Ratings Key

= Excellent. The best the genre has to offer.
1/2 = Very Good. Perhaps not "perfect," but undoubtedly a must-see.
★★★ = Good. Accomplishes what it sets out to do and does it well.
★★1/2 = Fair. Clearly flawed and nothing spectacular, but competently made. OK entertainment.
★★ = Mediocre. Either highly uneven or by-the-numbers and uninspired.
1/2 = Bad. Very little to recommend.
= Very Bad. An absolute chore to sit through.
NO STARS! = Abysmal. Unwatchable dreck that isn't even bad-movie amusing.
SBIG = So Bad It's Good. Technically awful movies with massive entertainment value.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Bad Girls Dormitory (1986)

... aka: Bad Girls
... aka: Dormitory Girls
... aka: Escape from Bad Girl's Dormitory

Directed by:
Tim Kincaid

Desperate to get away from her sexually abusive father, wanna-be actress Paige (Natalie O'Connell) answers an ad for an "art model" and ends up taking off her top for 150 bucks for a scumbag porn director. Next thing she knows vice cops are busting down the door charging her with "conspiracy to commit oral copulation." Streetwise Marina (Teresa Farley) unwisely accompanies her backstabbing loser boyfriend to score some coke and ends up holding the bag when the cops arrive. Before they even had a chance to turn a trick, best friend runaways Barb (Frances Raines) and Jennifer (Jane Donadio) were snatched off the street by the fuzz. What do these girls and many others have in common? Well, they're about to be stripped of their bras and forced to wear flimsy white t-shirts to spend some not-so-pleasant time at the New York Female Juvenile Reformatory, a place rife with corruption, drugs, lezbo guards, leering male guards, profanity, perversity, rape, suicide, murder, chain-smoking, deep cavity searches, pinball machines, coed showers and a rather unorthodox staff. Oh you know, the usuals!

Though it spreads screen time out pretty evenly between the girls, the closest thing to a lead here is Lori (Carey Zuris), who killed her horrible boyfriend after he arranged for his buddies to gang rape her. She has fun times in solitary confinement getting raped yet again by one of the guards and has (consensual for a change!) sex with the hunky newly-hired social worker (Rick Gianasi) in the showers. The volatile cell block bully is Lisa (Jennifer Delora), a masochist who actually arranges cat fights with a butch guard just because she enjoys being beat up! Lisa also goes a little crazy after she discovers her mother has died and starts slaughtering all the others (including garroting one with a wire till she's a bloody mess) and hiding their bodies in the boiler room. Her accomplice is a hilarious Southern bigot named Rebel (Donna Eskra), who sleeps with male and female staff members alike to get her drugs, but always follows with an insult like "You may be the worst lay I ever had in my whole life!"

You may be wondering just who the hell runs this place. Well, a staff of the most scuzzy degenerate creeps ever seen in one of these things, that's who! There's a racist lesbian nurse who gives girls drugs for sexual favors, laughs while watching an inmate being raped and looks at a black mother and hew newborn baby and says, "Just what we need, one more little negro!" The male guards are all ass-grabbing perverts who rape whoever they want whenever they want plus a heroin junkie doctor who's also screwing all the girls for drug favors. A European-accented female warden named Miss Madison (Marita) runs the place and all she really does is turn a blind eye to what's going on while recommending they all be put on "medicathon." Interestingly, her "experimental program" allows the girls to be able to come and go as they please and also allows their families and significant others to come and go as they please, which doesn't really explain why they start blasting the entire staff at the end with shotguns (including shooting a guy right in the crotch) since all they really have to do is just walk out the door.

This movie is extremely cheap-looking, poorly edited and utterly ridiculous from start to finish. The "prison" scenes seem to be filmed in a low rent apartment building, a flea bag motel and a warehouse. And the tone of this thing is all over the place. It hops from an image of a newly-defiled virgin's corpse hanging from the noose she just hung herself with accompanied by the sound of nightmarish moans to a side-splitting conjugal visit dance party in a kitchen where plump inmates in ripped-up tees chain smoke and dance around with their visitors to some Casio keyboard pop song called "Hose Me Down." There's plenty of violence and bloodshed courtesy of Ed French, and the nudity is almost nonstop. The camera pans and up and down bodies during the numerous shower scenes and there's equal opportunity flesh-baring from the guys; not surprising considering the director got his start in gay porn under the name "Joe Gage." I guess he was following in the footsteps of Tom DeSimone (aka "Lancer Brooks"), who'd made the R-rated WIP films Prison Girls (1972), The Concrete Jungle (1982) and the thoroughly awesome Reform School Girls (1986) in between all of his all-male X-rated flicks.

If you've seen your fair share of 80s shot-in-New-York-City trash cinema as I have, you'll recognize many of the actors from other films directed by people like Chuck Vincent, Lloyd Kaufman, Roberta Findlay and Gorman Bechard. Apparently Charles Band was so impressed by this ultra low- budget film, which did well on video and enjoyed frequent late night airings on "USA Up All Night," he decided to finance later Kincaid movies like BREEDERS (1986), Robot Holocaust (1986) and Mutant Hunt (1987), which were all released on Band's Wizard Video label with the "Too Gory for the Silver Screen" stamp of approval.

As you can probably tell from my murky screen caps, I viewed a VHS sourced print. Media Blasters / Shriek Show offer a better-quality version, though I actually kind of preferred seeing this in piss poor condition. It was... fitting.


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