Satan's School For Girls (2000) Horror Movie Review
Horror movies Review
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.
About Satan's School For Girls (2000)
Starring: Pamela Franklin, Kate Jackson, Lloyd Bochner, Jamie Smith-Jackson, Roy Thinnes
Runtime: 75 minutes
Director: David Lowell Rich