Movie Review: MALIBU HIGH (Blu-ray+DVD Combo Pack)

MALIBU HIGH was directed by Irvin Berwick and stars Jill Lansing, Katie Johnson, Alex Mann, Tammy Taylor and Stuart Taylor.

Kim (Jill Lansing) is a smart-mouthed high school senior whose boyfriend dumps her for a snobbish rich girl. Her poor grades and working class background make matters even worse, until Kim realizes that she can use her beautiful body to achieve her goals. Sexually blackmailing her teachers improves her grades and moonlighting as a prostitute pays off handsomely. But an easy life of vice pulls her deeper into corruption and crime, and soon Kim finds herself lured into the risky and bloody role of a high school aged hit girl!

The movie follows this chain smoking high school senior with a bad attitude who is fed up with pretty much everything and everyone in her life so she decides to make some changes. She gets mixed up with the wrong people and makes some bad decisions and decides to become a prostiute. The money starts to flow in and with that comes the better things in life for Kim, like new cars and lots of drug use. She then decides to seduce her male teachers to get better grades in school. Then the prostitution leads to her becoming a hitgirl for her pimp/mob boss. Yeah, she goes from whoring around to killing people for money but she’s young and dumb so she doesn’t really realize that she’s actually being used. In the end, all of these bad choices lead Kim down a dead end street and it doesn’t end so well for her.

The front of the packaging features the artwork you see up top and the back includes movie details, some images and list of special features. The reverse sleeve also features the same artwork and movie credits. By the way, the artwork has absolutely nothing to do with the movie and it’s explained in one of the interviews. The Blu-ray disc and DVD disc both have matching artwork. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. The picture and sound quality for this 2K upgrade was really good. There was some light grain throughout the watch but and as far as the audio goes it sounded really good. I noticed a muffed voice or two in a couple of scenes but it wasn’t anything too bad. All in all, it’s a really good upgrade considering this is a more obscure low budget title from the late 70’s.

Bottom line is, Malibu High ended up being yet another first time watch for me and I enjoyed it for the most part. It’s kind of a story of innocence lost even though this girl isn’t all that innocent to begin with. The movie is more of a dirty drama with just a little humor thrown in at times. Some of the acting was a little amateurish at times but that’s part of the charm that this 1979 sleaze gem possesses. The movie also has lots of nudity and sex scenes so the sexploitation label fits just right which is also part of the charm. Maybe? There’s also some bad fashion sense to it and we can blame the 70’s for that. What were these people thinking back then? Anyway, Vinegar Syndrome is good at digging up old titles like, dusting them off and giving them some impressive high-def upgrades and Malibu High is the latest to get the treatment. Does a movie like this deserve a facelift like this? Sure it does because it introduces a whole new generation of movie fanatics to an obscure little movie that has been long gone and forgotten about for nearly 40 years. Malibu High debuts on Blu-ray+DVD Combo Pack on May 30th and is worth checking out.

Distributor: Vinegar Syndrome

Run Time: 90 Minutes

Rated: R

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition Widescreen (1.85:1)

Blu-ray Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 1.0

DVD Video: Widescreen (1.85:1)

DVD Audio: English Dolby Digital 1.0

Subtitles: English SDH

Special Features: This newly restored home video release features extras that include audio commentary, interviews with some of the cast and crew, a Q&A segment, two short films, trailer and images.

  • Region free Blu-ray/DVD combo pack
  • Newly scanned and restored in 2k from 35mm original camera negative
  • Group commentary track with: Producer Lawrence Foldes and Actress Tammy Taylor
  • Video interviews with: Producer Lawrence Foldes (26:40), Actress Tammy Taylor (12:42), Actor Garth Pillsbury (14:51)
  • Q&A from a screening at the New Beverly Cinema w/ Producer Lawrence Foldes, Actress Tammy Taylor & Actor Alex Mann (27:02)
  • “Struggle for Israel” (1976) – a short film by Lawrence Foldes (19:57)
  • “Grandpa & Marika” (1975) – a short film by Lawrence Foldes (11:07)
  • Original theatrical trailer (02:17)
  • Production still gallery (02:52)
  • Reversible cover artwork
  • English SDH Subtitles

 

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