Reform School Girls

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Reform School Girls
Reform School Girls poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byTom DeSimone
Written by
  • Tom DeSimone
  • Jack Cummins
  • Daniel Arthur Wray
Produced by
  • Jack Cummins
  • Leo Angelos
CinematographyHoward Wexler
Edited byMichael Spence
Music byDan Siegel
  • Balcor Film Investors
  • International Cinevision Productions
Distributed byNew World Pictures
Release date
  • August 22, 1986 (1986-08-22) (United States)
Running time
94 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$2,510,433[1]

Reform School Girls is a 1986 American prison black comedy film, written and directed by Tom DeSimone.[2] It stars Linda Carol, Wendy O. Williams, Pat Ast, Sybil Danning and Sherri Stoner, and depicts the story of a young girl (played by Carol) who is sent to a reform school for girls that is operated by a sadistic and evil warden. She also has to deal with the local bully (Williams).

After directing two other women in prison films, Prison Girls (1972) and The Concrete Jungle (1982), DeSimone decided to make a film that would be a spoof of the genre. The role of Warden Sutter in the original script was a man. Producers wanted Danning to play the character of Edna, but DeSimone thought she wasn't good for that part so he changed the role of Warden Sutter to a woman and had Danning play that role instead.

The film received mostly negative reviews from critics.[3]


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, who is the de facto leader of the school and has an exceedingly close relationship with the head of the ward, Edna. 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 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 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 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 later 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, where Edna forces her to strip naked before using a firehose to spray her with cold water. Lisa is a runaway who is captured and placed in the reform school, here Jenny is confronted by Charlie and inevitably results in a fight, Jenny is swiftly overwhelmed and left lightly hurt in-front of the other girls, 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 shoots a shotgun into the ceiling.

The film culminates in a protest scene after Dr. Norton, 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.



The soundtrack for the film was released by Rhino Records. It contains four songs by Wendy O. Williams; "It's My Life", "Bad Girl", "Goin' Wild", and the title song "Reform School Girls" recorded for the film.


  1. ^ Reform School Girls at Box Office Mojo
  2. ^ "Reform School Girls". TCM database. Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved February 25, 2016.
  3. ^ Goldstein, Patrick (August 29, 1986). "Movie Review : Parody Fails In 'Reform School Girls". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 6, 2015.

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