Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Coach (1978)

Over the Christmas holiday, while perusing the only Best Buy in Vermont, I picked up a ten disc, ten double features, twenty picture “Welcome to the Grindhouse” collection for a mere twenty bucks that may be one of the best things I’ve purchased in my life. I’ve never seen this particular collection in any best buy (or on Amazon for that matter) since. I’ve encountered the separate single disc double features for ten bucks. They’re all over the fucking place. So basically, that’s a savings of eighty bucks for an incredible collection you’ll apparently never find anywhere else. Black Candles alone made the whole god damned thing worth it. In addition, we’ve got Don’t Answer the Phone, Trip With Teacher, Sister Street Fighter, Malibu High, etc, loads of trailers, nudity, gore, etc. Solid buy is all I’m saying.

Also included is a little film from 1978 called Coach. Cathy Lee Crosby (“That’s Incredible”) stars as Randy Rawlings, a beautiful Olympic running champion who becomes the coach of a lousy high school boy’s basketball team and leads them to victory while simultaneously leading the starting point guard right into her bed. Yeah, it’s that kind of picture.

Only it isn’t, really. This is like if Lifetime had decided to make a movie about a teacher (or coach) bedding her student only they decided this was a perfectly acceptable thing. Well, that starting point guard is none other than Michael Biehn (Aliens, The Terminator, Navy Seals) and I suppose it helps matters that he and Crosby exhibit a wonderful chemistry. Yes, she looks to be about 10 years his senior but what the fuck do I care when he looks 25? The 1970s were a simple time, a time when if a young student could bang his teacher then good for him. Today, the teacher goes to prison and someone usually ends up dead. Also, where the fuck were these teachers when I was in high school? I call bullshit.

Keenan Wynn (Once Upon a Time in the West) is Granger, some sort of principal-superintendant-rich son of a bitch hybrid. He’s old school in his beliefs; i.e. woman are good for making dinner and making babies. He wants his basketball team (“the stallions”) to win, sure, but at what price? I’m sure you’re wondering why he hired Rawlings in the first place? After a particularly humiliating loss, and the forced resignation of the former coach, the school desperately sent out applications around the country. Somehow, one ended up on Rawlings desk. She was immediately offered the job (being a former Olympian and all) so it comes down to a lousy screening process on Wynn’s case. Olympian or not, she’s still a god damned female, am I right gents?

Well, I’ve got no idea where I’m going with this review at this point. Uninspired basketball team. Woman trying to make it in a “man’s world” (see I put it in quotes so I’m not being sexist), etc.

I love a good sports picture. I love a good picture with exploitative elements. Why not combine the two? Unfortunately, this is just a sports picture with some loose morals. The only ass we see are the players as they hit the showers. We get some side-al breast action from Rawlings but it’s all too brief. Her passionate sex scene with Biehn is interrupted by a fade to black and then, later, her passionate shower sex scene with Biehn is interrupted by the janitor. I couldn’t get away from the idea that these two never got caught. Their relationship is perfectly fine. I kept thinking the horny teacher that liked Rawlings would find out or maybe Keenan Wynn would find out and use it to try to get her canned. It never happened. At one point, Biehn sees Rawlings kissing that horny teacher. Predictably, he becomes upset, showing up late to a game, ignoring her, etc. Then he learns that she kissed the guy because he was going to bring a college scout to the game. Perfectly reasonable, Biehn. Fogive the broad already. He does.

I loved the camaraderie between the teammates. They pulled for each other. There was the guy set up to be the asshole (Wynn’s grandson) but he ended up being a pretty nice guy and even stood up to his bigoted family at one point. Ned was, by far, my favorite “stallion”. He's a terrible student, bit of an airhead, threatened with removal from the team. The stallions desperately need his size on the court if they are going to compete for the championship. Instead of helping the guy study, they realize his situation is borderline hopeless. So, they hypnotize him into remembering the formulas for the big exam (as soon as they say the code word “jabberwocky” he becomes a math machine). Hilariously, all that time spent hypnotizing Ned (he get’s an A+) doesn’t really help Biehn much (D). Later, they hypnotize Ned into thinking he’s Sydney Wick (NBA legend who also guest stars) cause apparently he's not very good at basketball either.

Shit man, if you like Hoosiers you’ll probably disapprove of this one unless you wanted to see Dale and Chitwood going at it in the showers. I love a good basketball picture though and this one gets my seal of approval. I even learned a few things about the game. Elbows out, ball high when rebounding. Splitting the post I guess isn’t very good when it’s being done against you. If I were to hypnotize myself into believing I was Lebron James then I’d be a pretty good player. If I hypnotized myself into believing I was Sydney Wick I might start “talking black” and slapping five a lot. Also, dunking.

The game footage in this one was pretty solid. I swear they showed us the entire first quarter of the championship; every missed hoop, every Biehn turnover (he was distracted), every Ned hookshot from halfcourt…it was all in there. Of course, I loved when Coach Rawlings said "fuck ethics" when she found her team down twenty points. As soon as she screams out “jabberwocky” Ned starts teen wolfing his way up and down the court, swatting shots, stuffing home balls, probably causing irreversible brain damage. Win at all costs I guess. The final montage of game action is completely indecipherable….I’ve never seen so many misses in the final two minutes in my life. Finally, there’s Biehn…no time left, on the foul line…tie game. Will he choke? Who gives a shit? He gets to go home and bang the coach.


Sam said...

I can never remember, does Goldie Hawn sleep with anyone in Wildcats? Does Whoopi Goldberg in that movie where she coaches the Knicks?

brian said...

As a fan of the Knicks, that movie you reference with Whoopi Goldberg never happened. Same thing goes for the Isiah years.

I can't remember if Goldie hooked up with Woody Harrelson or Wesley Snipes or both? Nipsey Russel?

F-Stop said...


Please never let me hear you use the words "my favorite stallion" again. Under any circumstances. I don't care if we're standing knee deep in horse shit at the time.

Anonymous said...

Coach - I remember that movie in high school. Loved Michael Biehn in it & then he was later in one of my favorite movies The Terminator.