Episode 02 - Malibu High (1979)
I have an idea. Let’s make a movie about a high school girl who gets dumped by her boyfriend and is failing out of school. Unsure how to handle these failures, she decides to become a hooker. This way she can make money as well as seduce her teachers for better grades - not to mention make that ex-boyfriend really jealous. Eventually, for no reason, she will develop a blood lust and decide to become a trained assassin. Also, let’s make her a real bitch with no redeeming qualities and nothing the audience can sympathize with. I think I’ll call it Malibu High (1979).
We are starting our journey with a double dose of Crown International films. When you see that logo flash across the screen you know you're in good hands.
This is one of Crown's more confounding efforts that still baffles me even after multiple years and multiple watches; I simply can't get this movie to leave me alone.
Malibu high is one of the many reasons you should never judge a Grindhouse movie by it’s name or poster. Let’s take a look:
At first glance you might think that this movie is a fun beach romp with no real conflicts or violence and it probably stars the girl laying in the sand. What if I told you that this movie is the exact opposite of that? What if I told you that it’s actually horribly violent and bleak and that the girl on the poster appears nowhere in the actual film and neither do any of the people behind her? I would be telling you the truth.
Why disguise a movie as something completely different? Why not offer the audience a taste of what’s actually contained within those celluloid walls? Because nobody would see it.
Crown International films consistently defy logic and reason and present you with something you will probably never forget and certainly never expected; this movie is no exception.
This was the last movie directed by Irvin Berwick, who was originally a dialogue coach (which is interesting considering the way lines are delivered in this film; and by “delivered” I mean screamed). He directed a few other exploitation movies but nothing on the level of this masterpiece. It’s fitting this was his last picture, where else could you possibly go from here? It’s even weirder when you realize that this man was nearly 60 years old when he directed this film.
So what is this movie really about? I won't spoil it for you. It really is an enigma and should be watched before listening to anyone talk about it. If you insist on listening to the podcast before watching the movie you are doing so at your own peril.
I'll leave you with the trailer:
Thanks again for joining us here at the Grindbin. We really do enjoy all your comments and suggestions. Please feel free to let us know how we can make the show better.
If you want to watch Malibu High you can find it uploaded in full to YouTube - or you can purchase it for yourself on Amazon.
NEXT WEEK'S FILM:
Directed by: Paul Glickler
Written by: Paul Glickler, Richard Lerner, Tad Richards
Starring: Stephanie Fondue, Denise Dillaway, Jovita Bush