Imagine coming home from a hard day of driving a muscle car and looking like a poor-man’s Shirley Feeney to find your flaxen-haired and much hotter younger sister hanging from the rafters in the foyer of your locked house. Would you accept the official police explanation that it was a suicide, or would you get all Nancy Drew and secretly enroll yourself as a student at your late sister’s private school to get the bottom of her mysterious death? If you choose the latter, then you should be able to easily identify with plucky Elizabeth Sayers (PAMELA FRANKLIN) as she goes under cover at the esteemed Salem Academy for Women in the AARON SPELLING and LEONARD GOLDBERG-produced T.V. movie SATAN’S SCHOOL FOR GIRLS.
Upon arriving at the school, Elizabeth is greeted by a gaggle of seemingly friendly girls including Roberta (KATE JACKSON), Debbie (JAMIE SMITH-JACKSON), and Jody (CHERYL LADD) who ply her with booze and fill her in on which instructor is dreamy, painting teacher Professor Clampett (ROY THINNES), and which is a creepy jerk, behavioral psychology teacher Professor Delecroix (LLOYD BOCHNER). Elizabeth then has a sit down with the stern headmistress Mrs. Williams (Oscar winner JO VAN FLEET) who presents her with an oil lamp since the old-timey wiring at the school is notorious for instigating (foreshadowing alert!) power outages.
Elizabeth throws herself into the two courses taught by the two, aforementioned teachers, and quickly learns that, sure enough, the psychology teacher is a total creep, which makes him prime suspect numero uno in the death of her sister. The wavy-haired painting professor, on the other hand, is a total hottie, and Elizabeth isn’t even remotely suspicious of the underage wine parties he hosts for his students. A series of suicides rock the campus, and the psychology professor looks even more suspect to Elizabeth, especially after she encounters him holding a gun in his classroom and babbling incoherently. The misunderstood Professor Delecroix doesn’t make it past the next scene, so that just leaves one other faculty member to blame for all the deaths (Hint: It’s the hot art teacher). Conveniently enough, the power goes out in the midst of an ensuing campus evacuation while the headmistress has the mother of all regressive breakdowns, and Elizabeth finds herself going toe-to-toe with Professor Clampett, a.k.a. the Dark Lord himself, and a gaggle of Satanic school girls in white night gowns. Thankfully, Elizabeth is packing her handy oil lamp, which she uses to torch the school and presumably murder her mortal classmates. Satan, of course, escapes unscathed, leaving room for a yet-to-be made sequel.
- The opening chase sequence of Elizabeth’s late sister Martha
- Debbie’s panic attack/shit fit in the hallway after a particularly grueling behavioral psych class
- All the scenes with the extra wearing the sexy Pisces sweatshirt
- Headmistress VAN FLEET overacts her way through nervous breakdown
- FRANKLIN‘s restrained reaction shots
Cheryl Ladd and Kate Jackson? From devils to angels.
There was an inferior remake of this in 2000 that starred Shannen Doherty and Julie Benz. The cool part about it was that Kate Jackson came back to play the dean of the school.
Love, love, LOVE this movie. Truly I do. It’s a lot of fun and uses the old school traditions to add suspense.Â It’s a lot of fun and yeah, that Thinnes. Dude was a hottie.
Another great review!