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Home | Film Reviews | Cult Films | Film Review: Reform School Girls (1986)

Film Review: Reform School Girls (1986)


Jenny is sent to a women’s reform school. It is run by evil warden Sutter and her henchwoman Edna. Jenny will stop at nothing to escape but she also has to deal with Charlie the bully.


Fans of female prison exploitation surely have heard of this one. If not, you’ll want to add this odd little gem to “that” collection. Why you ask, well namely this is former controversial punk metal head Wendy O. William’s only real film role from what I could tell. Sure she reared her nasty head in a few other films but this is pretty much the quintessential Wendy O. Williams playing inmate Charlie Chambliss in a film that was made for her. You’ll of course notice right off the bat the Plasmatics soundtrack complete with hard rocking prison tunes that are weaved throughout the film. Wendy of course died in 1998 due to a self inflicted gunshot to the head. Her legacy is a trail of rock and roll, this film and a wikipedia article about her former stunt woman driven exploits.

But moving on, let’s get this out of the way…this is not a great film. However Wendy does bring the believable role of a tough-as-nails prison chick who doesn’t take too kindly to newbies and anyone else for that matter. Her acting is less than desired as the lines feel forced at times, whoever you get the sense that this scratchy voiced persona that spouts off at a moments notice is pretty close to the real Wendy. When newcomer Jenny (Linda Carol) arrives on the scene, Charlie greets her with the usual biker chick welcome. Though it’s Jenny who despite her cutsie image fights back and proves herself from the get go. This war of back and forth bickering is the primary main focus of this film that features more than 1 nude shower scene with several if not all of the girls and a pretty risque ensemble worn by the inmates that at times looks like they were ward robed by the local Victoria Secrets. Though with that said, this film really is aimed at a male crowd who like to see prison chick lingerie-wearing cat fights..

The 1986 era was in fact a time of several of these female prison films to arrive . They did so in a rather derivative fashion. When you get down to it, the plotlines are all rooted in the same foundation. This being cat fights, rape, a mean warden who likes the inmates way too much and a shady practice administration that seems to fear the warden enough to support her.

“Reform School Girls” is plenty full of camp and cheesy lines with a script that only serves the small purpose of getting us from one confrontation to the other. Wendy, who wears nothing more than a G-string through-out the whole film is often the center of attention whether negative or positive. Though there is no denying that this girl has been around the ringer a few times sporting a horse voice, a face that looks like its experienced way too many drugs in a lifetime and a bizarrely smashing body that still manages to present her as a worthy sex symbol of sorts.

Linda Carol has gone to several more films though mostly on the independent circuit. Tom DeSimone director of the film on the hand seems to have taken a full well rounded career in the TV circuit with several series to his name including “Freddy’s Nightmares” and “Dark Justice”. Sybil Danning who plays the beautiful but strict Warden Sutter has also kept on the horror circuit with a few more titles to her name. Though it’s Pat Ast who plays Edna that you’ll most likely recognize from odd roles over the years as the wardens assistant and prison bad girl of the film.

While the title of the film is “Reform school”, the ages of the women are more suited to a women’s prison film than what you would expect in a reform school. So title aside, its safer to call this a prison film.

“Reform School Girls” is a worthy entry into our cult films division as a must see for that era of exploitation films. Its’ fun to watch Wendy O’ Williams take on a film role is her short lived acting career and for that alone this is a keeper in the arena of rock stars appearing in films circuit.

Reform School Girls (1986)

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