Reform School Girl
3 out of 10
N/A out of 10
Movie Details: View here
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Aimee Graham as Donna Patterson
Teresa DiSpina as Carmen Pena
Matt LeBlanc as Vince
Carolyn Seymour as Mrs. Evelyn Turnbull
Eleanor O'Brien as Angela 'Dink' Dinkens
Samaria Graham as Priscilla Wells
Marissa Ribisi as Joanie Dubois
Erin Leshawn Wiley as Mona Smith
Catherine Paolone as Matron Miriam Mather
Nick Chinlund as Dr. Ted Meeks
Lynn Eastman as Home Ec. Teacher
Dino Anello as Coach Buxbaum
Harry Northup as Uncle Charlie
Ashley Lister as Kathy Patterson
Bill Calvert as Gary
Dolby Digital Surround Sound
French and Spanish Subtitles
Running Time: 82 Minutes
This film was originally released in 1994 on television. It is a remake of a 1957 film. The following is from the DVD cover:
“This sexy story of survival is a first-rate feature about a good girl who gets caught in the wrong place at the wrong time! Pretty teenager Donna ends up taking the fall for bad boy Vince after he steals a car and mows down a pedestrian. Sentenced to an all-girl reform school and forced to leave her little sister Kathy on the outside unprotected, Donna enters a yearlong nightmare filled with abuse and scandalous liaisons! With Vince threatening to hurt Kathy if she turns him in, Donna must grow up fast if she hopes to survive and save her sister!”
Reform School Girl is rated R for language, some sexuality and nudity.
This movie was so bad it’s hard to decide where to begin.
First off, the whole tone of the film was off. I wasn’t sure if it was soft porn with toned down sex or an After School Special with profanity and breasts. Either way, it was terrible. The film is generally bright, cheery, and cheesy while trying to simultaneously act dark and gritty. For example, the opening scenes show Donna getting ready for a date while upbeat 50’s hits play in the background. As she leaves, her uncle tries to rape her. It was quite a contrast that didn’t work. Later on there’s a lesbian love scene that’s quickly followed by a lighthearted track meet. Huh? (In fact, it seemed like the director had the entire film leading up to this lesbian moment and everything else was just minor details.) This film either needed to be entirely dark and adult or entirely light and cheesy for young teens. There’s no middle ground.
The acting is pretty bad, too. It immediately becomes apparent when a young Matt LeBlanc comes in acting as a 50’s tough guy and uttering phrases like, “Daddy-O”, “It’s a gas”, “Hip Cat”, etc. It was so bad it hurt to hear it. The film is also filled with tons of other stereotypes. You have the perverted psychiatrist, the hard nosed warden, the tough black girl, the evil child molester uncle, etc etc etc. The characters couldn’t have been more two dimensional.
I don’t know what else to say. This film is like Sweet Valley High meets the Playboy Channel. It’s a crappy teen plot with a little bit of irrelevant nudity thrown in. The cover of the DVD makes the film look darker and edgier than it really is. You’ll probably figure that out for yourself during the track meet scene at the end. (What kind of “sexy story of survival” has a track meet???) Do yourself a favor and avoid this one at all costs.
There are no bonus features on this DVD.
The Bottom Line:
Reform School Girl isn’t quite the sexy, gritty prison drama that the ads would like you to believe. It’s more of a cheesy teen drama with a few profanities and briefflashes of breasts thrown in. But if you want to see Matt LeBlanc make a fool of himself, then this film will be fine entertainment for you.