The Teacher/Review

From The Grindhouse Cinema Database

< The Teacher

In an abandoned factory on the edge of a marina, we meet Ralph Gordon (Anthony James) who is a peeping tom. His main object of interest is Diane (Angel Tompkins) a high school teacher in town. Ralph waits for Diane outside the school in his cool...hearse. Yep, thats right, Ralph drives a white hearse to attract all the ladies. When Diane drives down to the marina in her Corvette to get on her boat for a little sunbathing, she spots Ralph trailing behind her. So she stops and flags him down. Being the smooth operator he is, Ralph drives right by her and onto the factory so he can watch her in peace. Diane gets on her boat and Ralph gets his binoculars out of his red casket (weirdo!) and spies on Diane as she gets topless and rubs suntan lotion on her body. Ralph's brother Lou and his friend Sean Roberts (Jay North) arrive at the factory. Ralph hears them coming and hides. Lou knows about Ralph's spying game and wants to get in on the action. He takes out the binoculars and begins peeping on Diane (who happens to be Sean's neighbor), while telling Sean all about what he sees. Sean wants a look bad, but Ralph comes from behind them and yells "BASTARDS!". Well, this scares Lou so much he loses his balance and falls to his death. Sean is in shock. Ralph decides to twist things, he tells Sean that HE killed Lou and that now he's gonna get revenge and kill him! Sean decides it's time to leave and takes off and runs home. Ralph chases after, but can't get to him.


When Sean gets home he decides to go right to bed as if nothing has happened. Nice! When Sean goes to his room, he opens the window and sees Ralph's scary face staring right back at him. Ralph tells Sean that the Sheriff is on his way to the house, so he better not squeal...or else! Sean hides under the covers and waits. Sheriff Murphy (Barry Atwater) tells Sean's parents he needs to talk to him about Lou. The reactions by Sean's parents to Lou's death are so unfeeling. You'd expect them to show some kind of emotion, but they just accept it like he got married or something. This was probably the worst played scene in the movie. There's also a great line by the Sheriff to Sean which made me laugh:

Sherriff Murphy: Hey Sean, why arent you up watching TV?....Nothin ON?

Sean: No.

Sheriff Murphy: heheh (waits a few beats)....well, anyway....

Sean's mother is friends with Diane and she gets invited over to go swimming in the pool. There's a really funny scene where Diane insults some other women and they get offended and leave. Pretty quickly, Sean and Diane get to know each other better and after some prodding, Sean loses his nervousness around Diane and they become close and have fun making love. Meanwhile, Ralph is stalking Sean and Diane wherever they go. Poor Ralph, he's sexually frustrated, jealous and anxious about Lou's death. Ralph really is one messed up dude. He's also creepy as hell!!

What I really liked most about this film was how it moved back and forth from a thriller to a sexy, mellow 70s love story. Surprisingly, the love scenes with Angel Tompkins and Jay North are really well done. I've found sex scenes in non-adult movies are either too raunchy or too fake. These two have a great chemistry together and Angel Tompkins was one of the sexiest women of the 70s exploitation film era (which doesn't hurt!) The music in the film was interesting too. Now you'd expect a film like this to contain a lot of violins and thriller mood music, but instead the director uses funky beats. So whenever theres a chase scene: funky beats, whenever Ralph is peeping on someone: funky beats. It really gave the scenes a totally different rhythm. Also, the main theme of the film is this sweet bubblegum pop song about how "every boy needs a teacher to show him the way".

This is another Crown International Pictures film that I genuinely enjoyed watching. It has some strange elements to it, but the charm and believability of the actors really carries it all the way to the end. Bravo.


Peter Roberts is the co-founder/editor-in-chief of the Grindhouse Cinema Database (GCDb) and contributor to the GCDb's sister site Furious Cinema. A Massachusetts native, he is an avid film fan that has been immersed in the world of entertainment and pop culture his entire life. He is currently majoring in Communications and Interactive Media Design.

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