Little Girls Blue (1978)

Schoolgirl skinflicks are a dime a dozen and this classic proves the cream of an unwieldy crop. The terminally PC might cringe at the enduring popularity of the fetish but are strongly advised to accept it as just that : role playing that requires adult women to adopt both the stylized garb (plaid skirt and white knee socks remaining particular favorites, just ask the Japanese !) and imagined mannerisms of teenage girls. No more harmless than playing nurse dress-up for example and unlikely to induce an entire generation of practicing paedophiles who wouldn't be interested in the obvious pretend aspect anyway. Objections out of the way, let's proceed to the film at hand, shall we ?

Joanna Williams was indeed a real female fornication filmmaker, driven out of the closet by various print and Internet sources as a former sexploitation starlet though for the longest time very few of them seemed to agree which one exactly ! The late carnal critic cum filmmaker Jim Holliday had started the ball rolling by his teasing allegation - in his 1986 tome Only the Best, which in turn piqued yours truly's passion for porn's past - that she was definitely among the skin-baring divas in Ron Garcia's sci-fi of sorts The Toy Box.  This hardly narrowed it down as that flick contained seemingly every simulation siren worth her salt of the late '60s, early '70s heyday... Thanks to the eponymous "Hugo" commenting below, the cat may finally be let out of the bag as the mysterious Ms. Williams can now in all probability be identified as Maria Lease of Lee Frost's Love Camp 7 infamy.  Producer "William Dancer" a/k/a stalwart exploitation producer (as well as Lease's longtime spouse, I could kick myself for not catching on sooner) Daniel Cady - who bestowed such mindblowing gems as John Hayes' Grave of the Vampire and Chris Munger's Kiss of the Tarantula on unsuspecting drive-in masses (again, muchos gracias to the estimable Thomas Wood for the update) -  may very well have been instrumental in perpetuating the young girl theme, underage if rarely spelled out, as even his work away from the wife, including such solid sleepers as Small Town Girls by enigmatic one shot (?) director Tom Janovich and Tomboy by "Hans Christian" (recently outed on the AV Maniacs forum as in all likelihood being Danish born DoP Henning Schellerup, his nationality serving as clue to the Andersen reference), focuses predominantly on nubile nymphets, to coin a tagline, "old enough to know better, too young to care..." Assumptions aside, Little Girls Blue turns out to be the high watermark of a mighty fruitful collaboration which also yielded the likes of the profoundly mindboggling Annette Haven showcase Soft Places and their take no prisoners rape and revenge drama Expensive Tastes.

While it's safe to say few if any will watch this baby for either its plot or acting, both producer and director (doubling up on writing duties) show enough regard for their audience as not to foist anything blatantly subpar onto them. The slender narrative thread provides plenty of at least partially plausible possibilities for the student body and faculty of the Townsend School for Girls - which was to have been the original title by the way - to interact and although none of the performances come even close to qualifying as award material, for all the weight that ultimately carries in this genre, there's nothing particularly punishing here either.

As an early example of a type of adult movie geared specifically towards the inveterate girlie watcher who has little use for intricate intrigue, it has the considerable advantage of four fresh young faces cast as the eager beaver high school honeys who will do "anything" for passing grades. Tamara - sometimes "Samantha" - Morgan as blonde ringleader Kathy only holds one other major credit for the same team's mildly underwhelming (if impeccably produced) Chopstix. Gaptoothed redhead Lori Blue (billed as "Lola Dunmore", hah !) who plays Marium, the object of gym coach Carl Regal's fevered yet artistically surprisingly well-rendered fantasies, had surprising longevity however, even reprising her role in the fluffy 1983 sequel. As did Chris Petersen (a/k/a "Elaine Wells" on numerous occasions, not to be confused with Eileen Welles), one of two brunettes. She's the inexperienced Buffy with smarmy English teacher Paul Thomas. Rarely seen Casey Winters plays Misty rather than the non-existent "Debbie" as mistakenly identified in the credits and appeared in both Bob Chinn's effortlessly entertaining Telefantasy and Ann Perry's frankly much overrated at the time adult western Sweet Savage as well. Donna Ruberman from Stu Segall's sadly overlooked Teeny Buns is the girl in the artsy opening fantasy with Turk Lyon. Eagle-eyed eroticists may spot the likes of Nancy Hoffman and the late Kristine Heller as clothed extras, although Holliday claimed the latter does have an actual sex scene but that her face was never shown and who am I to argue ?

Particularly well-photographed by one presumably pseudonymous "John Fielder" and judiciously edited (knowing when NOT to cut is just as important in porn) by fence-straddling Michael Zen on an early assignment on the industry's straight side, the movie scores where so many comparable efforts have failed miserably. Believable enough to work as fantasy, but not to a degree where it might get busted for coming too close to reality, it conjures up genuine eroticism through superior cast chemistry and deft directorial touches. Morgan becomes the glowing centerpiece in an absolutely scalding threesome with Jon Martin and Ken Scudder in the barn, judiciously intercut with Winters getting it on with Blair Harris in a convertible, when they sneak out of school to be with their boyfriends. Beautiful Blue shines in the blue ball and square root fantasy bits but gets surreptitiously replaced by Winters for the left alone in the dorm room switcheroo climax with the endearingly nerdy Regal, who racked up a surprising amount of screen credits for someone so seemingly challenged - if actually quite proficient - in the stud department, appearing in Joe Bardo's delightful love letter to Rene Bond Do You Wanna Be Loved? and Gary Graver's more fun than a barrel of monkeys Garage Girls among many others.

Directed by Joanna Williams (aka Maria Lease ?). Written by Williams and Daniel Cady (as William Dancer). Produced by Cady for New Day Films. Photographed by John Fielder. Music by Bill Matchton. Edited by Michael Zen. Starring Tamara Morgan (Kathy), Casey Winters (Misty), Chrissy Petersen (as Elaine Wells) (Buffy), Lori Blue (as Lola Dunmore) (Marium), Carl Regal (Coach Fowler), Paul Thomas (Mr. Barrett), Jon Martin (as Terry Blass) (Bill), Ken Scudder (Jack), Blair Harris (George), Donna Ruberman (Fantasy Girl), Turk Lyon, John Seeman (Fantasy Guys), Nancy Hoffman & Kristine Heller (Student Bodies). Running time : 75 minutes.

An accomplished actor with "real world" street cred, playing Peter on Norman Jewison's Jesus Christ Superstar, Paul Thomas could always be counted on to deliver a credible performance both in 'n' out of the sack

Comments

Joanna Williams

I believe "Little Girls Blue" was directed by Daniel Cady's wife, former softcore star turned script supervisor Maria Lease. I suspect she worked on other "William Dancer" productions, under the pseudonyms "Marian Lester" and "Mario Graves".

Dries: The same outing of

Dries:

The same outing of "Hans Christian" also outs "William Dancer" as Daniel Cady.