Released by: Kino-Lorber/Redemption
Released on: 3/19/2013
Director: Jean Rollin (under his Michel Gentil pseudonym)
Cast: JoÃ«lle Coeur, Gilda Arancio, Marie HÃ©lÃ¨ne RÃ¨gne, Pierre Julien
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In this simple little tale, two young ladies decide to take a break from hanging out at their campsite in the woods and take a walk, seeking some adventure. Monica (the stunning beauty JoÃ«lle Coeur) and Jackie (the not as stunning but a hottie nonetheless, Gilda Arancio) walk, and walk, and walkâ€¦and walkâ€¦until finally they come upon an abandoned house, and with no worries or cares waltz right on in to the place. Before the door closes theyâ€™re upstairs, naked, and getting it on. So far so good. Upon completion of their prolonged stump-humping session, Monica discovers they are not alone in the house.
A scrawny, mustachioed man (Pierre Julien) sees her snooping around, and Monica has something certain on her mind that involves his plumbing. And of course like any heterosexual man would do when a 1970s JoÃ«lle Coeur looks your way, he succumbs to her feminine whiles. Falling into bed (or rather, a mattress on the floor), the two strangers make passionate love. Well, as passionate as a man can get without ever taking off his pants. Jackie stumbles into the room and catches the two in the act, and of course joins them. After the threesome finish up, the girls head out to go back to the campsite while olâ€™ Pierre gets on with his day.
Enter Beatrice (Marie HÃ©lÃ¨ne RÃ¨gne), she-bitch extrordinaire, who quickly reveals Pierre to be precisely what he is: a thief. She wants to take a look at the jewels stashed in the safe, but sacre bleu! the jewels are gone. Figuring it had to be the two chicks he just banged with his pants on, Pierre takes off with another thief on the scene to get those girls back. It doesnâ€™t take long, and the two girls suffer torment and humiliation at the hands of the gang of thugs. They intend to get those jewels back from these thieves of thieves and by gum if that means ripping their clothes of, so be it.
With a story as skimpy as that, one can only hope it delivers on the goods suggested on the cover. It does, if you enjoy naked women. Ladies may be disappointed to learn no men get naked (really, thatâ€™s a good thing with the male cast that was assembled), but thereâ€™s definitely no shortage of female flesh. Beatrice never reveals what sheâ€™s hiding under her threads, but she seemingly relishes whipping supple young women, much like her mature disciplinarian counterparts such as Madame Olga and Ilsa of the SS. And thatâ€™s a good thing, although itâ€™s pretty tame by comparison. Another good thing is JoÃ«lle Coeur, one of the sexiest women Jean Rollin ever filmed. A beautiful body, sexy bedroom eyes, and a smile that makes men drop to their knees. She appears to be having a good time rolling around with Gilda Arancio, and that makes her even more fantastic.
Among the cast are a few other characters that show up near the end. A private investigator (FranÃ§ois Brincourt) and his assistant (Reine Thirion) show up to help the girls, but they donâ€™t really do a successful job of it. The director himself makes an appearance as the owner of the house, but providing very little to the threadbare story. Jean Rollinâ€™s sleepy little softcore romp isnâ€™t among his best works, but itâ€™s entertaining and a fun way to spend 79 minutes. Itâ€™s uneven pace might bore those looking for a quick fix of sleaze, but for those who like 70s nudie flicks, it shouldnâ€™t disappoint.
The movie makes its Blu-ray debut with a less-than-stellar transfer to 1080p. A disclaimer of sorts on the box copy states â€œthe film periodically suffers from an unstable image due to a camera malfunction during productionâ€, and it certainly does do that from time to time. Itâ€™s short-lived, plainly evident, and a bit of a distraction. Lots of print damage is also plainly evident in the form of dirt, scratches, and some lines, but is far less distracting than the shaking image. Colors are pretty flat, but there is some detail. The audio is offered here in the original French language with English subtitles and as a dubbed-in-English version. The dubbed version seems to have good levels, and the somewhat out of place music comes through well without being obnoxious. Some little pops and scratches are there if you listen for them, but no big deal really.
Extras-wise, behold a handful of trailers for other movies from Kino/Redemption featuring other Rollin works.
The Final Word:
A movie that has absolutely NOTHING to do with the movieâ€™s title (the girls never hitchhike and are not in school) but makes good on its promise of sleaze, Schoolgirl Hitchhikers is perfect for late night junk food. Rollinâ€™s touches may or may not be obvious to all viewers, but you donâ€™t have to be a connoisseur of his stuff to appreciate this movie for what it is: good old fashioned 70s sexploitation.
Click on the images below for full sized Blu-ray screen caps!