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Reform School Girls

USA 1986
produced by
Jack Cummins, Leo Angelos (executive), Gregory Hinton (executive) for New World Pictures, International Cinevision, Balcor Film Investors
directed by Tom DeSimone
starring Linda Carol, Wendy O.Williams, Pat Ast, Sybil Danning, Charlotte McGinnis, Sherri Stoner, Denise Gordy, Laurie Schwartz, Tiffany Helm, Darcy DeMoss, Andrea Darnell, Robin Watkins, Winifred Freedman, Jim Staskel, Fred D.Scott, Lorrie Marlow, Daniel Arthur Way, Alicia Shonte, Jon H.Epstein
written by Tom DeSimone, music by Dan Siegel

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Jennifer (Linda Carol) and Lisa (Sherri Stoner) are the new girls in a women's prison, and while Lisa always seems to be at the edge of breaking down, Jennifer is tough as nails from day one, and immediately butts heads with the prison warden Edna (Pat Ast) and her favourite inmate Charlie (Wendy O.Williams) - even if all Jennifer wants is fair treatment for all the convicts.

Jennifer soon finds an open ear with prison psychiatrist Doc Norton (Charlotte McGinnis), but soon enough has to learn the good doctor is all talk and simply can't put up with warden Edna or the prison's head Sutter (Sybil Danning) ... and Edna as well as Sutter want to break Jennifer, so they use every excuse to put her into solitary or hand out harsh punishments ... and mostly, Jennifer provides those excuses herself, since she is always on the brink of starting a fight, smuggles a kittie into the prison (which is strictly forbidden), and once even tries to break out.

After Edna has finally managed to break Lisa, Lisa throws herself off the prisons watchtower, but when Doc Norton wants to file a report to the commission, she is only fired, but before she goes she ensures Jennifer to be her witness in  a hearing ... which of course Edna and Sutter can't allow, so before the hearing, they put Jennifer into solitary and brutally torture her ... instead they provide the commission with a few witnesses loyal to them.

And they would have gotten through with it too, had not Jennifer somehow gotten out of solitary and started a prison riot ... which the commission doesn't take easily to - especially when Edna shows her true colours as the sadistic warden that she is ...

In the end though, Edna dies on top of a burning watchtower, Doc Norton is reinstalled as prison psychiatrist, whatever happens to Sutter is not clear, and Jennifer is released ... probably as a thank you for starting a prison riot.

 

Nothing much new in this women in prison flick, actually it's pretty much same old same old from beginning to end, and it contains nothing we haven't seen better, rougher, more explicite or more imaginative elsewhere ... still, there are much worse women in prison flicks out there. Also, none of the actresses is really good: Linda Carol just looks too darn cute (in a conventional way) to come off as tough-as-nails, Wendy O.Williams - despite ahving a great body and wearing very little throughout the film - looks a tad too old for her role, Pat Ast overacts with gusto but is too much of a caricature to convince, and Sybil Danning is just given too little to do to show what a bitch she can be.

What makes this one kind of endearing though is the fact that it refuses to take itself too seriously, and is so blunt in some scenes (e.g. when Jennifer first enters the dorm and all the girls are in lingerie) that one can't help giggling.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
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a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
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tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
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Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
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Out now from
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD