A surprisingly good horror film with two of Charlie's Angels
Daniel Jolley | Shelby, North Carolina USA | 04/10/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Satan's School For Girls. The title alone conjures up all types of lurid, imaginative ideas, doesn't it? Personally, I had images of leather and whips running amuck in my brain. Okay, so it has Kate Jackson (Charlie's "intelligent" Angel) in it, but that doesn't necessarily mean that some young lady won't at least sport a tight leather outfit. Of course, all of my hopes were quickly dashed when I saw the distinctly 70's television-ish credits appear; then the name of Aaron Spelling came up, and I knew my fantasies would not be realized. As it turns out, though, this is not a problem. The movie begins with an obviously terrified young lady driving erratically and very quickly down a deserted road, seemingly trying to escape from someone or something behind her. She manages to make it to the home of her sister, but just when she thinks she is finally safe something scares her so badly her screaming mechanism overheats. When sis gets home, she finds cops outside and a dead, hanged sister inside. Liz (Pamela Frank) refuses to accept the obvious conclusion of suicide and decides to enroll herself at her sister's school, the Salem Academy For Women, and conduct an investigation of her own. At this point, I was a little worried because this movie was giving every indication of being pretty bad. Once we arrive at the creepy school run by a headmistress everyone calls "the dragon lady," though, the story quickly begins to build momentum. Liz buddies up with Roberta (Kate Jackson), Debbie (Jamie Jackson), and Jody (Cheryl Stoppelmoor). Who is Cheryl Stoppelmoor, you might ask? Well, you probably know her better as Cheryl Ladd. Yes, there are two of Charlie's Angels in this movie, and that can never be a bad thing. Anyway, Liz meets up with two teachers, one of whom seems evil and twisted from the very start. Once the report of another former student's suicide hits campus, Liz is ready to begin seriously snooping around. When she explores the basement of her dorm, she finds much more than she bargained for (ergo, the Satan reference in the title). To my surprise, this psychological horror tale of manipulation and evil is actually quite good. The plot is nowhere near as simple as you might think early on, and the whole atmosphere of the school is deliciously creepy. There is even one moment capable of producing a little jump in those lucky enough to not already be inured to such tangible effects of horror movies. The future Cheryl Ladd doesn't get nearly enough screen time, but Kate Jackson plays her part exceedingly well. The ending is something of a disappointment, I must admit, but the drama leading up to it is more than satisfying enough to leave me with a pretty high opinion of this film. If I'm not mistaken, this was actually a made-for-TV movie, and as such it is exceptional indeed. Of course, you won't find any blood and gore here, but the Gothic aspect of the tale really doesn't rely on such overt means of communicating its wickedly evil message. Satan's School For Girls really beats the odds, serving up a creepy tale worth watching more than once."
Satan must have released this DVD
Brett Heitkam | Lena, IL United States | 02/12/2001
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I saw this film on TV a few years ago and when I saw the disc, I
picked it up, knowing it wouldn't be of the highest quality. Boy, my
suspicions about quality were more than correct. Whatever you do,
avoid this DVD at all costs. Yes, this is the only way to see the
"classic" TV movie, but this disc is so riddled with flaws,
it's practically unwatchable. The video quality is almost
indescribably terrible...it looks like one of those old filmreels we
used to watch in grade school, complete with all the flecks, big black
spots that come and go, and numerous other speckles. The audio is
equally bad, sounding muffled most of the time and sometimes it's
inaudible. Unless you REALLY want this movie (since this is the only
way you can get it), don't buy it unless you can prepare yourself to
expect the worst. The only extra on the disc is a five question
trivia game that is as worthless as the rest of the package. AVOID!
5 star movie - 1 star DVD
Spootnek | OHIO | 06/02/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a great movie! I love the scene after the "rat class" when the one girl has a total breakdown, she is completely convincing & hilarious! But the DVD looks & sounds like it was mastered from a worn out rental tape! I was going to give it one star because of that, but figured people might think it was a bad movie or something! The DVD is still watchable & it's cheap enough to not really matter!"
Funny movie, horrible quality dvd
Spootnek | 06/15/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
"As someone else noted, the picture quality on this dvd is quite horrendous. It does look like a very badly worn film reel. I found the sound okay for a made for tv movie from the 70's, though, and never had difficulty understanding the dialogue.The real reason to get this, obviously, is for its high camp value. Even though some of the actors are decent, the overall production makes the entire thing silly. You gotta love the girls in hysteria scenes (the one before the first "suicide" and the second after the rat class). The score is so over the top it could be used in a parody.I do remember seeing this on tv a lot in the 70's, late at night, but this is the second "Satan" film I have purchased and I still don't think I've found the one I'm really looking for. Does anyone remember one that also features a lot of teenage girls where the girls go out to some sort of altar and chant Satanic phrases? Maybe I'm just combining Yvonne DeCarlo's chanting in "Satan's Cheerleaders" with the girls in this film, but I don't think so."
Satan's School For Girls
John Lapp | Victoria, B.C. Canada | 02/18/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Okay...this is actually a difficult review to write because of the nostalgia aspect of the movie. The picture quality of the disc is not very good. There are some scratches, marauding dust bunnies, and a big squiggly, snake-like red line that slithers from the top of the screen for about thirty seconds. When the actors move into bright sunshine most of the color evaporates into a stange purple hue. The story is also a little on the skimmpy side. But...I have to say that I enjoyed it very much. Seeing Kate Jackson and Cheryl Ladd working together before Charlie's Angels is certainly amusing as is the 70's attitudes and vernacular. Roy Thinnes, best remembered for The Invaders, is good here as a sympathetic teacher. I have given the movie three stars but it probably really rates a two; it was just so darn fun to watch it again after all these years. If you're a fan of the ABC-TV movies of the week that were shown around this time like: Gargoyles starring Cornell Wilde, The Eyes of Charles Sand starring Peter Haskell, The Night Stalker starring Darrin McGavin, The Norliss Tapes starring Roy Thinnes then you will like this in spite of its technical flaws. And hey, it's under ten bucks."