The Curator of Schlock #144 by Jeff Shuster
Satan’s School for Girls
(Satan has a school…and it’s for girls!)
You’re a Curator of Schlock and you don’t know how you wound up in this position, doing weekly reviews for B movies, some of which wouldn’t have passed muster for USA Up All Night back when Ronda Shear hosted it. You do a web search on her, check out her filmography, and realize she was in the sequel to Hell Comes to Frogtown, Return to Frogtown. While that sequel doesn’t feature Roddy Piper, it does star Lou Ferrigno as a Texas Rocket Ranger and the thought of Lou Ferrigno as a Texas Rocket Ranger makes you feel sorry those humorless people out there who can find no joy in Lou Ferrigno playing a Texas Rocket Ranger.
The movie you’re supposed to review this week is Satan’s School for Girls, an Aaron Spelling made-for-TV movie from 1973, obviously. Aaron Spelling is the father of Tori Spelling, who guest starred on Smallville a couple of times as a super villain who could turn into water. You think back to a simpler time, when witnessing a young Clark Kent sneeze the door off of the Kent family barn was all you needed to be happy in this world.
But you’re not here to write about Smallville, you’re here to finish off Satan Awareness Month, an excavation of lost Rosemary’s Baby or The Exorcist knockoffs. There seems to be an endless supply of these things, but you didn’t think this month’s selections through. You had Satanic covens in Manila chasing after Tom Selleck and an Italian art film that was all about the nudity. But you press on, knowing that your audience demands your thoughts on a certain school that’s run by Satan and is for girl’s only
The Amazon Prime link clearly states digitally re-mastered and you realize just how meaningless a selling point that is when you gaze upon the shoddy 70s film stock with hairs and dirt flecks and washed out colors. You remember those film studies classes you took at community college, when you were introduced to François Truffaut and Sidney Lumet. It was there that you learned of the LaserDisc player, of original aspect ratios and director’s commentaries. Oh, how much you wanted one, but LaserDiscs were expensive. You decided instead to buy one of those new fangled DVD players for five-hundred dollars. At least the discs were cheap. Your first DVD discs were Night of the Living Dead, Austin Powers, Dog Day Afternoon, and Blade Runner: The Director’s Cut. All of them claimed to be digitally remastered. All of them still look better than Satan’s School for Girls. The VHS tapes of those films look better than Satan’s School for Girls.
You notice that Roy Thinnes is in this movie as an art teacher. You’ve seen him on TV before, most notably on the short-lived Dark Shadows reboot from the early 90s. You think he must have been a soap actor. The TV movie is supposed to keep you guessing as to which teacher at the school is getting the girls to kill themselves. There’s an old-fashioned headmistress and a biology teacher running cruel experiments with mice, but Roy Thinnes ends up being the bad guy, ends up being Satan himself. He lights a Lucky while watching the school burn to the ground. Who knew Satan was a smoker?