LADIES AND GENTS, let us talk about one of the campiest women-in-prison movies, 1986’s Reform School Girls. It has some similarities to the previously discussed Switchblade Sisters, particularly since our heroine is another fair-haired, good girl-gone bad who has to fend for herself amongst a group of merciless teenage cholitas. However, the characters are way more over-the-top in an almost John Waters vibe and spout hilarious insults such as “You’re just a shit-stain on the panties of life!” How can you not be in love?
Good girl Jenny finds herself in the wrong place at the wrong time when her boyf decides to rob a bank while she is waiting for him in the car. She is then sentenced to a high-security ladies prison run by a dominatrix-like warden and her corrupt staff.
Pat Ast who was part of Warhol’s Factory crew in real life, plays the evil Edna who makes the best rubberfaces in the movie. After checking in Jenny and a couple of other nice girl convicts, she leads them right into an American Apparel ad.
Clearly this is the scene where we can admire the style of these bad girls. Lots of Vanity 6 lace, leather g-strings, stacked bracelets, big metal band hair, leopard print, cigarettes and combat boots.
Soon into her stay at Pridemore Juvenile Facility for Girls, Jenny goes head2head with the most feared of cholas: Charlie, played by “Queen of Punk” Wendy O. Williams (in true Andrea Zuckerman fashion as she was pushing 40 years old at the time.)
But Jenny ain’t gonna take shit from NOBODY and they start to ladyrumble.
At some point the ladies put their differences aside and band together to form a rebellion against the evil Edna.
Wendy O. Williams in the scene Gaga emulates in any way she can. SHE WAS SO FUCKING BADASS.
Unfortunately the reality of female prisons do not include lingerie parades and punk rock hairdos. Continuing with the WIP theme I also watched Beyond Scared Straight, a show that brings troubled teens to maximum security prisons with the purpose of scaring them out of their juvenile delinquency.
There were two particular female prisoners named “Green Eyes” and “Diabla” in the prison that were so FUCKING SCARY, I know if I were one of these teenage hoodrats I’d never want to do anything bad ever again! Just watching that show even SCARED ME STRAIGHT! I also cried a million times during the episode especially when one of the girls saw her own freakin’ mom in there! Her mom was on her knees BEGGING her daughter not to turn out like her! OMG I am getting the teary-eyed chills just thinking about it again.
Even though I am scared shitless of them, I kind of want to meet Green Eyes and Diabla. NOT AS A PRISONER MYSELF of course. Maybe I will write them a letter. JUST KIDDING I’M TOO SCARED.