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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Trip With the Teacher [Blu-ray]

 

(Earl Barton, 1975)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: United Filmmakers Organization (UFO)

Video: Vinegar Syndrome

 

Disc:

Region: FREE! (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:30:19.247 

Disc Size: 24,797,737,584 bytes

Feature Size: 23,645,708,928 bytes

Video Bitrate: 31.59 Mbps

Chapters: 5

Case: Transparent Blu-ray case

Release date: September 26th, 2017

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1130 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1130 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit)
Commentary:

Dolby Digital Audio English 96 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 96 kbps / DN -4dB

 

Subtitles:

English (SDH), None

 

Extras:

• Commentary track with: Earl Barton (director), Cathy Worthington (actress) and Dina Ousley (actress)
"Taking the Trip" - video interview with actress Brenda Fogarty (14:29)
Original theatrical trailer (3:24)
Multiple TV spots (0:30, 0:56)
Still gallery (2:24)
Reversible cover artwork

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: Ms. Tenney (Brenda Fogarty) and a group of summer school students are on a camping trip in the desert to study ancient native cultures and to hike through the Grand Canyon. But when their bus breaks down in the middle of nowhere, a trio of bikers, led by the demented Al (Zalman King) finds them and tricks them into heading out to an abandoned farmhouse. Fearing for their lives, the girls and their teacher try to survive the night and the short tempered, psycho biker Al.

A grim, violent, and suspenseful survival thriller crossed with a biker film, TRIP WITH THE TEACHER was the sole feature directorial effort from acclaimed choreographer and dancer, Earl Barton, and co-stars Robert Gribbin (Don't Go Near the Park), Dina Ousley, and Cathy Worthington. Atmospherically photographed and tightly edited, TRIP is an unforgettable grindhouse masterpiece.

 

 

The Film:

Oh man, not sure how I missed this one in my quest for cool movies that echo the style or play tribute to 1972's LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT, but this one was an ultra-cool fun and wild little rape revenge thriller from the mid-'70's. Basically, out in the California desert, a busload of young hotties and their MILF Teacher (including hot mama Cathy Worthington) break down on a field trip. Three biker dudes, two that are psychos just out of jail, one a straight arrow dude just tagging along...offer to "help" the stranded babes and we know what happens from there! Lead baddie Al (essayed by softcore directing legend Zalman King, R.I.P.) really channels David A. Hess from LAST HOUSE here, commanding the screen and going full-on bonkers.

Excerpt from Buried.com located HERE

The plot has a group of dumber than a box of Cracker Jacks teenage girls who take a field trip with their teacher (Brenda Fogarty from Fairy Tales) down to Mexico to see an Indian reservation. At a gas station, the girls poke fun at King and his grubby hippie biker brother which doesn’t set well with Zalman since he’s pretty much a ticking time bomb. When the bus breaks down, Zalman and Co. tow the bus with their bikes (?!?) to a dilapidated shack (it makes the cabin in Evil Dead look like the Taj Mahal) located smack dab in the middle of nowhere.

Excerpt from theVideovacuum located HERE

Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

Trip With the Teacher comes to Blu-ray from Vinegar Syndrome advertised as "newly restored from its original camera negative". The image quality is most dependant on the production limitations and we can see this was not an abundant studio production and was shot in 16mm (despite what IMDb says).  This is single-layered but with a very high bitrate. I'm surprised at the good quality - color are deep, there is plenty of grain and far less than I would have thought in the way of speckle or damage. Shot predominantly in outdoor lighting the visuals are clear and bright with appealing texture. Interiors are weaker but overall it's a reasonably pleasing and consistent presentational things considered. This Blu-ray image is watchable without distracting flaws.

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

Vinegar Syndrome do their best with the audio as well - a DTS-HD Master mono track (24-bit) that also shows the limitations of the production but seems a fateful representation of the film's sound. There are no extensive effects but we can hear the rumble of the motorcycle engines exporting some depth. Dialogue is as weak as you might expect. The score is credited to Igo Kantor (Earl Barton claims in the commentary to have written the main theme) and it's predictably pedestrian but better than nothing with period songs played in the film like The Hummer's Theme and That's Nice. Meh. There are optional English subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.

 

Extras :

There is a pleasant commentary track (low volume level) with Earl Barton (director) and actresses Cathy Worthington and Dina Ousley frankly reminiscing with Barton informing us that while he did everything on the film he actually made up names as it would look silly to have himself listed in every task - so he used moniker's like 'Harry Grabbit' as the Key Grip etc. We hear that the girls bonded on the bus rides, the reunions and the heat on the shoot. Pretty casual. "Taking the Trip" is a 1/4 hour video interview with actress Brenda Fogarty - she talks about her acting background - a showgirl in Vegas for 15 years (Dunes) eventually becoming a Realtor. There is an original theatrical trailer, two TV spots, a stills gallery and the package has reversible cover artwork.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
Pretty raw, but in the Grindhouse 'B' genre actually quite generic, although the film has some crudeness with unnecessary rape to validate the story. Plenty of nostalgia value for those who crave this genre of less-polished efforts. Trip With the Teacher is steeped in it with a minor following. You gotta give it to Vinegar Syndrome for making such a handsome Blu-ray package of these sow's ear forgotten films. Each of their release, I seem to warm more to the concept... I think it's pretty cool to have this in 1080P. To each his own! 

Gary Tooze

September 20th, 2017

 

 




 

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