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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Satan's School For Girls (1973) - Horror Cult

Satan's School for Girls (1973) - This made for TV movie is more of a good name than a good film. The film opens with Martha Sayers (Terry Lumley) running for her life, driving a car through the hills of California. The music is heavy and suspenseful and she is obviously terrified. She makes her way to her sisters place but when she knocks on the door no one answers. Turning she is falsely scared when the caretaker is there with the key to the house. She just starts to feel a bit safer when she turns towards the camera, there is someone there and she recognizes whom ever it is. She screams! Her sister Elizabeth (Pamela Franklin) returns to the house and finds her sister hanged in the living room.
After the police rule it a suicide even though Elizabeth is sure that it can't be?, she enrolls in the same boarding school her sister attended to investigate what the conditions that could drive her sister to such an end. The school the Salem School for Girls has a headmistress (Jo Van Fleet) and aparently two professors, the psychology Prof. Delecroix (Lloyd Bochner) and Prof Clampett (Roy Thinnes) but I really don't know what class he was teaching. The rest of the cast are actresses playing students and include two "Charlie's Angels", Roberta (Kate Jackson) and Jody (Cheryl Ladd). They make fast friends of Elizabeth when she arrives.
I am not going to take a lot of time with this film, a good deal of the investigation Elizabeth does is useless and consists of her walking around the school when the power goes off. Eventually she and Roberta realize that the headmistress knew about a suicide before it actually happened. They need to talk to the cops but first for some reason they need to go back to the creepy dark cellar room they found earlier. When they arrive there the big turn happens and we learn Roberta is part of a cult. She and six other girls are going to sacrifice themselves so the devil can grow in power on the earth. The problem is that seventh girl they need, like Martha the next girl also chose not to die for the devil and had to be made to look like a suicide so she would not tell the authorities. The devil, and boy this is not a spoiler if you struggled this far through this film is Prof Clampett. He wants Elizabeth to be his seventh. Instead she burns down the school and leaves and he fades so we know you can't kill the Devil. Whatever....
This is such a television movie and so from the seventies. Bell bottoms and jeans up above the belly button, over use of music and the built in fade to blacks for commercials. Kate Jackson is a bit cardboard and story is crap. Our Lead doe eyed Pamela Franklin does her best but she has such a poorly written part that the extent of her acting is to walk around the school in the dark.
Rating (2.6) 5.0 and up are recommended

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