Reform School Girls Movie Review

Reform School Girls

So Young... so bad... so what?
Reform School Girls Picture


Linda Carol, Wendy O. Williams, Pat Ast, Sybil Danning

Charlotte McGinnis, Sherri Stoner, Denise Gordy, Laurie Schwartz, Tiffany Helm, Darcy DeMoss Update Cast

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This movie was in part based on the 1951 prison drama "Caged", which also featured an overweight warden and a kitten.

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Jenny (Carol) is a dangerous yet innocent spirit. A mixture of girlish fear and womanly toughness, she was leading a pretty good life until she got busted in a robbery. Now she's headed up the river and she may not get back out.

Out of where? Pridemore Juvenile Facility For Girls, a dangerous reform school where the treatment is very harsh and the fear is at peak levels. On the way to punishment, she meets the fragile Lisa (Stoner), a girl with her eyes in the headlights and a stuffed toy bunny as her only companion. They and a group of other hard girls empty out at Pridemore for what will be one of the scariest times of their lives.

Right off the bat, they're stripped and deloused with DDT, then forced to hand over their possessions. This scares Lisa, but she's allowed to keep her doll until she and the other girls meet...

Edna (Ast). A nasty, overweight punisher, she is abusive to her charges and constantly overeating. If you can remain on her good side, good for you. If you're on her bad side, you might as well toss in the towel. Edna isn't the nastiest gal in the place, though. That honor goes to the foul-mouthed, hardcore, always-ready-for-a-fight Charlie Chambliss (Williams). The muscular and lingerie-clad lady is pure toughness. The instant she sees Lisa, a fight breaks out. Since Charlie is on Edna's good side, nothing bad happens to her. Lisa, on the other hand, is given a thorough deconstruction.

Who else is on staff? Warden Sutter (Danning), a cold-hearted martinet who brandishes a nightstick and a foul mouth for the nasty girls in the pen. The only person of any goodness in the entire facility is Dr. Norton (McGinnis), a lady who will offer you a cigarette and a good listen to your stories. Needless to say, she'll be getting lots of mileage out of Jenny and Lisa.

Living their days making license plates and nights in wide-eyed fear, Jenny and Lisa hope that truth will avenge them from bible readings by Sutter, beatings by Charlie and all-around cruelty from Edna.

Fights are breaking out all over the place, and Jenny and Lisa need comfort of any kind. Lisa is perpetually freaked out as a result of a lifetime spent in these kinds of places, and the only thing that's gone with her all over the land is her toy bunny. That, needless to say, meets its doom soon enough as a result of Edna burning it. Jenny is doing better in the comfort department, having met a prison employee who, while not the most handsome fellow, is cute enough for her. Jenny is also in possession of a cute kitten found during hard labor in the Californian sun.

The worm soon turns with both of these things, as the trucker, promising Jenny an escape, instead sends her back to prison for another brutal beating. Lisa, meanwhile, is branded by Charlie, her arch-nemesis during the entire time.

Why haven't I spoken much of Charlie? It's because she's just an indescribable anti-authoritarian with a rough edge. She has her own plans in store to turn the place upside down.

Dr. Norton has been studying up on Jenny, and is ready to get Jenny's side of the robbery story. Will it work? In the end, it will, but it presently only serves to get Dr. Norton in trouble.

Framed for starting a fight with Charlie, Lisa is sent to solitary confinement. The kitten? Well, I'll be blunt...the kitten is stomped to death by Edna, who is starting to let Charlie loose. This will be seen as a betrayal on Edna's part, leading to a brutal climax.

Lisa, breaking out of confinement, tries to climb the loudspeaker tower to escape but instead plunges to her death. One down, more to go.

Trouble, taunting,'s all reached a breaking point, and now the girls are running riot. Dismantling school property, beating authorities, screaming for justice...One by one, they die. Edna? Dead. Dr. Norton? Killed before delivering her report. Charlie? The anti-authoritarian/oldest teen at the school meets her death by riding a school bus through a fence, then dying in the flaming aftermath.

In the end, Jenny is the last woman standing. Her record and testimonies are examined, and she is freed. Knowing the tortures of Pridemore, she values her freedom and hopes never to return.

Author: John Edward KilduffUpdate This Review


Serious description, right? Maybe, but the movie is anything but.

This is satirical on a high level, loaded with campy and tasteless dialogue, many eye-catching ladies and great scenes of violence. The cast of B-movie talents and unknowns have fun with the material.

The movie does require a suspension of disbelief, though. This is truly a "check-your-brain-at-the-door" experience.

Funny dialogue, hot women, and a 'don't take it seriously' bent...
If you think this is a straight prison drama, you'll be disappointed. Also, Wendy O. Williams as a teenager definitely requires a suspension of disbelief.

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The Movie Data

Key Crew

Director: Tom DeSimone
Writer: Jack Cummins, Tom DeSimone, Daniel Arthur Wray
Producers: Leo Angelos, Jack Cummins, Gregory Hinton, Kathy Lee Kennedy, Charles Skouras III
Locations Manager: Bill Berry

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Release Date: 22 Aug 1986
MPAA Rating: R
Studio: New World Pictures
Production: Balcor Film Investors, International Cinevision Productions, New World Pictures
Genre: Action / Adventure

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The Movie Trailer
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1986 New World Pictures
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