Anyone Even Think Of Calling The Police?
Robert I. Hedges | 10/25/2009
(2 out of 5 stars)
"This piece of 1970's trash features a bizarre coming of age plot superimposed with an insane lunatic stalker plot. I give auteur Hikmet Avedis credit for trying to blend disparate plots, but the entire thing comes across as one contrivance after another. The plot concerns creepy stalking Vietnam veteran (of course) Ralph, who drives a hearse and lives in a grain silo overlooking the marina where public school teacher Diane keeps her yacht moored. He keeps his belonging in a casket, which I would have thought the police would have noticed during their investigation after his brother Lou falls to death from the top. Peeping Ralph blames Lou's friend Sean (Jay "Dennis the Menace" North!) for the death, which sets the full psychotic stalker plot in gear. Despite numerous sightings and threats to Diane and Sean, nobody ever once thinks to call the police. That was one logically challenged area of the film, but the other bit of incredulity revolves around the fact that a public high school teacher drives a Corvette, has a giant pool, and her own yacht. How much do teachers make in California, anyhow?
In the least credible part of the plot, teacher Diane and student Sean are on a first name basis with each other, and quickly move to other pastimes together, all while Ralph watches (and gets ever more jealous) and, most insanely, with the explicit encouragement of Sean's mother. The mother was definitely the creepiest element of the film for me. Along the way there are many ridiculous and embarrassing scenes: Diane washes her car in a full length dress, a gossipy restaurant scene provides the most inept flirtation ever, and last but not least, Diane's bedroom provides the backdrop for the most ludicrous use of an umbrella in filmmaking history (and yes, I have seen "The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies.")
The film has intentions to be creepy, and the ending is a bit out of the norm, although equally implausible and predictable. For making an effort I will generously give Hikmet his just rewards: two stars."