Schoolgirl Hitchhikers and Fly Me the French Way – Jean Rollin’s Sexy Films Playing in the Last Stop Theater
10-7-77, Brideport, Conn. Here’s one of the few showings of Jean Rollin’s Fly Me the French Way which had a few plays at some Drive Ins from 1977 and through the Late 70’s/maybe Early 80’s (hope to catch one from that time!).
The world of Jean Rollin’s sexy Vampire films is once more given incredible DVD treatments, mainly from Redemption, and that’s a great thing. Sadly, his Sexploitation films made as Michel Gentil are not as readily available as upgraded digital presentations, although Synapse did a very good release of Fly Me the French Way as Baccanales sexuelles back in 2002 (The days when the big stores had their Adult and Mature sections!).
The reason why I’m focusing on a couple Rollin’s Gentil films in this post is simple and perfect for a part of The Scene of Screen 13 beyond the fact that they are pretty enjoyable for what they are. During the Late 70’s, these two films have seen their way through the world of Drive Ins and theaters focusing on Sexploitation to keep their business at least on a floating level Distributed by companies that would close up shop but the end of the decade or at least stop taking in new pick ups.
Carbondale, Illinois – 11-18-77 – Here’s a showing that promoted the Uncut version. Reportedly, the US version had 30 Minutes cut, but SIR, Sunset International Releasing, also had the complete cut. To those new to the Director’s world, Lionel Wallmann was someone who worked with Rollin for many of his films, although the release made the name look like an pseudonym at first look. The original version ran for about 100 Min., so there were possibly some elements that would have been cut out of it’s Stateside edit to give it at least a 90 Minute running time knowing that it would play more conservative areas, although I’m sure that the Danton Films release in Canada was the edition that helped SIR to present the full cut in a few areas that might not have had any problems with the complete show.
It’s about a swinging sex cult with Catherine and Marie-Pierre Castel the hot kidnappers who get Sophie (Marie-France Morel) in a house that’s owned by an ex-member who wants to expose the leader (Brigitte Borghese as Britt Anders). The girl who’s taking care of the place, Valerie (Joelle Coeur), meets up with a hot maid sent by the cult (Agnes Lemercier), and also gets kidnapped. Fred (Alain Bastin) tries to free Valerie and Sophie while there’s a lot of nice sights to look at while all of this is going on, and look for a presence by Annie Belle, who’s career was already in controversial waters in The US with the release of The Story of Annie in 1976 – I wonder if “Annie Brand” was her credit name in this release.
2-18 and 2-25-77, Salt Lake City – Fly Me the French Way was put together with a film called Swinging High, which I’m sure was the 1973 film with Jamie Gillis. Check out the other films playing at the Cinema! (Plus, Taxi Driver fans will love the Cinema’s B in the second ad!)
With plenty of good looking women, funky 70’s boots, Rollin posters (which, nobody in The US really knew that they were back then), and even a cool credit sequence, this was something to program.
2-7-75, San Antonio
While Fly Me the French Way had some showings here and there, School Girl Hitch Hikers was the film of the two in focus in this post that had more popularity (or at least more screentime) through the Late 70’s. Distributed through Sunset International Releasing at a time when there were more screens willing to play these films, Schoolgirl Hitchhikers had plenty of plays through The US thanks to it’s pairing first with the Sexy Mondo Sex Freedom in Germany and later on with the Pervert-Approved double bill Should a Schoolgirl Tell and The Games Schoolgirls Play. Citadel Films played it in Canada.
11-28-75, Ottawa at one of the theaters that put The Mall out of business, clearly not related to the official Pussycat chain, I think.
Pontiac. Illinois. 3-11-76
The adventures of a pair of Schoolgirl Hitchhikers who get caught up with a gang of thieves, of which one of them is pretty kinky, is pretty much the thin plot for a bunch of sexy scenes. As this is a 70’s Euro Sexy Style offering, you get to see some cute knee boots and nice arty touches. Marie Helene Regne and Francois Brinsourt are the leaders of the gang and Pierre Julien and the Schoolgirl Look of Reine Thirion (Who’s only other credit on the IMDb until others are listed is My Body Burns) are the Detective and Secretary.
The Co-Star of Fly Me the French Way, Joelle Coeur (Right) is the hot one in the jeans while Gilda Arancio (Left) is the one in the boots (she’s also one of the naked swimmers in Zombie Lake, Bad Sexy Sin-ema fans!).
Bakersfield, CA-7-3-77…”Children Under 12 Free?!!!” cry out those today surprised about this happening with films like these, but this happened a lot in The 70’s.
San Bernardino 1-8-77, playing a small third bill to the hit double feature
San Bernardino 9-25-78
So far, this film has been unleashed through Videoasia’s Grindhouse Experience set a while ago, straight from a VHS source. This should seriously have some kind of re-mastered digital release soon, I hope. It’s good, and a fine part of Last Stop Theater history when other Rollin Films that were not “Caged Virgins” were also playing the smaller screens at the same time (Demoniacs and “Strange Things Happen at Night”) – but I’ll get to those in another post!