Plot: A summer school field trip takes a group of young girls into the desert, to let them experience some Native American ruins, with their teacher Ms. Tenney (Brenda Fogarty) in charge of the excursion. The journey is smooth for a while, then the group encounters some aggressive bikers at a gas station. The bus manages to leave before the bikers can harass the girls much, but the trio’s leader Al (Zalman King) feels disrespected by the old man pumping gas, so he kills him. The bikers then catch up with the field trip bus, which has broken down on the side of the road and while Al offers to lend a hand, he really has ulterior motives. Soon the bus driver is killed and the girls finds themselves being held hostage at a remote farmhouse, with Al’s craziness ramping up more and more with passing moment. He soon turns his attention toward Ms. Tenney, which gives the girls a chance to to avoid his cruel assaults. But as Al slips deeper into madness, will anyone survive this tense hostage situation?
Entertainment Value: A drive-in flick about bikers against schoolgirls, Trip with the Teacher features a wild performance from Zalman King, as the biker kingpin who goes off the deep end. His performance is likely a significant factor in why the film has retained a cult fan base, as it is quite a memorable turn. He crushes an old man, abuses and rapes women, and just behaves like a lunatic, convulsing and ranting like a madman throughout this one. A movie like this needs that palpable danger to work and King’s effort alone is enough to provide that sense of dread, as Al is unpredictable and driven by impulse, so he seems capable of just about whatever. The rest of the cast is fine, but it is King who steals the show, without question. While the movie doesn’t have the raw sleaze you might expect, it does have a tense, gritty texture that makes it feel right at home within the genre. This includes violence against women, rape, and sudden bursts of violence, which keep the tone dark and ensure things always feel right on the brink of collapse. The movie is a little slow at times, but not overly so and while a touch on the tame side, King’s performance always keeps things interesting. So if you’re a fan of drive-in cinema, this one is worth a look.
A few topless scenes, but they’re mostly brief and a little bare ass is all the nakedness in this one. I know, the premise seems ripe for an all out sleaze festival, but things are pretty restrained in terms of naked flesh. A little blood in one scene, but not much. There is violence however, with Al slapping the girls around, killing a couple people, and going nuts at a rapid decline. But the bloodshed is minimal. The movie also has a fun motorcycle chase, which results in a couple well crafted crashes that add some spark to the experience. The dialogue is fine, but not all that memorable outside of King’s manic performance. There’s some mean girl moments and slut shaming, but King gets most of the stand out lines and even then, his insane delivery is more of a draw than the actual scripted dialogue. On the craziness front, King’s turn is by far the wildest part of the movie and earns a couple points. But otherwise the movie feels a little too safe and never embraces the exploitation angle much.
Overall Insanity: 2/10