• Satan’s School For Girls

    Released by: Cheezy Flicks
    Released on: October 20, 2009.
    Director: David Lowell Rich
    Cast: Kate Jackson, Cheryl Ladd, Lloyd Rochner, Jamie Smith-Jackson
    Year: 1973
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    The Movie:

    Directed by David Lowell Rich in 1973, Satan’s School For Girls was a made for TV movie that has wound up finding some legs on home video probably thanks in no small part to its awesome and trashy sounding title. The fact is, though, that yeah, this was made for network TV broadcast in 1973, so it’s only going to get so sleazy… in fact it’s fairly tame even by the standards of the day but it does manage to jump on the seventies occult movie bandwagon and offer up a couple of Charlie’s Angels starlets in the process.

    The film follows a young lady named Elizabeth Sayers (Pamela Franklin) whose sister, Martha (Terry Lumley), has evidently committed suicide at the girls’ school she was enrolled in, The Fallbridge College For Girls. She figures something isn’t right about the situation and so she heads there to investigate. Once she arrives on the scene, she meets a few of her late sister’s fellow students (including future Charlie’s Angels Kate Jackson and Cheryl Ladd) as well as the strange head mistress (Jo Van Fleet) who runs the show. A few more suicides later and it becomes increasingly obvious that evil is afoot – but if you didn’t know that going in you obviously didn’t read the title of the movie beforehand. It turns out that an elite group of occultists known as The Five are up to no good and doing the devil’s work!

    Produced by Aaron Spelling (who would make Jackson and Ladd superstars when he brought Charlie’s Angels to the air a few years later), Satan’s School For Girls won’t chill you to the bone but it is a fun and occasionally atmospheric slice of seventies made for TV filmmaking. Franklin, who is far too often freakishly shrill when it comes time to portray fear, is otherwise a pretty good lead here and it’s fun to see the two future TV stars pop up in decent sized supporting roles. They don’t exude the sex appeal they would later be famous for but hey, the movie doesn’t really call for it.

    The film is fairly predictable, and as stated the title gives away pretty much everything that you’d need to know about the finale before the movie even starts, but as a time killer you could certainly do a lot worse. The finale is actually fairly atmospheric and while the movie has ‘fad cash in’ written all over it, at least it does what it does well. A classic? No, not a classic, but if you like supernatural seventies horror and don’t necessarily need the more explicit content that this film’s R-rated theatrical counterparts bring to the screen, you can certainly have a good time at the movies with this one.


    Satan’s School For Girls looks to have been taken from a tape source rather than any sort of film elements but despite the sometimes washed out picture and soft image detail, it’s watchable enough. It looks like a good VHS tape rather than a proper DVD transfer but colors fare well.

    The Dolby Digital Mono audio track, in English with no alternate language options or subtitles provided, is sometimes a bit muffled sounding and prone to the occasional pop here and there but it’s audible. Does it sound good? No, but you’ll be able to follow the dialogue and in turn, follow the storyline.

    Extras are slim here, limited to some intermission spots taken from old drive-in bits, trailers for a few other Cheezy Flicks releases, a text screen providing some information about the company, static menus and chapter stops. But dig that cover art – is it just me or did they rip off Venom’s At War With Satan cover art? It takes balls to rip off Cronos!

    The Final Word:

    The presentation isn’t going to win any awards, but then again, neither is the movie. That said, Satan’s School For Girls, as tame as it may be given the expectations that the salacious title promises, is entertaining enough in a disposable sort of way. Fans of seventies made for TV movies will probably enjoy it more than casual movie buffs but it does manage to conjure up some atmosphere towards the finish and hey, it’s got Kate Jackson and Cheryl Ladd in it.

    Comments 3 Comments
    1. Dave Starry's Avatar
      Dave Starry -
      Reason #1 why the 70s were so great: There was a made for network TV movie called "Satan's School For Girls".Whenever I look at this DVD cover, I can't help but think of Venom's "At War With Satan" LP.
    1. Horace Cordier's Avatar
      Horace Cordier -
      Me too Dave. This is a prime slice of 70's cheese and an essential flick for connoisseurs of the original CHARLIE'S ANGELS.
    1. Dave Starry's Avatar
      Dave Starry -
      I just went back and re-read this and realized that Ian mentioned the Venom connection in the review. So, "duh!" on me. I think every red-blooded American adolescent boy in the 70s had a fixation on Charlie's Angels. I was grocery shopping not too long ago and saw the first season DVD set on a budget rack for only $9.99. When I went home and reported this to my wife and teenage daughter they promptly chastised me for not picking it up (which I did when I went back a couple of days later), so apparently the appeal is universal.