• Reform School Girls (Umbrella Entertainment) DVD Review

    Released by: Umbrella Entertainment
    Released on: June 5th, 2019.
    Director: Tom DeSimone
    Cast: Linda Carol, Sybil Danning, Wendy O. Williams, Pat Ast, Sherri Stoner
    Year: 1986
    Purchase From Amazon

    Reform School Girls – Movie Review:

    Tom DeSimone’s 1986 film, Reform School Girls, takes place in and around the Pridemore Juvenile Facility, a detention facility that winds up being the new home of pretty, young Jenny Williams (Linda Carol), a new recruit sent to the slammer for the first time when she helps her loser boyfriend on an unsuccessful robbery. Pridemore is run by Warden Sutter (Sybil Danning), a ridiculously rigid woman who does everything in her power and then some to keep her inmates in line. Her right-hand woman is Edna (Pat Ast). She’s a bit of a sadist but if you’re nice to her in the ways she wants, she’s nice in return. Cross her and you’re in trouble.

    Jenny quickly learns the ins and outs of prison life. She befriends Lisa (Sherri Stoner), another new addition to the prison’s population, who isn’t adjusting to life behind bars very well at all. Soon enough, these two run into and cross Charlie Chambliss (the late Plasmatics frontwoman Wendy O. Williams!), which proves to be a bad move. Charlie is, in many ways, the one who is really running the show here and when they don’t abide by her sapphic rules, she turns her small army of lingerie clad ladies against them! Eventually, this being a woman-in-prison film after all, Jenny and her friends decide it’s time to launch an escape plan, but of course, that won’t be easy at all.

    “So young… So Bad… So What”?

    Reform School Girls is a lot of good, trashy fun. It plays as more of a send up of women-in-prison movies than a more serious entry but Simone makes sure that it gives the audience what it wants. There’s lots of nudity here and plenty of sleazy action too. The weaker girls are put through the ringer by the rougher and tougher ones, and if it doesn’t do much to break any new ground, it does what it does quite well. This is fast paced, trashy and plenty entertaining.

    Director Simone is known in other circles as Lancer Brooks, a prolific director of gay porn but he also worked on Chatterbox, Hell Night and Angel III before then segueing into a TV career where he directed some episodes of Freddy’s Nightmares and Swamp Thing. He directs the film well, ensuring that it’s never dull and that our interest is held from start to finish. He also gets some pretty good work out of his cast. Sybil Danning is underused to a noticeable degree, meaning she was probably paid more than the others, but what the movie lacks in Sybil it makes up for with crazy Pat Ast (who popped up in Andy Warhol’s Heat) and, of course, the inimitable Wendy O. Williams. If Williams has trouble passing for a teenager in this one, it never matters, because she chews the scenery with so much passion that you kind of forgot about the fact that she was pushing forty when this movie was made.

    Reform School Girls – DVD Review:

    Reform School Girls looks just fine framed at 1.78.1 widescreen on this DVD. While obviously a Blu-ray would have been preferable this is a more than solid standard definition offering. Colors look good, the source used for the transfer was evidently in quite nice shape, and black levels are decent.

    The English language Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono track is also fine. Dialogue is easy to understand and follow and there are no problems with any hiss or distortion. Levels are properly balanced. There are no subtitles provided on the disc.

    There are no extras on the disc.

    Reform School Girls – The Final Word:

    Reform School Girls really is a bit of a camp trash classic. It offers up the requisite tease and sleaze and features some killer performances and an equally killer soundtrack. Umbrella’s DVD release is barebones but it looks and sounds just fine, no problems here at all. In a perfect world, this’ll get a special edition Blu-ray at some point but until then, with the U.S. disc long out of print, this is an easy one to recommend.