Reform School Girls
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (July 2008)|
|Reform School Girls|
Reform School Girls DVD cover
|Directed by||Tom DeSimone|
|Produced by||Jack Cummins
|Written by||Tom DeSimone
Daniel Arthur Wray
Wendy O. Williams
|Music by||Dan Siegel|
|Edited by||Michael Spence|
|Distributed by||Anchor Bay Entertainment
New World Pictures
|Release date(s)||August 22, 1986|
|Running time||94 min.|
Reform School Girls is a 1986 American film directed by Tom DeSimone, starring Wendy O. Williams, Pat Ast, and Sybil Danning. It depicts a reform school for girls that is operated by a sadistic and evil warden, Sutter, and her henchwoman Edna.
The film is a satire of the women in prison film genre and deliberately implements many of the tropes commonly found in such films. Such scenes include nude shower scenes, fight scenes, and a suggested romantic relationship between one of the inmates and an administrator. The overall plot involves a new influx of girls coming to the school. They are immediately confronted with Charlie Chambliss (Wendy O. Williams) who is the de facto leader of the school and has an exceedingly close relationship with the head of the ward, Edna (Pat Ast). Charlie and her circle are given special privileges by Edna and it is suggested that Charlie and Edna enjoy a more intimate relationship. Charlie runs a secret society of girls who are loyal to her and to whom she offers protection. The two main new girls break several of Edna's rules and are punished decisively for their infractions.
Jenny (Linda Carol) comes to the school after becoming mixed up in a shoot out. When she and another group of girls arrive, they are forced to strip naked in front of the prison nurse and then take a shower, while being informed that they will be "inspected inside and out." Afterwards, they are forced to stand naked along a wall while the nurse sprays them with DDT delousing fluid. At one point while being deloused, the nurse tells the girls to "bend over...spread them wide", suggesting that the girls will be given their cavity checks.
Jenny tries to break out after befriending a male driver with whom she has a romantic encounter in the back of his truck. She makes arrangements that he will drive her off the premises but is discovered by a guard and after a scuffle she is apprehended and immediately cast into isolation. Lisa (Sherri Stoner) is a runaway who is captured and placed in the reform school. She suffers several losses while at the school including her stuffed bunny and a cat she tends to which was originally found while the girls were out performing hard labor. The cat is discovered by Edna in the dorms and she chases it until finally stomping it to death. Lisa is punished with isolation. After the death of her cat, Lisa attempts to climb to the top of the tower, followed closely by Edna. When she reaches the top she stumbles backward as Edna confronts her, breaks through the barriers and falls to her death. This causes Jenny to smash through a window which starts a riot which is only quelled when Warden Sutter (Sybil Danning) shoots a shotgun into the ceiling.
The film culminates in a protest scene after Dr. Norton (Charlotte McGinnis), a psychiatrist, forces a meeting of administrators over the conditions and treatment of inmates at the school. She intended to have Jenny testify but a doctor determines, despite all evidence to the contrary, that she is ill and will not be able to attend. Therefore, four other inmates are chosen and none of them has any complaints. During the meeting Jenny knocks out a guard and steals her keys which allows all the girls to march out into the main open area and voice their grudges. Edna, however, gets a hold of a gun and opens fire on them. Edna shoots Charlie and climbs up the tower from which Sutter has broadcast religious-oriented messages as the girls are going to sleep. Charlie climbs a fence and commandeers a school bus which she drives toward the tower with Edna standing at the top. Just before impact, Charlie leaps from the bus and it explodes as it hits the tower. The scorched body of Edna tumbles to the ground and many of the girls cheer. Charlie crawls and before she dies shouts out, "See you in hell!" to Edna. The final scene shows Jenny released and getting into a cab. She waves at Dr. Norton, who is implied to be in charge of the new, more benevolent order at the school, and three other girls who are still incarcerated.
Jenny and Lisa both undergo a lot of the stereotypical forms of humiliation in the reform school. Such scenes include:
- both having to go through a complete strip search and group shower in the beginning of the movie
- both being constantly physically beaten by Edna and in fights with Charlie
- Jenny being forced to do extra hard labor in the hard sun and being denied food and water
- both being locked in solitary confinement
- Lisa being branded by Charlie and her gang in the bathroom
- Jenny forced to strip completely naked so that Edna can spray extremely cold water on her from a fire hose