Eros VI: Bad Schoolgirls All Around
When the kids in South Park encountered a German scheisse video, the impression the episode gave was that Germans make weird adult-oriented films, and the observation was furthered by the rather terse query, ‘Dude: what the f**k is wrong with German people?’
It ranks as one of the funniest lines I’ve ever heard, and yet it kind of paints the picture that Germans lack a sense of humour. They are serious. They like correctness. Accuracy. Infallible engineering. Mercedes. Airbus. Paprika seasoning.
When I was 21, my aunt & uncle took me into the mighty city of Hamburg, and the first part of the trip was the Reeparbahn, where ‘niedliche mädchen’ line the lakefront streets and dirty old men drive ever so slowly to examine the goods. (I’m sure everyone’s had to move elsewhere, now that the area is under serious redevelopment, but in 1989, the lower strip was lined with hookers.)
That was followed by an insistence I go through a street partition that read “Men Only,” and enter a narrow ‘strip’ where bedroom windows had been converted into large display windows where busty women in white attire ‘glowed’ under the purple neon bulbs inside. A few men paced around, looking at the displays like antique shop menageries, and all I could think of was ‘What the f**k?’
When I left the alley, my aunt & uncle were standing against a wall, and the former had the biggest, happiest visage I’d ever seen. My uncle was amused, but my aunt was delighted at my shock. Part 3 was supposed to be a visitation to a strip bar, but we sort of agreed the cultural crossover so far was enough for the night, and the next stop was to relish beer rather than busen.
My aunt knew the area well not because of the naughtiness, but because you could also get authentic, affordable Chinese food instead of the watered down stuff in more chi-chi locales. This is her reasoning, and I buy it. She never lies.
This anecdote is proof Germans indeed have a sense of humour: naughty and a little strategic, but funny. South Park had it all wrong, and its writers also forgot about the Schoolgirl Report franchise that packed in fully adult maidens from the Eurozone into preposterous vignettes about discovery, shock, and running in slo-motion with cartoon sound effects. It’s almost juvenile, but not quite, because unlike the Italian counterparts where men did a lot of running around, squeezing, gazing, and eye-widening, the Germans (like the Swedes) delivered action, but to ensure each installment wasn’t wholly prurient, they also worked in ridiculous moments of moral discussion.
Pre-university sex and unwanted pregnancy is very bad, but parents must understand the changes and moral upgrades of the newer generation instead of finger-scolding due to antiquated shame.
Sleeping with your father’s accountant is a poor excuse to mend a rift between two family halves, but if sexual discovery and a sharper moral compass come from the doomed liaison, you did good.
Stealing the clothes of two campers is pure theft, and punishment by copping multiple feels is a rude invasion of one’s space bubble, but if everyone’s giggling, the judicial matter is being resolved in a fair & balanced manner.
There are significant variants in Britain, Japan, and the U.S., but the sex comedy, with a fixation on absurdism, seemed to be central to the success of the Report series. No kino patron was fooled by the title nor the bullshit moral discussions, because the whole thing was a show as stark and ridiculous as strolling down an alley featuring panes of glowing hookers.
In this installment, the theme is (surprise) naughty schoolgirls, which means contrived plots designed to show-off birthday suits and bad behaviour, ending with some equally contrived moral argument.
In Schoolgirl Report #8: “What Parents Must Never Know” / “Was Eltern nie erfahren dürfen” [M] (Impulse / Synapse), it’s all about generational perceptions and the innate, unstoppable will of explorative girls; in Naughty Teen / Cara dolce nipote [M] (One 7 Movies / CAV), it’s the healing power a girl brings to her uncle and neighbour, enabling the closure of a tragic death; and in Pound of Flesh [M] (Odyssey), a misguided professor learns escort = hooker, even if the financial rewards ably support an English Lit degree.
Coming next: this month’s soundtrack release tally + new reviews.