Tuesday, December 18, 2018

School Girl Reunion - The Sensuous Fly Girls

Hiding behind the innocuous title SCHOOL GIRL REUNION (probably given to director Shaun Costello as a starting point) is one of the saddest and most melancholy adult films I've watched in recent memory. I mean this in a good way. But it's almost like a sucker punch because it's not what you are expecting.

The premise is that Roger Caine (as football hero "Roger Caine") has returned to his college for a five year reunion. While reliving old glories at the seemingly deserted football field, he meets up with Kim Pope who is a fellow alum and both familiar to him and yet not. They trade stories which trace the path to a conclusion you will see coming but which still packs a wallop when it happens.

The most remarkable thing about this movie is that the shenanigans which go on are pretty familiar fare, well-staged and shot, but completely re-contextualized through the eyes of Caine and Pope's characters. Roger's jock seems like a good guy who works hard and has big plans, but he's a little dense. Pope's portrayal of his old classmate is stunning in its wounded fragility. I completely bought it.

There are a lot of really great cinematic touches in the film, and the most creative use of a table tennis trophy I've ever seen. Not that way, ya gutter mind. SCHOOL GIRL REUNION is a movie I think is going to stick with me for awhile.

On a completely different note, we have THE SENSUOUS FLY GIRLS. It's a somewhat more polished version of the type of movies Shaun had been making up to that point. The dialogue appears to be largely ad-libbed (coached at best), and the story is appropriately ridiculous. NASA (discreetly never actually called that) is testing stewardesses to send one on the Jupiter Probe because all that time in space is making the astronauts gay! So we get some "testing" and reminiscing and it's all in good fun if you don't take it too seriously. The flight attendant theme was also seen in Shaun's COME FLY WITH US, as was filming a scene in a stable with Shaun and one of his attractive leading ladies. I bet you weren't expecting to see shots of a horse in this movie, but have I got news for you.

There's an amazing and uncannily familiar soundtrack and a twist ending after a fashion. It has all the earmarks of a Costello film, so it's a little surprising to learn Shaun has no memory of making it! He suspects some of it might be his, but that it is a mix of work from him and others. For example, he thinks the scene in the stable might have been from a shoot with Gerry Intrator. It's probably worth mentioning that credited co-director "Constantine Zuba" is an alias used for Doug Collins on TEENAGE NURSES. That might be a piece of the puzzle of the film's genesis.

I have to hand it to Shaun Costello for always making these movies worthwhile no matter how slight they might seem at first blush. SCHOOL GIRL REUNION is memorable and THE SENSUOUS FLY GIRLS is enjoyable nonsense no matter who made it. A quality release from Vinegar Syndrome which you can buy here.



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