Satan’s School For Girls (1973/Cheezy Flicks DVD)
C- Sound: C- Extras: C- Telefilm: B-
they don’t get shown as much as they should, the original wave of TV movies (or
telefilms) from the late 1960s to late 1970s may have offered some silly
product, but also offered some fine films that would easily find an audience if
released today. This includes Horror
genre work and after the highly influential Night Stalker (1972) and Night
Strangler (1973) films, David Lowell Rich’s original 1973 version of Satan’s School For Girls is one of the
best TV movies of its kind ever made.
Yes, it was remade and very badly.
original has a young woman (Terry Lumley) riding a car at high speed trying to
get away… from something. She is trying
to reach her sister Elizabeth (the underrated Pamela Franklin, a longtime
actress who was a very hot guest star on many hit TV shows at the time and
appeared in features like The Innocents,
The Nanny, And Soon The Darkness, The
Prime Of Miss Jean Brody and Legend
Of Hell House) but it is too late, so her sister decides to investigate
where she was going to school.
befriends Roberta (Kate Jackson) and stars to meet all kinds of people at the
school. This includes other students at
the all girls school (including Jody Keller, played by Cheryl Ladd still going
by Cheryl Stoppelmoor when she was voicing cartoons like Josie & the Pussycats), the headmistress (Joan Van Fleet), a
very strict professor (Lloyd Bochner) and Dr. Clampett (Roy Thinnes). What is going on at the school? How do dead bodies keep turning up? Why are young ladies suddenly freaking out
Arthur A. Ross had written extensively on Alfred Hitchcock’s anthology show and
other mystery/action shows like Mr. Lucky,
Peter Gunn and Mannix, so he knew what he was doing. From the Leonard Goldberg/Aaron Spelling
company that was on the upswing with hits all over the place, the film was a
hit and is one of those few TV movies of the time people still talk about. It actually lives up to its reputation for
being suspenseful, well written, well acted and well made.
has a cast that has appreciated with age, but also reminds us how great TV once
was and despite increased budgets and all the effects in the world, the remake
was a disaster and other telefilms in the genre since have been mostly very
forgettable and disposable. I am glad
Cheezy Flicks chose to issue it in any form because it deserves a new audience,
so if the owners of the original materials (likely Sony) will not issue it and
it is public domain, than we’ll have this until they do a special edition.
X 1 image is very soft from this older transfer, which looks like a bad analog
tape copy off of what is probably very good-looking 35mm film as shot by
Director of Photography Tim Southcott, who did much good work for
Spelling/Goldberg. The PCM 2.0 16/48
Mono is also a few generations down, distorted and could sound better if
someone has the original soundmasters.
Laurence Rosenthal delivers a really good music score too. Extras include trailers for other Cheezy
Flicks releases and Intermission shorts to promote concession stand product.
- Nicholas Sheffo