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Category:    Home > Reviews > Horror > Thriller > Mystery > Telefilm > TV > Satan’s School For Girls (1973/Cheezy Flicks DVD)

Satan’s School For Girls (1973/Cheezy Flicks DVD)


Picture: C-     Sound: C-     Extras: C-     Telefilm: B-



Because 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.


The 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.


There she 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 and panicking?


Writer 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.


It also 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.


The 1.33 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


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