Malibu High

July 11, 2010 at 3:27 pm (7 Heads, Malibu High) (, , , )

Malibu High – 1979 – United States

A hooker/hit girl/high school student smokes at the breakfast table, sniffs coke, cat fights, bangs a construction crew, and flips off her mom. With seedy characters, hard foul-mouthed dialogue, teen sex, and touches of tough poetry, Malibu High is fascinating, sensibility smashing, and the guiltiest of pleasures.

A loser sociopath teen, failing school, dumped by boyfriend, nagged by widowed mom, has a bong epiphany. Soon she’s balling her old man teachers (in uncomfortable sex scenes) for straights A’s and hustling for an oily pimp/drug dealer. Rampaging in her cute convertible, harassing ex-boyfriend’s new girl, she tells clueless mom she’s “doing relief work”. Her friend objects, “But you’re a hooker!”  She replies “So what? It’s better than giving it away.” Eventually, sick of low pay and her abusive pimp, the teen becomes a “classy” (or Malibu High’s best approximation) call girl. Still in school, living with her crime boss sugar daddy, she also works as an assassin. First she resists: “I may be hooker but I’m not a hit girl.” But soon: “I really got off on the power of that trigger!” Of course, this perverted cautionary tale spirals out of control. Finally, she kills ex-boyfriend’s new girl and is shot by the police. Her body sprawls in the Pacific surf. Roll credits.

Malibu High is an encyclopedia of sordid clichés, but so extreme and high-velocity, it still shocks. The sex and violence is non-explicit (although, for the decade, “fuck” is said a surprising amount), but the depravity is endless. In an unforgettable scene, the teen strips for her school principal, intentionally causing a heart attack. In another, a fetishist client is too kinky and gets stabbed by an ice pick. The implications of Malibu High are disturbing. It’s funny and sexy, but with a remorselessness and solemnity that’s disquieting to laugh at it. Missing the moralizing of many cautionary tales, it can be depressingly nihilistic.

Malibu High was made to push limits. Even today, mothers would freak over this. It’s a great sample of exploitation, as shocking and sleazy as you’d hope.

Rating: 7/10 Shrunken Heads. Fans with no conscience or a dark sense of humor, dig in.

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