|THE EDUCATIONAL ARCHIVES: SEX & DRUGS
|Copyright 2001 Fantoma (various dates for films)
| Reviewed by Andrew Borntreger on 10 April 2010
- George - When will he learn that ogling illustrations of naked women in a health textbook is for dweebs? National Geographic is where it's at.
- John - Do not invite this loser to your party.
- Tony Madroni - The only thing preventing global overpopulation by his offspring is syphilis.
- Jean and Libby - Nobody cares that you feel uncomfortable with your new menstrual cycle. You will just have to deal with it until you hit menopause. That's only about forty years away. Enjoy!
- Sonny Bono - Dude, did you actually appear in a drug awareness film while stoned?
- Bob & Mary - Apparently, their marriage is destined for success because his mom taught him about sex by letting him watch cats have sex. Since when is kitty coitus the best way to teach an eight-year-old about human sexuality?
- Mr. Crass - My evil alter-ego who wrote the above description.
|"The Educational Archives" are compilations of old instructional films, meaning that they are entertainment goldmines for anyone who enjoys watching this sort of curio. Our mothers and fathers somehow survived the drug culture of the 60s, a shocking ignorance of venereal diseases, and a puritanical view of sex that is a danger to everyone. Listen, not knowing the ins and the outs of the birds and the bees places anyone who fails to practice abstinence in jeopardy. It's a sexual Pearl Harbor! Instead of Zeroes, Vals, and Kates, the doom hurtling towards our nation's youth is syphilis, teenage pregnancy, and exploitation by experienced players.
Memories of my teenage years make me wish that there was a better way to learn social skills than the present de facto standard. For many, high school is our social laboratory, where we expend immeasurable effort experimenting on our peers, trying to find the secret formula to interacting with other human beings. It is a torturous process of trial and error, and no amount of a parent's advice can change that fact. Mom and Dad's social laboratory was different from what their children are experiencing, so their advice is not always a perfect match for what the children encounter. The difference might only be superficial, but nobody listens to their parents anyway.
Having been a teenage boy, I am intimately familiar with what they are like. I have a daughter who will be a teenager in a few years (too few). My knowledge of the inner workings of the adolescent male is hardly a source of consolation. All fathers must go through this; I guess it is our penance for having been teenage boys.
CASE STUDIES: LSD, MARIJUANA, BARBITUATES, AMPHETAMINES, & HEROIN
These brief warning videos are sprinkled between the other educational shorts. All of them feature extremely annoying overlay effects that appear to have been made by emptying the contents of a lava lamp onto a horizontal sheet of glass, covering the mess with plastic wrap, and then tugging on the plastic wrap to make the lava lamp sauce move in groovy ways. Imagine trying to watch what is going on through that sort of improvised special effect; it is extremely irritating. I would guess that these case studies weren't successful at discouraging drug use. Anybody who started watching one would quickly become aggravated within the first minute, and their mind would shut off. Heck, after two or three minutes of exposure a normal person might consider trying drugs, just out of spite towards the idiots who made such an annoying anti-drug film.
My favorite is "Case Study: LSD." A young woman who is tripping on LSD orders a hot dog from a fast food window. When the little guy is served, she starts tripping that the hot dog really is a little man, and that it's talking to her! She even gets her companion (who looks like Elton John, and who is also on LSD) to see what she is seeing, and both of them have a conversation with the talking hot dog! Nothing too heavy, just like regular chit chat, you know? When the girl finally decides that she is just tripping, and that the hot dog is only a hot dog, she bites it - and all heck breaks loose. What is the first thing you would do if your partially eaten hot dog started screaming at you? Throwing it to the ground and jumping up and down on it while screaming yourself seems like an understandable reaction.
Watching a game of pool while tripping on LSD also seems like a bad idea, unless little shrieking balls (with frightened eyes and open mouths) disappearing into black pits of oblivion sounds like a fun way to spend the evening.
HUMAN GROWTH: 2ND EDITION
This is a fairly boring piece that is obviously meant to be a topic starter for a health class discussion about adolescence. It is amusing to note that every girl in the class is wearing a dress, and almost every boy in the class sports a collared plaid shirt. What the students ask their teacher are far more mundane than the questions I remember from health class. Nor are any of the student's questions accompanied by giggles from their classmates. Remember when the word "penis" was funny of and by itself? Hehehehe! "Penis!" Johnny said "Penis!"
NARCOTICS: PIT OF DESPAIR
John's poor grades in school result in him being kicked off the team. What team is a mystery. For all we know it could have been the school's curling team, which means that John's expulsion from the team is a relief to his parents. Have you ever watched curling? One person pushes a stone so that it slowly slides down the ice (emphasis on slowly). Two other players follow the stone, slowly, down the ice. When the stone gets near the target, the two players *rub*rub*rub*rub*rub*rub*rub*rub* really fast for about five seconds, the stone stops moving, and that's it. Somebody tosses another stone slowly down the ice, and the cycle repeats. On rare occasions, one stone hits another stone, and that is exciting.
Oh brother. When is paint drying going to become an Olympic sport?
Faced with the prospect that his future as a champion curler is over, John accepts an invitation to a party. The person who invited him is Pete, a drug dealer. The only reason that Pete invited John to the party is to secure a new customer. Parlayed with alcohol by a woman who is the pusher's flunky, John's inhibitions start to crumble. He even apparently takes a swig of beer from a random can off the coffee table! Before long, John is faced with the ultimate moment in his story: drugs. Does he hold fast to the values that his emotionally remote parents tried to instill in him, or give in to peer pressure?
KNOW FOR SURE
Looking forward to his new bambino, grocery store owner Tony Madroni is devastated to find out that the little boy is dead upon delivery. Tony has syphilis, and he gave it to his wife; the disease killed the baby. Distraught, the poor man is ready to slash his wrists with a straight razor until the doctor tells him that syphilis can be cured, it just takes a year of treatment. Once the pox on his penis is gone, Tony can have alla the bambinos dat he wants.
A funny moment happened while I was watching this short. A doctor was speaking with a number of men about how they contracted syphilis and the identification and treatment of the disease. My wife, who had not been paying much attention to the film, suddenly remarked that this doctor certainly had a lot of patients with syphilis. My response was, "It's a venereal disease clinic. It's not the sort of place you go for a sprained ankle."
IT'S WONDERFUL BEING A GIRL
A young girl finally gets her first period, and she is just tickled pink about finally becoming a woman. Along with discussions in school between an all-girl class and a female teacher, her mother introduces her to the wonderful world of feminine protection. Forget suffrage, I think that the best thing that happened to women in this century is the advances made in the field of sanitary napkins. The pads that the mother shows to her daughter are HUGE - almost as big as a twin-sized mattress. They come in a carton the same size as a shoebox, but it looks like each carton only holds three pads. The massive things also required the woman to wear a garter belt contraption to hold the pad in place. I cannot imagine how those were comfortable to wear at all.
The story also depicts a woman's period as a joyous occasion, like having a birthday or buying a new dress. How many girls jump for joy when that time of the month comes around? None of them. They take long walks on the beach with their mothers, talking about how nice it will be to feel clean and fresh again once their period is over. I know this. I've seen it on TV.
Sonny Bono hosts a lengthy lecture that compares marijuana to alcohol and tobacco. The point seems to be that tobacco and alcohol, while bad, are not as bad as marijuana. To paraphrase some of the arguments thus presented: "lung cancer will kill you eventually, but driving your car off of a cliff because you are so high you think you can fly will kill you now" and "drinking too much will give you a hangover, but overdosing on pot results in a real bummer." I am not certain how effective of a deterrent those would be, but they seem pretty weak to me. Even more confounding is the fact that Sonny appears to be mildly stoned.
SOCIAL-SEX ATTITUDES IN ADOLESCENCE
Here we get to meet Bob and Mary, two young adults who have just tied the knot and are ready to start their life together. The question that begs to be answered is whether Bob's mother and Mary's parents have prepared their children for a happy and healthy marriage. Notice that I didn't mention Bob's father; that is because Bob's mother is a widow. I know, I know, it's very sad that Bob's father died. The situation could be worse. What if his parents were divorced? Anyway, at a young age Mary's mother introduces her daughter to sexuality and relationships by explaining pregnancy and childbirth. This is all assisted by the fact that Mary's mom is expecting another baby, little bulge in the tummy and all. Because she does not have a man in her life (in the old days if a woman's husband died, that was it, she was a widow for the rest of her life) Bob's mother uses cats and kittens to teach her son about pregnancy and reproduction. While the mechanics of feline reproduction are similar to that of humans, I have grave concerns about how the differences will affect Bob's perception of man-to-woman romance.
I suppose it could have been worse. Bob's mom might show him preying mantises reproducing. Then the young man would have been terrified of what happens at the end of the honeymoon.
Bob and Mary's teenage years are marked by a lot of experimentation. The young woman sees so many different boys that her mother frets about her doing something "silly." How-so-er-what? "Silly?" You are worried about your daughter getting knocked up, and the most descriptive term you can force yourself to use is "silly?"
Fortunately for the parents, none of the teenage romances involve anything more than passionate kissing. Through the experienced guidance of their elders, and their own commitment to finding true love, Bob and Mary ride off into the sunset with a better than average chance of living happily ever after. That is more than most of Disney's princesses. Cinderella's prince obviously picks her because he has a foot fetish, Snow White's consort probably experiences jealousy over the fact that she was legally the common law wife of seven men old enough to be her father, and Pocahontas falls in love with a man who is, to her, little more than a walking blob of smallpox virus. Oh, and he probably dies from sepsis before the ship reaches England.
LSD: INSIGHT OR INSANITY
Drugs make teenagers engage in all sorts of risky activity, like accepting rides from strangers, eating three-day old pizza, and playing chicken. By the way, if you play chicken and wreck, all of the kids who were cheering will scream and run away. If you swerve, you are a chicken. If the other guy swerves, you are a hero. If neither of you swerve, then both of you become bloodstained losers without any friends.
THE ABCS OF SEX EDUCATION FOR TRAINABLES
This film is meant to prevent the sexual exploitation of people with mental disabilities through education. Compared to the shorts that preceded it, this turns out to be much less entertaining. There is something amusing about our grandfather's generation dealing with a year-long treatment regime to cure syphilis, or young girls being told that feminine napkins, which are so large that they require suspenders to hold them up, feel comfortable. I doubt that the challenge of providing help to an autistic person so that they are not the victim of sexual abuse has changed very much.
However, one dramatized scene that involves a woman discovering her son masturbating is funny. The discussion between the mother and young man is completely one-sided, and completely inappropriate. Have you ever heard Adam Sandler's "Do It For Your Mama" skit? That is what it reminds me of.
|Things I Learned From This Movie:
- All hot dogs are devout Roman Catholics.
- Sperm are blue in color.
- Someone who has excessive facial hair is either a drug dealer or a lycanthrope.
- Using a table saw while you are high on pot is a BAD IDEA.
- Bowling relieves menstrual cramps.
- The female sex organs look like a demonic sheep's face.
- It is safe for a girl to wash her hair while she is menstruating.
- Feminine protection is not a chartreuse flamethrower.
- Overdosing on drugs will turn you into Grig from "The Last Starfighter."
- Alcoholics are square and unhip.
- Lesbianism is a natural stage of female adolescence.
- Stephen Hawking has an ugly couch.
- 9 mins - Men-strew-a-tion? You mean Aunt Flo?
- 11 mins - Are they at a wedding or a funeral?
- 14 mins - Then you have to do it again!
- 19 mins - His sweater actually matches the curtains. Egad.
- 28 mins - Looks like the bambino will be safe from vampires.
- 38 mins - Question #1: How many men did that woman sleep with? Answer #1: Twenty-seven, and she gave nine of them syphilis. Question #2: What's a dirty wh**re? Answer #2: You aren't paying attention, are you?
- 62 mins - "Weed makes me so hungry that I could eat a tree."
- 71 mins - Democracy isn't legal in China either. What's your point?
- 102 mins - The real problem is that it is quite likely that one of them has syphilis.
- 107 mins - Dude, like you have feet for a head.
- 118 mins - Everybody should be glad for breasts. Three cheers for boobies!
|Audio clips in wav format
|Starving actors speak out
|Narrator: "This time the gang's lucky. It's not the law, or discovery, or problems. It's just their supplier, Pete, with his number one chick, and a new guy looking for kicks. Forget it, man, and get with the countdown. Shake this square world and blast off for Kicksville."
|Young Man: "What did you call them?"
Doctor: "Spirochetes: those are the germs that cause your syphilis. You had to learn the hard way that you can't tell by the looks of woman whether she has syphilis or not."
|Jean's mother tells her about how her body will make a "warm, soft place" for a baby to grow.
|Sonny Bono: "That's right, it's a fact: no one ever got cancer from pot. But, it's also a fact that no one ever dropped out of school because they were hung up on tobacco. And, no one who just finished smoking a cigarette ever forgot she was driving a car as she tripped out on the beauty of a back road nature trip."
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|Here is the girl whose LSD trip results in her talking to a hot dog. I imagine that any conversation with food would mostly consist of "Please don't eat me."
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