Vinegar Syndrome has released the 1975 cult film Trip with the Teacher on a Blu-ray/DVD combo pack. The film is limited to 3,000 copies. You know the drill, read on to find out if it’s right for you collection.
Trip with the Teacher is one of those Crown International Pictures that frequently show up on the Mill Creek multi-packs. The tag line for Trip with the Teacher is “How far should a teacher go to protect her students?” So as you can probably guess this is more of an exploitation flick. The story itself is fairly straightforward. A high school field trip lead by the classes teacher takes a bus out on the road. Bikers start to playfully harass the bus and when the bus breaks down they offer to tow it to a nearby place. Instead of helping them the lead biker decides to terrorize and rape. Will the teacher be able to stop the abuse?
There isn’t much in the way of “fun” in the film for people outside of the exploitation genre. It is a pretty sleazy film but it doesn’t go as far as some in the genre (i.e. Last House on the Left, I Spit On Your Grave). The main baddie played by Zalman King (writer for 9 1/2 weeks and Red Shoe Diaries) is so overacting and so weird that it’s worth it just to check out his performance. He has these odd slanted sunglasses that makes him seem like a deranged Layne Staley.
The film is directed by Earl Barton. This is his first and only directorial credit on IMDB. I think it’s an interesting entry into the genre and the girls seem like they are under real danger but the story and execution are nothing groundbreaking. There are some pacing issues and the low budget is painfully obvious but it’s never so bad that it ruins the experience. Fans of this genre should find this a solid but unspectacular representation of 1970’s cult works.
The film was shot on 16mm and the previous Mill Creek DVD was to put it nicely horrendous so it is applaudable that Vinegar Syndrome did such a great job restoring it. Because of the type of film it is, the budget and the age there are some scratches, spots and other noticeable issues. Personally I think it fits this type of film and it looks as good as possible considering the source. The colors and grain look like what you would expect from this kind of film.
The audio is English Mono 1.0 DTS-HD Master with English SDH. The sound is as low budget and amateur as it gets, but this rests firmly on the shoulders of the original film and not because of this release. If you’ve never seen this era of film it might be surprising but I think most will know what they are getting into as it’s average for the 70’s time period of exploitation.
Audio Commentary featuring director Earl Barton, actresses Cathy Worthington and Dina Ousley.
Taking the Trip – 14 minute video interview with actress Brenda Fogarty
Theatrical trailer, TV spots and still gallery
Trip with the Teacher Final Thoughts:
In some ways Trip with the Teacher plays out in structure more like a horror film with the over the top lunatic biker villain. There is enough action, and sleaze to keep you entertained but not so much that it’s a cult classic. It’s almost like a made for TV after school special. It doesn’t go quite as far as it should in some places but there are still enough feelings of watching something you shouldn’t be seeing. Vinegar Syndrome releases another winner in my book and it definitely belongs in the Grindhouse section of your collection.
Note: This Blu-ray was sent to us for review. This has not affected our judgement or editorial process in any way. Please contact us if you have any questions regarding this process.