Doing Hard Time with REFORM SCHOOL GIRLS – Blu-Ray/DVD Mediabook Review

This is an over-the-top satire of women in prison films. To me this is the peak of the WIP genre.
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Since the beginning of filmmaking in the late 1800’s, films have brought to audiences many genres. I have been a fan of genre films since I was a child, although I didn’t know what a genre film was at the time. While I do like and appreciate drama films and high budget studio releases, there is something about that lower budget film that is oddly satisfying. The one constant with all forms of filmmaking has been to entertain an audience. Some films are pure forms of escapism. REFORM SCHOOL GIRLS is just such a film.

REFORM SCHOOL GIRLS is a case of good girl, Jenny (Linda Carol), involved with a bad guy and gets sentenced to do time at Pridemore Reform School. Once inside, Jenny must choose which group to get into, become friends with Charlie (Wendy O. Williams), the inmate that runs life on the inside or fend for herself without Charlie’s protection.

For horror fans this will be of interest, two of Charlie’s girls are Fish and Knox, played by Tiffany Helm and Darcy DeMoss respectively. Tiffany is known for her appearance in Friday the 13th: A New Beginning and Darcy shows up in Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives.

Sometimes video releases don’t happen quickly. This one took three years and was totally worth the wait. This mediabook is a Blu-ray/DVD combo pack that is available in three different versions. There are 444 copies of Version A, 444 copies for Version B and only 333 copies for Version C. All versions state that they are region B for the Blu-ray and region 2 for DVD. Both discs play in region A and region 1 players. The Wicked Vision release is the film’s high-definition world premiere. The mediabooks include a booklet that is designed to look like an eighties metal magazine complete with a poster and order form for REFORM SCHOOL GIRLS memorabilia. The articles/interviews are printed in German and English.

In the United States, REFORM SCHOOL GIRLS was first released on VHS and Laserdisc, as well as DVD years later. It has been quite a while since those releases and the premiere on Blu-Ray is a great improvement. The 2K transfer was produced from an interpositive. The film has good detail, with grain that is neither obtrusive nor distracting and has a very cinematic look. I did not notice any major print damage. There is not a very vivid color palate in REFORM SCHOOL GIRLS, mostly gray, blue and black. When bright colors do appear, they look bright and strong without bleeding or blooming. Flesh tones look natural and there are numerous opportunities to judge the flesh tones. The black level is good without being overdone and in dark scenes there is good contrast, so nothing is too dark. The viewer can see everything. No signs of edge enhancement or banding.

There are four audio options on this release. The first is a German DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0, second is an English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 for the movie’s soundtrack. The dialogue is clear, the music and sound effects are well balanced. The two remaining audio tracks are reserved for two different commentaries. One vintage commentary track from director Tom DeSimone and humorist Martin Lewis. The remaining audio track is a newly recorded second commentary track from Ash Hamilton from and yours truly. Although both commentary tracks are a great bonus, I may be biased, but the Horror-fix track is my favorite of the two. We had a lot of fun recording the track. We wanted it to be informative as well as light-hearted laugh at the film.

The numerous bonus features really round out this combo. There are newly recorded interviews with Tom DeSimone, Howard Wexler and Tiffany Helm. All the interviews are informative as well as entertaining. Several trailers are included and most have been restored with the original versions present also. If you have not seen the movie yet, it would be a good idea to watch one of the trailers to understand the mood of the film. Three TV spots are included along with introductions from Sybil Danning and Tiffany Helm. The music video for the title track, a photo gallery, and an Easter egg, that is worth the search. Everything that is present on the Blu-Ray is also on the DVD except for the Easter egg.

Many people may dismiss a film like this and not give it a second thought. This is an over-the-top satire of women in prison films. To me this is the peak of the WIP genre. No other film has captured the attitude or execution like this movie. You are not supposed to dig deep into REFORM SCHOOL GIRLS for a deep meaning. It is just about an hour and a half of entertainment for entertainment’s sake. It is life behind the iron, where every day could be your last. If you feel this movie is for you, don’t delay, this was produced in this special edition in limited quantities.

REFORM SCHOOL GIRLS can be purchased from:

This is an over-the-top satire of women in prison films. To me this is the peak of the WIP genre.

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  1. Great job Jim. We were just talking about you the day before. Keep up the good work.


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