Sunday, October 11, 2020

Movie Ad of the Week: THE STUDENT BODY (1976) a.k.a. VALIUM HIGH (1978), WET & WILD (1981), and CLASSROOM TEASERS (1981)

There was an uncut Planet Video cassette of THE STUDENT BODY in the Temple library for many years -- a plastic clamshell case with a pink paper insert (looked kinda pretty) -- so we were never exposed to the shortened version that Continental Video released on a double feature tape with JAILBAIT BABYSITTER a couple of years later. Unfortunately, that shorter cut became the standard until Code Red's double feature JOCKS/CLASSROOM TEASERS disc came along three decades later and restored seven or eight minutes of running time to this interesting drive-in drama, which was filmed in Kansas City in 12 days for under $250,000 and peddled on the exploitation circuit as a wacky sex comedy. One thing about it that always stood out, at least to us, is a nicely executed long take during a pool party scene about 15 minutes into the film, which resembles the long take in TOUCH OF EVIL during the search of Sanchez's apartment (no doubt thanks to cinematographer Gary Graver and the influence of his mentor, Orson Welles). Above is the ad for its Miami opening on April 23, 1976.

The distributor, Surrogate Releasing, began life as Centaur Releasing, launched in June 1973 by Irvin Dorfman in New York and Frank Moreno in Los Angeles to release INVASION OF THE BEE GIRLS. The two had been indicted earlier in the year on obscenity charges involving the motion pictures TEEN-AGE FANTASIES and LITTLE SISTERS, both released by Dorfman through his Unique Film Distributors, Inc. Centaur followed INVASION OF THE BEE GIRLS with TEACH ME, BLOOD ON THE SUN, THE SWINGING CHEERLEADERS, THE GIRLS WHO DO, THE MAN WHO WOULD NOT DIE, and SWITCHBLADE SISTERS, and then changed its name to Dandrea Releasing to avoid confusion with Peter Traynor's Centaur Films, which was being investigated by the Securities and Exchange Commission. By the time THE STUDENT BODY was released in March 1976, the company's name had changed again, to Surrogate Releasing, though they did retain the Greek mythological creature as their logo. The above ad is from Philadelphia on September 15, 1976.

Apparently the film was sub-licensed to Empire Releasing, which changed the title to VALIUM HIGH for a reissue in 1978. Empire was a short-lived distribution outfit based in New York and run by Walter H. Durell, formerly the division manager of Allied Artists in Kansas City and the national sales manager of Film Ventures International. Other Empire releases include SUPERVAN and JAILBAIT BABYSITTER. The above ad is from Miami on June 30, 1978.

The VALIUM HIGH ad campaign was recycled by Empire a few months later for...
...SUBSTITUTE TEACHER, the U.S. release of the Italian sex comedy LA SUPPLENTE (1975) starring Carmen Villani and Dayle Haddon.
We were unaware that WET & WILD! was another alternate title until Temple contributor Mike MacCollum brought the ad above to our attention. CJ Ruff Film Distributing, which handled sub-distribution for New World, Centaur/Surrogate and other companies, opened this triple bill in Indianapolis on May 29, 1981.

Motion Picture Marketing (MPM) also had the film in circulation in 1981, under the title CLASSROOM TEASERS, with model Patty Kotero (later known as Apollonia in PURPLE RAIN) front and center in the advertising. The ad above is from Bismarck, ND on June 4, 1981.

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