This is one of those old moralistic JD movies that pretend to warn youngsters away from the sort of behaviors the films so clearly revel in. TEENAGE MOTHER presents itself as a sex hygiene movie, a dam of enlightenment against the ever-growing flood of teenage pregnancy; and as you might expect, it delivers all kinds of antiquated, campy thrills. I'm not saying it's a good movie, but under certain conditions films like this can be obscenely entertaining.After a solid hour of perils-of-youth nonsense, TEENAGE MOTHER eventually--and quite abruptly--turns out to be a far more educational experience than anybody in their proper mind could wish for. More on this later. Arlene Farber (of I DRINK YOUR BLOOD) stars as a petulant high school student running with the wrong crowd: tough greasers who don't know a dang thing about contraception. She's going to get into trouble! She simply isn't listening to the sage wisdom of the school's new female sex-ed teacher, who was imported from Sweden(!) for the express purpose of educating randy American teens.
Wasn't 1968 a little late for this kind of leering "educational" piece? This movie is so pleased with itself for daring to discuss S-E-X that it nearly plunges headlong into REEFER MADNESS territory. (Maybe the Sixties generation really did believe that it had discovered screwing.) The main difference is that TEENAGE MOTHER takes a determinedly "progressive" view of its hot-button issue. How progressive? Toward the end of this movie, after an awful lot of mediocre acting and Sharks-and-Jets baloney, we're suddenly treated to an actual childbirth film. It's one of the most horrifying sights I've ever seen. I'm not a prude about these matters, but seeing a live baby yanked out of the hatch with a pair of forceps basically destroyed my faith in the Miracle of Birth. Let's just say we all come from very humble beginnings.
I can't imagine what it was like to visit the local drive-in theatre back in 1968 and find yourself watching this. Remember, this was the year before MIDNIGHT COWBOY got an X rating, and TWO years before you could see porno movies in anything resembling a real theatre. I bet a lot of couples decided NOT to climb into the back seat, after all.But I have to admit it's a damn good way of getting the message across.