THE EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EXPLOITATION OF STEPHANIE ROTHMAN
Sex, violence and spirited mayhem define the early 1970s feature films of the pioneering genre director Stephanie Rothman. Although mostly shown in grindhouses and drive-ins, Rothman’s low-budget movies have been recognized in the proceeding decades for their subversive content, as in her breakthrough Roger Corman production, The Student Nurses, which Interview magazine described as “a bait-and-switch of the traditional exploitation formula, stacked with fleshed-out characters, topical social consciousness, and an uncompromising feminist agenda.” The Student Nurses will be shown via a restored 35mm print from Academy Film Archive and Terminal Island, Rothman’s wild 1973 Hunger Games forerunner, will be shown in a new DCP from the American Genre Film Archive.
- Sat., Oct. 21 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
On a co-ed island serving as a prison for convicts with life sentences, Carmen (Hartman) finds herself in the middle of two warring factions of inmates. Terminal Island touches every seventies exploitation base from female nudity to killer bees as it heads towards its surprisingly non-apocalyptic gunfight/molotov cocktail finale. Through all the ultra-low-budget camp mayhem, Rothman displays her signature light touch and equal opportunity ethos. (BR)
- Sat., Oct. 28 | 7:00 PM4070 Vilas Hall
The four titular roommates experience the ups and downs of nursing school through a series of charming comic vignettes that give way to more preposterously melodramatic yet entertaining storylines. The cast (including Terminal Island’s Barbara Leigh) strike a blissful balance between great looks and awkward line readings. A briskly paced, economical exploitation gem that doesn’t contain a single wasted minute, Rothman still finds time for occasional musical montage interludes as well as a beach blanket acid trip. 35mm print courtesy Academy Film Archive. (BR)