Directors: Greg Corarito and John Hayes
Kit Parker Films/VCI Entertainment

Kit Parker Films and VCI Entertainment recently established the PSYCHOTRONICA banner upon which to release a number of wildly varying films freshly acquired from the estate of the late John Lamb. Volume One is a curious double bill that features both a softcore sexploitation romp through a girls correctional facility and a psychological mind freak that quite frankly, does not make a damn lick of sense.

Life isn’t easy for the girls at the Oxford Corrective Institute for Young Woman. Several of the more disruptive students have not been granted permission to leave for the summer holiday. Instead they are to remain on campus to continue their studies and indulge in karate lessons and late night badminton. Unfortunately for the students and staff left behind, they are unsuspectingly in the path of three sexual deviants. Carl C. Clooney (Michael Pataki, THE BAT PEOPLE) an amateur impressionist and psychopath, Richard “Big Dick” Peters (Bob Minor, FOXY BROWN) a former professional baseball player and rapist and Bruce Wilson (Stephen Stucker, AIRPLANE!) a former award winning dress designer and psychologically unbalanced homosexual, are on the run after a daring daylight jailbreak from the State Asylum for the Criminally Insane. After laying low and enjoying the forced hospitality of local farmer Earl (George “Buck” Flower, THE FOG) and his wife, the trio stumbles upon the girl’s school where they will have to run, fight and grope their way through the night if they are to successfully evade the police.

I must admit that DELINQUENT SCHOOLGIRLS is a guilty pleasure of mine. The plot (and I use the term loosely) is admittedly ridiculous and filled with so many gaps that you're bound to find yourself tripping over one every 10 minutes. Such flaws are however quickly forgotten when basking in the presence of such a bounty of beautiful buxom gals. If you can get past Michael Pataki's cringe-inducing impressions, there’s a lot of fun to be had, as DELINQUENT SCHOOLGIRLS is one sexploitation film that takes full advantage of its cast of lovely ladies. Long lingering shots of bouncing bosoms are common place and the filmmakers taste for large chests and a light bondage fetish are placed front and center. For the majority of the girls in attendance, this would be their one and only screen role. There are however a small number of noticeable faces and figures present. No stranger to exploitation pictures, Sharon Kelly plays Greta, a feisty redhead who goes toe to toe with “Big Dick” Peters in the film's final act. Having starred in such films as A SCREAM IN THE STREETS, SUPERVIXENS and ILSA, HAREM KEEPER OF THE OIL SHEIKS, Sharon would eventually cross over into hardcore pornography in the 1980s under the pseudonym Colleen Brennan. Zoe Grant is particularly striking as Miss Crowley, but it is Roberta Pedon who without question steals the show.

It's hard to separate the fact from the rumor when discussing Roberta, as there is very little confirmed information about her life. Born in 1954, Roberta’s real name is still a mystery. Her birth name is often cited as Rosma Grantovskis, however this may in fact be the name of someone Roberta knew growing up. Roberta was known to adopt the names of childhood acquaintances, such as Melody O'Hare, and used several different pseudonyms, eventually favoring Roberta Pedon. Even Roberta’s measurements are fonder for dispute, as they are sometimes listed as 36-23-35, and other times as 48-24-34. It is however hard to argue that her cup size was anything less than DDD. Moving from Ohio to California, it was Roberta's awe inspiring bust line that helped landed her work as a busty men's magazine model. It was while modeling for American Art Enterprises (AAE) that Roberta was giving the opportunity to star in her one and only film role, as Carla Gray in DELINQUENT SCHOOLGIRLS. A number of models under contract with AAE would also appear in the film, as the producer took full advantage of many of AAE contract players. A lot of the misconceptions about Roberta originate from her role as Carla, as she played the part with a strange foreign accent. The daughter of Latvian immigrants, Roberta was apparently fluent in Portuguese but was an all American girl who spoke clear English. Having been bit by the acting bug, Roberta continued to audition for movie roles, but was never able to find work outside of modeling. It's even rumored that she auditioned for Russ Meyer, but unlike cast mate Sharon Kelly, never made the final cut. Roberta's modeling career would last less than three years, but in that short time she left quite an impact. While it’s hard to deny that her overabundant chest is what initially draws you in, fans of Roberta, who often refer to her by her nickname "Mooschi", see something so much more. There is something in her eyes and behind that curved smile that is irresistibly captivating and inviting. She seems approachable and flirtatious, despite her formidable figure. I would relate her to a common remark often heard when discussing the photos or short loops of Bettie Page; no matter what the situation or set up, she looks like she's having fun. Sadly, having dealt with alcoholism, health issues and drug abuse, Roberta died in the summer of 1982. A biography of Roberta is currently being written by confidant Charles L. Smith with a tentative 2009 release date.

Originally titled CARNAL MADNESS, DELINQUENT SCHOOLGIRLS first found its way onto the home video format through B-movie specialists Vestron Video. While its DVD debut may be far from ideal, those lucky enough to still be holding on to there old VHS copy should consider the upgrade, but I’d hold on to those tapes for posterity. Presented widescreen in a 1.85:1 aspect ratio, the picture quality is to some extent improved, with colors a bit clearer and night scenes (such as the scene of Roberta rolling around in the mud in a little white t-shirt) are slightly brighter. The print is still dingy with frequent specks of grain and is definitely showing its age but in comparison to the VHS copy, it’s a step up. The audio is also an improvement, as music and dialogue are cleaner than the previous Vestron release, if just slightly.

An optional audio commentary with star and stunt man Bob Minor, moderated by filmmaker Elijah Drenner, is a welcomed addition. Having been filmed over three decades ago, Bob still remembers the shoot fondly and how could he not considering all the ladies he gets to fondle throughout the picture? While the commentary is somewhat sparse, it’s never dull and considering the thin amount of information available on the cast and production, it’s still informative. It's funny to hear Bob openly worry about any of his friends or colleagues accidentally stumbling upon the film on cable in the near future. You shouldn’t be ashamed Bob, some of us would gladly trade places with you.

Michael Pataki shows up again, looking an awful lot like Harvey Keitel, for DREAM NO EVIL, the second feature on the first volume of the PSYCHOTRONICA collection. Grace MacDonald (Brooke Mills, THE BIG DOLL HOUSE) is coping with some severe daddy issues. Ever since she was abandoned at an orphanage she has deluded herself into thinking that one day her poppa would return to reclaim her as his daughter. Having grown into a beautiful young woman, Grace finds herself as an assistant to traveling faith healer Rev. Jesse Bundy, played by Pataki. As the Rev. Bundy's assistant, it is Grace's job to dress up in a form fitting swimsuit and perform a high dive act during revivals, a performance piece that is meant to represent the fall of sinners into the fiery gates of hell. Hell is of course represented by a large inflatable pillow. One day, moments before her performance, Grace opens up to her boyfriend, and the Reverend’s brother Patrick (Paul Prokop, THE GLORY STOMPERS) that she is dropping everything to find her father once and for all. Tipped off that her father has been residing in a hotel for older gentleman, Grace high tails it to the hotel where, while inquiring about her father, is approached by a man (Marc Lawrence, KEY LARGO) who mistakes her for a prostitute stepping in on his turf. It turns out that the man is a pimp by night and an undertaker by day, who has recently embalmed Grace's father. Grace follows the man to his basement mortuary to finally come face to face with her father where, to her surprise, daddy (played by Edmond O'Brien, FANTASTIC VOYAGE) gets up and kills the embalmer. The family, finally reunited, find themselves at an isolated farm house where Grace quickly discovers that she is going to have her hands full trying to keep her father’s murderous tenancies under wraps.

This DVD presentation of DREAM NO EVIL opens with a statement that the film was originally shot for an R rating, but later edited and released with a PG rating. The version seen here is obviously the edited one as there is nothing present that would remotely constitute a rating harsher than “Parental Guidance Suggested.” The film is sporadically narrated by an unknown male whose sole purpose seems to be to catch the viewer up to speed between the intermitted editing. It is possible that the original, R rated cut of DREAM NO EVIL resembled a movie, but in its present form it doesn’t even come close. At least with DELINQUENT SCHOOLGIRLS you can sit back, laugh at ridiculous dialogue and enjoy the eye candy. DREAM NO EVIL is the very definition of random. One minute Grace is in a seedy motel full of passed out octogenarians, in the next she is dressed like Ann of Green Gables dancing an Irish jig while her father plays the accordion. Nothing makes any sense.

Presented widescreen in a 1.85:1 aspect ratio, the opening scene with young Grace suffers from a persistent green line that wavers back and forth across the screen, an obvious scratch that thankfully is limited to the first reel. Otherwise the print source is surprisingly free of dust and grain. However, there must have been some issues when the film was re-edited for a softer rating, as cuts are often foreshadowed by a discoloration in the print. When ever the screen become suddenly awash in yellow or brown, count to three and get ready for a random cut to a scene that probably has no juxtaposition to the one preceding it. Audio is merely sufficient, with dialogue often garbled and muted.

Trailers for YAMBOA and THE RAW ONES are included in the Extras, titles which can be found on Volumes 3 and 2 respectively in the PSYCHOTRONICA collection. Also included is a trailer for SHE DID IT HIS WAY, which appears to be a nudist film, re-edited with additional rape footage, crossing it over into roughie territory. (Jason McElreath)