When the films included in Roger Corman’s Best of the B’s, Collection 2: Naughty Nurses & Tawdry Teachers were made, in 1970-1975, home VCRs were rare and DVDs didn’t exist. Films like these had modest budgets ($120,000 for The Student Nurses), breakneck schedules (The Student Teachers was shot in 15 days), and the briefest of shelf lives. Other than screenings on TV, most B movies—low budget quickies made to play as the lesser half of double features—were never seen by the public after their original theatrical runs, and it seems unlikely these soft core features ever aired again. (Corman, by the way, claims not to have made bottom-of-the-bill B movies, describing his work as “low-budget exploitation films.”)
Following last year’s first Best of the B’s Corman collection, Hot Bikes, Cool Cars & Bad Babes, this four-DVD box collects seven films made for Roger Corman’s New World Pictures production company. Given the ephemeral nature of these films, it is sort of remarkable that Night Call Nurses, for instance, exists in any form. Either existing prints of these early '70s flicks are in deplorable shape or, most likely, they were reproduced from inferior sources, possibly even VHS tape. The digital transfers range from surprisingly decent, for The Student Nurses, to barely watchable, on the washed-out, gauzy looking Private Duty Nurses. There are lots of contrast problems, with scenes either too dark or so oversaturated that it’s impossible to discern the action.
And, oh, is there action.
Corman’s nurse and teacher films each have three or four young women in the title vocations, each with her own storyline, all of which had to play out between the frequent outbursts of nudity that were the movies’ true raison d’être. As he explained to Jonathan Kaplan, the director of this set’s Night Call Nurses, Corman’s formula for these films was “exploitation of male sexual fantasy, a comedic subplot, action and violence, and a slightly left-of-center subplot . . . and then frontal nudity from the waist up, total nudity from behind, no pubic hair, and get the title in the film somewhere."