A terrible snooze of a teens-in-trouble film without an ounce of subtlety, charm, or wit.

New good- girl moves to town and finds herself being indoctrinated into a lazy girl-gang that basically revolves around getting new girls to wear pants to school and making complete fools of themselves, because, girls in pants! Who ever saw such a thing? I didn’t realize it was ever a problem, but I am willing to accept that it likely was, as everything that has ever, even incrementally, challenged even the dumbest of conventions was pushed back against ferociously by dull human beings who hate unfamiliar things.

Lucky for us, the bad girls are soon throwing a party, and the Hellcat leader gets herself killed by falling down some stairs. A wild snap decision is made to completely hide the fact of the party and leave the body in the “borrowed” house. It turns out the death was no accident, and the killer is sure our new girl is going to squeal to the cops, drama ensues, but not very good drama, more the kind that just makes you roll your eyes. Blame ugly people because they are bad, and pretty people ethical and moral: lesson learned.

The problem with this film is that at no point are either the gang of girls, or the requests they make of the new girl at all compelling enough to comply with or have results that seem interesting. The social pressure seems entirely missing. Our new girl is coerced as easily as a baby, even though she’s gaining no benefit. The bad girls are just petty and the humiliating hazing they want to subject our new girl to is as bland as asking out some boy. The only people who could be intimidated by the film would be teenager terrified adults who can think of nothing more frightening than pants on girls. Shit these girls aren’t even smoking or having sex (despite the lobby poster image), OK they do have a bit of booze, but only a bit.

Free on prime, but miss it – it has nothing in it. Not even rock and roll.

Here is my list of things bad girls could occupy themselves with that would be worthy of having a film revolve around: Girl Gang Could go occult and develop a strong interest in Anton Wilson, Girl Gang could pick up electric guitars for a touring rock band and screw lots of groupies between their marijuana cigarettes, get invited to Japan and find love in Tokyo, Girl Gang could start a landscaping company and make a ton of money over the summer cutting rich people lawns. . . . You know, SOMETHING!

2 thoughts on “High School Hellcats (1958)

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