I think it’s safe to say that if a softcore sex flick titled 14 AND UNDER opened today at your local multiplex, Chris Hansen would be waiting inside with a Dateline camera crew and a herd of state troopers to have a serious talk with anyone fool enough to be caught holding a ticket. But thirty-plus years ago a West German import with that title played in theaters all over the U.S., and many newspapers ran the eyebrow-raising ad campaign (shown above) in their movie listings alongside Disney and other family-friendly movies. One citizen of Marion, IL voiced her outrage to the Southern Illinoisian in February 1976: "The advertisement in your paper '14 and Under...too young to know better, too old to say no!' showing a young pig-tailed girl through a keyhole was deeply offensive. Children must not be used by your newspaper nor Varsity 2 theatre in this manner for money-making purposes. If we prostitute our children, we are doomed. Likely this ad was accepted without thought in a routine way by your advertisement staff. You need to rethink a policy that allows such an occurrence."
"We are happy when our 14-year-old children speak foreign languages, but we condemn them for discovering sex, self-stimulation and the joys of love,” explains our narrator, who will soon reveal himself onscreen as a badly-dubbed middle-aged man claiming to be a psychologist. “Our morality is two-faced. We turn a blind eye to our children being influenced by licentious magazines, publicity or by provocative dress, but on the other hand, we are shocked when our children fall for temptations. The cry goes up, 'The youth of today is degenerate!’ And yet it is NOT degenerate. It only SEEMS so.”
The degenerates are all behind the scenes on this one, starting with producer Wolf Hartwig and director Ernst Hofbauer, here taking their SCHOOLGIRL REPORT lunacy one detestable step too far. The queasiest of their tasteless collaborations, 14 AND UNDER was unleashed in the U.S. by Atlas Films at the same time they were also peddling THE PASSOVER PLOT and several of Fred Williamson’s Po-Boy productions. By 1977 it was being handled by Burbank International Pictures, a company known for sexy West German imports like SWINGING WIVES, OFFICE GIRLS and BETWEEN THE COVERS.
14 AND UNDER opens with a potentially explosive open-ended case, then slips into the usual episodic Hartwig/Hofbauer “sex report” formula before returning to the first case to inform us of its resolution.
(1) 14-year-old Gisela (Christine von Stratowa) is home alone and enjoying a bath when Walter, the good-looking 30-something business associate of her parents, drops by for a meeting with Gisela’s mother, who is out shopping. Walter decides to wait for her to return. “I’ll go finish my bath,” Gisela tells him, “Help your self to a drink.” Instead, Walter follows her into the bathroom and offers to wash her back. Gisela hands him the washcloth and tells him that her father sometimes washes her back. “It’s nicer being washed by me than by your father,” Walter says, "I'm much gentler so it feels better. Why don’t you call me ‘uncle.’” By the time Gisela’s mother walks in on them a few minutes later, Uncle Walter has ditched the washcloth and is doing everything by hand.
“What will Gisela’s mother do?” the narrator asks over a close-up of the stunned woman’s face as she spies her nude daughter writhing under Walter’s caresses. “As a psychologist for minors I’m often faced with a problem of this nature and I would like to tell you one or two cases from my experience to familiarize you with the problem a little more -- to make you think about this case before you see what Gisela’s mother decided to do.”
(2) Bratty little Charlie -- played by that kid we saw wayyyyy too much of in SCHOOLGIRL REPORT 3 -- constantly interrupts his foxy older sister while she’s having “meetings” behind locked doors with “the insurance man.” To get rid of Charlie for a few hours, the sister gives him a few dollars to go to the movies. When that doesn’t keep him away, the boyfriend offers to pay him ten cents for every beard he sees on the street. The story ends with a lame punchline involving a busload of bearded hippies.
(3) 14-year-old Hans is caught shoplifting a stopwatch and is forced by the storeowner -- the attractive middle-aged Mrs. Yeager -- to sign a confession. Mrs. Yeager then proceeds to call on young Hans every day for sex, sometimes in her own bed while her husband’s at work.
(4) Two young children, Hansey and Rosie, watch their parents have sex through the bedroom keyhole. “Gosh, I’ve never seen a wiggley-woo like that before!” Hansey exclaims.
“And he’s putting it in mama’s pee hole!” Rosie squeals.
“No he’s not, Rosie! He’s putting it in mama’s poo-poo hole! And he’s pushing!”
When the two rascals quote some of the more provocative bedroom talk to their parents that night at dinner (“You were making a noise, and mommy said you were like a stallion!”), the father flips out and starts slapping around the little tykes.
The psychologist, who has been narrating the film up to this point, suddenly appears onscreen to address the audience directly. “That the parents should have a sex life is only natural,” he says, pacing around his office, hands behind his back. “It’s the most natural thing in the world, and it is probable that one day the children will see it happen. But what the parents should never do is to get angry at their children, since children can’t understand what the reason is for their anger.”
(5) Carlo the horndog (Rinaldo Talamonti) corners cute co-worker Annie in the stockroom and starts groping her breasts, calling them “golden apples” and then threatening to pick other types of low-hanging fruit. The sexual harassment is derailed by the arrival of an elderly lady (Rosl Mayr), who helps Annie get revenge on the creepy little Italian.
(6) Edgar, a spoiled rich teen, pressures his sexy twentyish French maid Annette into having sex with him.
(7) The weakest of the three stories -- due more to print damage than the incompetence or tastelessness of the filmmakers -- has three girls in a competition to see who can lose her virginity first. I think that’s what it’s about anyway. Here’s what I managed to catch in between missing frames: Two girls in the woods, completely naked for some unexplained reason, hide behind some bushes to wait for a third girl to show up with the guy she’s supposed to have sex with -- SPLICE -- the two girls are having a lesbian encounter -- SPLICE -- the third girl, named Topsy (Ulrike Butz), shows up with a nervous nerdy type who talks out of the corner of his mouth like Bill Murray in CADDYSHACK, and they start going at it on top of an anthill -- SPLICE -- “There’s a tingling all over my body! Oh, it’s never been like this before!” -- SPLICE -- “Oh my God! I’m covered with ants!” -- SPLICE -- the other two girls are watching them, giggling -- SPLICE -- the nervous nerd mutters something out of the corner of his mouth about getting laid indoors from now on -- CUT TO...
(8) ...a shot of pigtailed Sonja Jeannine milking a cow -- “Rosie is only 13. She’s a country girl. But her daydreams are those of every healthy adolescent.” Her daydreams may be healthy, but everything else about her is pretty friggin' diseased, from selling herself to the local boys for $20 a pop to blowing a shopkeeper for a clothing discount. When the police raid an elderly playboy's estate and find Rosie among the naked young things playing horsie with a bunch of horny octogenarians, it's off to juvie hall for our undesirable little milkmaid.
At the end, as promised, the psychologist informs us of how Gisela's mother handled the bathtub situation. No big surprise here, since this was made by chauvenistic men: mom tiptoes back outside and rings the doorbell to give Gisela and Walter time to clean up and "to avoid a scene," as she puts it to Gisela's outraged father (hey, what was he doing washing his daughter's back anyway?!). A few days later, mother and daughter have a heart-to-heart sex talk over ice cream, while Walter is free to soap up somebody else's 14-year-old daughter.
The VHS from Something Weird Video, wisely deleted from their catalog, runs 61 minutes and is missing at least one complete story that is pictured in the U.S. one-sheet: a woman discovers that her boyfriend's waning sexual interest in her is reignited every time he sees her spank her pre-teen daughter. I can think of two disgusting old German guys who should've been spanked instead.