Malibu High (1979)

Straight up, this movie is insane.

Just look at that poster. You may be led to believe that this is a cute little teen sex comedy.

You will not expect a single thing that happens in this movie.

If you want to be surprised, seriously, stop reading now, because the world needs more surprises.

Still with me?

Kim Bentley is played by Jill Lansing, who only made this one movie. That’s a shame because she’s completely the most incredible part of this movie, a girl who is so sick of life by her teen years that she just sits on her bed naked, smoking, staring at the mirror and angry at even being alive. When she smokes her way through breakfast, her mother starts to yell at her and she point blank tells her that if only mom had sexed it up a bit more, her husband wouldn’t have killed himself.

At school, she gets dumped before class even starts, as Kevin leaves her for a rich girl (Tammy Taylor, Nancy from Meatballs II). Then she finds out that she’s failing every class and has no money. So she does what any of us would — she starts sleeping with every teacher in school and improves her marks. Then she blackmails them and when the one female teacher and the principal figure it out, she strips in the old man’s office and kills him with a heart attack.

Kim somehow makes the move from hooker to fancy call girl to a killer in self-defense and finally a hitwoman for the mob. I have no idea how a movie named Malibu Beach that seems like it’s going to be a fun beach movie or a sex comedy ends up being so dark. But I love it. I seriously love every single minute of this film.

This movie has the oddest soundtrack ever to make it even weirder, with off synth pieces coming out of nowhere, including the music that starts off SCTV’s broadcast day. It also has the theme from The People’s Court, “The Big One” by Alan Tew, used throughout the movie. Perhaps the more prurient of us also recognize that it was used in Barbara Broadcast before that.

Director Irvin Berwick also made The Monster of Piedras BlancasThe 7th CommandmentStrange CompulsionReady for Anything!The Street Is My BeatSuddenly the Light and the incredibly scuzzy Hitchhike to Hell.

Perhaps the greatest thing about this movie — which originally had the title Lovely but Deadly before those maniacs at Crown International Pictures gave it the name that hides its menace and mayhem — is that Lansing was asked to pose for the poster. She demanded to be paid an outrageous sum of money, so Mary-Margaret Humes got the job.

Jill Lansing should have made a thousand movies.

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