Satan’s School for Girls is a short little chiller directed by David Lowell Rich for television back in 1973. As evidenced by the title, Satan play’s a part in the film, perhaps not so large as others, but the Lord of Darkness is present and he has a need for young women. Starring Pamela Franklin, Kate Jackson, Cheryl Ladd and Roy Thinnes as Dr. Clampett/Satan, the movie turned out to be quite captivating if a little dated, with some decent performances by all, more specifically by Franklin.
The picture finds Elizabeth’s sister Martha murdered, or at least that is what she believes. The police say it was suicide, but Elizabeth will not accept it and thus decides to do an investigation on her own at The Salem Academy for Women. It is there that she finds things not being exactly as they seem, with strange paintings and stranger actions by the people at the school. Eventually things start to spiral out of control and Elizabeth finds herself betrayed and running head-on into evil.
Made-for-television movies are interesting for the fact that the censors were far more strict when this film came out, meaning the movie had to be more creative in getting the horror across to the viewer. There was no blood or guts or nudity or anything extreme whatsoever to be had, instead the producers which included Aaron Spelling and writer Arthur A. Ross used suspense and tension as their tools, not to mention a decent script to do so. Even harder would be the fact that the movie would break for commercials, effectively cutting off whatever momentum the movie had going and the makers of the film having to build it all up repeatedly. Suffice it to say, it worked and while it is not the scariest film ever, even by the standards of 1973, you found yourself engrossed in it nonetheless. It also did not hurt that the young ladies present were stars on the rise with Ladd and Jackson soon to become Charlie’s Angels, the latter having appeared in Dark Shadows and Franklin already an established movie actress.
If one were to seek it out, Satan’s School For Girls would provide some decent entertainment but it is not really one of those must-see films that would even warrant having been looked for. It is good yes, but worth only to catch if it were playing on T.V. or if one was a major fan of the actresses within.
3 out of 5