Charlie Bartlett


Opens February 22nd

Charlie Bartlett is a high school comedy which comes off as kind of a cross between Ferris Beuller and Rushmore. The titular hero is a rich kid who has been kicked out of every private prep school he might conceivably go to, thus dooming him to public school, where the somewhat soft-spoken and almost feminine young man shows up the first day carrying a leather attaché case and wearing a blue blazer crowned by a Latin insignia. As you can well imagine, he manages to last about a half hour before having his head stuck in the toilet.

But Charlie is a determined and crafty lad who wants to be liked, so he concocts a plan. He has unlimited access to prescription drugs through the family's psychiatrists, and the bully who stuck Charlie's head in the toilet has what it takes to distribute those drugs, so Charlie proposes a partnership. Charlie soon realizes that he can't just give everyone the same drugs, so he consults with them, determines their symptoms, then repeats those symptoms to one of his mom's many shrinks. Bingo. He's not only the school's drug dealer, but its psychiatrist as well.

Activities like this can't be kept secret very long, so it is inevitable that Charlie will come into conflict with the school's principal, and their relationship will be further strained by the fact that Charlie is dating the principal's daughter.

You're probably thinking that the film sounds like a typical high school comedy, probably a straight-to-vid. It's better than that. Maybe I can convey why by telling you that the film's authority figure is played by Robert Downey Jr., who's not exactly the first person you'd think of when casting a stern authority figure who needs to crush a teenage drug epidemic. Downey's character was once the beloved and cynical history teacher, a job for which he was perfectly suited. He was unwise enough to accept a promotion to principal, a job totally inappropriate for his natural iconoclasm, and the frustration of trying to function in the job drove him deep into the bottle. His wife left him, which drove him deeper into the bottle. As we pick up his story, the only thing he has left in life is his daughter, who is now having sex with the same kid who's disrupting his school, a certain Charlie Bartlett.

By allowing the principal to be a complex and somewhat sympathetic character, the script lifts the film above the level of the usual film about high school rebellion. In fact, the film allows all of the adults to live and breathe. Charlie's mother, although dotty, is also very interesting, kind-hearted and sometimes surprisingly wise. The local police chief prefers cooling off to busting heads. The only cartoon authority figure is a superintendent of schools who is despised by both the kids and the principal. The film can be forgiven that clumsy device for the complexity it exhibits elsewhere.

Unfortunately, the film's successes in characterization are not matched by its wit. I really wish I could tell you it is a great comedy, because I liked its heart, and I liked its characters. But it isn't. It has a lot of the right ingredients, but it just isn't very funny. The film was originally supposed to be released last summer, but I can see why it was pulled from the summer schedule. It's not a rollicking, low-brow summer comedy, despite its premise. Without the laughs, the film comes up too long on teen angst, and plays out as a thoughtful character study disguised as a comedy, kind of like Pump Up the Volume without the edge. If you're OK with that, it's not an unpleasant way to pass the time.

But if only it had a Spicoli. It coulda binna contenda.

The version I saw was a work print, and it would have to be rated R because of the drug abuse and nudity. While I personally prefer my high school comedies R-rated, the R will eliminate a good portion of the film's potential audience. If this were my film I would try to negotiate a PG-13 from the MPAA, making any reasonable cuts. (This nudity, for example, is completely gratuitous. The two girls are extras, and nothing would be lost if the brief scene were to be snipped.)



  • * Yellow asterisk: funny (maybe).

  • * White asterisk: expanded format.

  • * Blue asterisk: not mine.

  • No asterisk: it probably sucks.


Catch the deluxe version of Other Crap in real time, with all the bells and whistles, here.








Ilsa, She-Wolf of the SS


Ilsa, played by Dyanne Thorne, is an SS officer assigned as commandant of a medical unit. Her mission is to sterilize women and then send them to forward battle areas to service the troops sexually. She is far more ambitious than that, and is doing experiments with some of the women sent to her to develop nastier strains of diseases, but her real pet project is proving that women have a higher pain tolerance than men, and should hence be used on the front lines. In fact, there is nearly no end to her creativity. There is the rule that any female prisoner and male worker caught talking to each other will be whipped to death. Then there is the pressure chamber used to make Uschi Digard explode, an electrified dildo, and a nifty little dinner entertainment, where she puts a naked woman on the dinner table standing on a black of ice, then puts a noose around her neck. Imagine the fun of watching her slowly hang to death with your meal. Then there are the male prisoners sent to her to do maintenance around the place. She also has a creative way of utilizing them. She spends one night with them, then castrates them. At least, that is how it worked before an American prisoner with heroic staying power tames her with a marathon fuck.

This nasty bit of exploitation was produced by our old friend David Friedman. Friedman distanced himself from the film, not because he wasn't pleased with it, but because he had issues with the distributor. The distribution must have been fairly satisfactory because the film was popular enough at the box office that three additional Ilsa films were made to capitalize on its rapidly-growing cult reputation. I suppose the proper genre is the roughie, with some WIP influence, although it lacks a shower scene, and the female warden should normally be a lesbian. Whatever it is, it's a must-see classic for aficionados of drive-in exploitation films. It includes water sports, torture, lesbian content, some of the hairiest pussies ever filmed, and much more. Many unknowns show body parts, mostly full frontal. Also, Dyanne Thorne, Uschi Digard, Donna Young, Jackie Giroux, Maria Marx, Sandy Richman and Sharon Kelly give up the goods. 

Dyanne Thorne 12

Uschi Digard 3

Donna Young 12

Jackie Giroux 10

Maria Marx 16


Sandy Richman 3

Sharon Kelly 9

Unknowns 24











Today's effort is by no means a screen classic, but it does feature  some great full frontal nudity by Kimberley Kates. Kimberley comes out of the shower star naked and then puts on a wet see-through top and a short skirt, whereupon she is chased all over the city by a bunch of baddies. Eventually she even becomes a "Babe in Bondage", sadly no nudity in that scene. Caps and five clips.








Vendetta: Secrets of a Mafia Bride


Carol Alt 32

Eva Grimaldi 26







Notes and collages


Jennifer Aniston

Episode 217-218








Rachel's Angels


Today's featured performer: Julianna Prada

Film clips








A rarely-seen clip of Elke Sommer in Sweet Ecstasy, a French movie from 1962. (Dubbed with American voices.)
Film clips of two women in Dario Argento's weird Jenifer, which was #4 in the Masters of Horror series. Brenda James and Carrie Fleming

More of the scandal pics of Hong Kong star Cecilia Cheung

More of Paris Hilton at Harvard, presumably not to enroll in a Ph.D. program.