Director: Walter Boos
Impulse Pictures/Synapse Films

Impulse Pictures gives us yet another installment of the long-running SCHOOLGIRL REPORT series, and it apparently took thirteen of them to get around to discussing the importance of love in sexual relationships.

The framing story is the rehearsal for a high school production of "Romeo and Juliet" in which teacher Dr. Burkhard (Tonio von der Meden, SEX IN THE OFFICE) feels that his actors do not comprehend the dialogue they are reciting. Although the play is by Shakespeare, Burkhard feels the students should relate very much to it since the characters are their age and experienced the same conflicts between earthiness and idealism when it came to love and sex. The students are much more jaded when it comes to the question of whether sex can exist without love (or vice versa), or at least they think so. Peter tells of a "true crime" story he read in the newspaper about a sixteen year old Greek immigrant Irina (Katja Bienert, THE NAKED SUPER WITCHES OF THE RIO AMORE) goaded into petty theft by her classmates. When she is caught by shop owner Kurt with a pair of black panties, he makes her model them before having her sign an admission of guilt and forcing her to have sex with him, holding the admission over her head. When boyfriend Nikos – with whom she has not had sex – discovers that she is not a virgin and walks out on her (comparing a dishonored girl to a mashed-up face after a car accident), Irina heads to Kurt's apartment to end things once and for all.

The class discusses the events from the perspectives of Irina and the boyfriend, with the actor playing Romeo unsurprisingly sticking up for the boyfriend's concerns about honor; which leads Burkhard to discuss how Romeo's romantic idealism was tempered by Juliet's pragmatism. Although the professor is concerned about the rehearsal getting derailed, Erika offers another "balcony" story in which boastful Achim (Wilfried Schmidt) is challenged to prove his manhood by bedding brainiac Jana – aka "Joan of Arc" or "the iron maiden" or "la pucelle (the maid)" – and produce a pair of her panties as proof of the act. One of the guys blabs to his girlfriend and she tells Jana, who goes to her grandmother for help. When Achim approaches her, she not only reveals that she knows of the bet but is perfectly willing to cooperate, providing panties and a signed statement; but the jokes on him (and so are the panties).

The longest of the stories is that of poor Daniela who took to drinking after her father committed suicide to deal with her mother's coldness. That, however, is not when she wound up in a private clinic, she tells her friend Peggy. It all goes back to the arrival of her worldly cousin Stefan (Nico Wolferstetter, Sarno's VEIL OF BLOOD) on a visit from Delhi. It is love at first sight for Daniela, and she no longer feels the need to drink in order to swoon all over him. When she decides to give herself to him, it does not happen the way she imagined and he quickly abandons her after taking her virginity. Daniela turns to the bottle again, and her mother is unable to ignore it any longer. Having tried sex without love, she thinks she can try love with Werner, but he too is only interested in sex. She hits the bottle again, and takes to prostitution to support her habit which leads to a scandal.

On a lighter note, we have the tale of relatively plain-looking (though stacked) Rollie (Karin König, TRAIN STATION PICKUPS) who is always doing the dirty work for her older sister and her best friend, which includes acquiring condoms for their appointed assignation with two guys since neither are on the pill. Rollie fails at that and is left to watch the quartet's bicycles while they repair to a barn to get it on. While the four grapple with prickly hay bales, a pair of peeping tourists, and their own inexperience, Rollie may have better luck with a handsome and amorous farmer. Juliet herself (or actress Thea [Renate Langer, SUMMER NIGHT FEVER]) relates the final story of Michael who is in love with French Claudine (Claudia Körber) but does not want to lose steady girlfriend Ingrid (Sylvia Engelmann, LOVE CAMP). He implores his friend Walter to keep Ingrid distracted, but both Ingrid and Claudine are on to his ruse. Claudine's friend Kristel suggests inviting the three to her father's resort in order to discover who Michael loves most. When Michael proves weak-willed, the two girls decide to settle it between themselves.

SCHOOLGIRL REPORT #13's German title translates as REMEMBER THAT SEX IS NOT LOVE: THE NEW SCHOOLGIRL REPORT PART 13; and it is new in respect of new theme music, a new title sequence background montage, and actually listing the cast members (rather than purporting to feature real study subjects). The formula, however, is still the same, with a loose framing story and sex scenes that seem less enthusiastically staged with each entry at a time when hardcore pornography was providing "stiff" competition (although presumably there was still a younger, or older, audience for softcore thrills). Aside from Bienert, the cast is less familiar than in earlier entries. While the comedy falls flat (with the group sex fail in the barn seeming like a bland restaging of the second story in SCHOOLGIRL REPORT #11 with fewer sight gags), the more dramatic episodes are less outlandish but more affecting as a result. SCHOOLGIRL REPORT #13 is not the shot in the arm the series needed, and it would end up being the last one.

Released theatrically stateside as MAKING OUT from SRC Films, SCHOOLGIRL REPORT #13 looks about as good (or bad) as the other installments with a ragged-looking progressive, anamorphic 1.66:1 widescreen presentation and muddy colors. The German Dolby Digital 2.0 mono is relatively clean and the optional English subtitles are intelligent and keep pace with some of the more rapid dialogue passages. There are no extras. (Eric Cotenas)